Australia set to ease international border restrictions from November
Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister on Friday announced that it will reopen the international border for citizens and permanent residents from next month.
Australia has also recognised China’s Sinovac and India-made Covishield vaccines and has advised that these vaccines should be considered as ‘recognised vaccines’ for the purpose of determining incoming international travellers as being appropriately vaccinated.
Australia currently only recognises vaccines produced by Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca.
“We’ve saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country,” Scott Morrison was quoted as saying by Reuters.
The first phase of reopening will focus on citizens and permanent residents being allowed to leave Australia, with further changes expected to permit foreign travellers to enter the country.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated – for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition – will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.
Australians who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel abroad and complete a 7-day quarantine at home on their return. People who are not vaccinated will be required to undertake 14 days of quarantine at a hotel when they return.
Australia will also work towards completely quarantine-free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand.
Testing is expected to continue to be a requirement for international travel, but subject to further medical advice,
Australians who want to travel overseas once restrictions are removed will be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document in the coming weeks to prove their vaccination status abroad. The proof of vaccination for international travel will include a QR code that is readable globally, and will comply with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
Engagement with commercial airlines and foreign governments has already begun to ensure they are familiar with the system.
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