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Australia, for the most part without COVID-19, is in no hurry to reopen its borders


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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison visits Tokyo

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By Lidia Kelly

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia is in no hurry to reopen its international borders and risk the country’s almost virus-free lifestyle, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Sunday.

Australia closed its borders to all noncitizens and non-residents in March 2020 and allowed only limited international arrivals in recent months, mostly public. people returning from abroad.

Border closures, coupled with rapid door locks, rapid contact tracking and a high health adherence community, have made Australia one of the most successful countries in the world at pandemic restraint, coronavirus infections to less than 29,500 cases and 910 deaths.

“I assure you that Australia is in no hurry to open those borders,” said Morrison at a televised press conference.

“I wouldn’t risk the way we live in a country that is so different from the rest of the world today.”

For many months now, with the exception of a few flash shutters, Australians have been able to dine, gather almost comfortably, and no longer wear masks in most places.

They exchanged their international trips for local ones, with government figures showing a large annual increase in domestic tourism in the early months of 2021.

From Monday, Australians and neighboring New Zealanders will be able to travel between both countries without having to apply for a waiver or lose the required quarantine period.

New Zealand had only 2,239 confirmed coronavirus infections and 26 related deaths.

Morrison announced on Sunday that vaccinated Australians could travel abroad “for essential purposes” and return through home quarantine in the second half of the year, but that possibility lies within “planning stage”.

Australia recently abandoned its goal of vaccinating nearly all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following advice taken by those under the age of 50. Pfizer The COVID-19 vaccine (NYSE 🙂 is not the AstraZeneca injection (NASDAQ :).

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