Prime Minister Scott Morrison is under growing pressure to outline a plan to gradually reopen the international borders. The pressure is starting to ramp up from governments, health experts and business leaders.
NSW and Victorian leaders have suggested that we can’t remain cut off from the rest of the world once most Australians are vaccinated. The federal budget released last week is based on the assumption that international borders won’t reopen until mid-next year.
A survey conducted on the reopening of the borders has that 73% of Australian’s are in favour of the international borders to open mid next year or until the pandemic is under control.
Over the weekend there was a huge blow for some Australians stuck in India more than 70 were told they couldn’t board the repatriation flight after dozens tested positive. It has since emerged the laboratories doing the testing in India has been returning false positives.
When the PM was asked about this he said it’s a difficult environment we are operating in
Australia will likely begin a “slow methodical and safe opening” of its international borders in the first half of 2022, according to the nation’s former deputy chief medical officer.
Speaking on Today, Dr Nick Coatsworth denied he was in conflict with Prime Minister Scott Morrison over a timeline for opening borders for international travel.
“When you put your head up over the trench this is what happens,” Dr Coatsworth said, describing the reaction to his recent comments about smashing the “false idol” of COVID-19 eradication in Australia.
Dr Coatsworth said he in “100 per cent agreement” with Mr Morrison.
But he said it was important to now start a conversation about how Australians will travel in 2022.
“What do we do when the majority of Australians are vaccinated and immune, safe from hospitalisation, safe from death from COVID-19 but there are still critical events going on that people want to attend around the world?” he said.
“Do we still put them in hotel quarantine in 2022 at their expense?”
In a recent speech at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons annual scientific meeting which made headlines over the weekend, Dr Coatsworth said Australia needed to ready itself for borders to open and the return of the virus into the community.
“The best way to make people feel more comfortable about COVID-19 is to get vaccinated,” he said.
By Joe Cusmano