Australia's borders unlikely to open in 2021


Sarah Peddie

Health officials in Australia have stated the country will unlikely open up its borders in 2021 despite the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine. 

It is looking doubtful that travellers will be allowed into the country this year even if the majority of the Australian population are vaccinated.

On Monday (January 18) Health department secretary Brendan Murphy said that travel would not be expected to resume in 2021.

He told the public broadcaster ABC: "I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions.

"Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.

"And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time."

Australia closed their borders to overseas visitors since the pandemic began back in March last year to stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Only a limited number of residents and their families are allowed to return to the country each week. 

There are still thousands of Australians who are currently stranded overseas as a result of the closed borders.

Travellers returning must quarantine in a hotel room for 14 days which costs about AU$3,000.

Australia has managed to secure two Covid-19 vaccines - the Pfizer and the Oxford/AstraZeneca.

Rollout of the vaccine is set to start towards the end of February however they are still waiting approval from the medical regulators. 

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