Covid isn't over yet! This is well demonstrated by the 2 new community-based cases in NSW this week and the new restrictions that came into effect from 5 pm yesterday. Neither does the situation with Australia’s international borders help with the anxiety and uncertainty facing many Australians.
After being told they'd open in October, Australia's border are set to remain shut until well into NEXT YEAR as government warns it 'won't be flung open' even after mass vaccinations across the country.
Finance Minister, Senator Simon Birmingham announced that 'borders would remain shut this year with public opinion clear that protecting lives and jobs was paramount.
Large parts of the world are still grappling with the Covid-19 nightmare, India so far having been hit the hardest.
He told The Australian that borders won’t be “flung open at the start of next year” amid “uncertainties” over the effectiveness of the global vaccine roll-out, before later reiterating his comments.
On Thursday Mr Birmingham told Sky News: “They’re not reopening anytime soon. Australians do not want us to reopen borders and risk COVID entering into this country, and risk the consequential loss of life, economic damage and loss of jobs across Australia.”
While the minister refused to be bound to a timeline, he said any decision on overseas travel remained a 'fairway off'.
He continued: “We’re dealing now in May of 2021 with arguably a more uncertain environment in the management of COVID than we had a few months ago,”
He also added that India’s case spike and outbreaks in other parts of the world were behind his hesitation to give Australians a specific date to restart overseas travel.
“Australians would be surprised if it resumed at the end of this year or frankly any earlier than that.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reemphasised his support for a vaccination passport to increase the chances of quarantine-free travel.
“I do like this idea. I’ve been saying this for a while. But we’ve got to make sure the health systems can support that,” he told Melbourne radio station 3AW.
He added that "more evidence was needed to prove vaccination stopped people from transmitting the disease."