The government is making plans that could see vaccinated Australians travel without needing expensive hotel quarantine.
The Prime Minister has flagged allowing Australians to travel overseas and return home, without going into hotel quarantine, if they are vaccinated against COVID-19.
The PM said people would be permitted to travel for “essential reasons” such as business, medical reasons, important family events and funerals.
He said that vaccinated people would still need to quarantine but may be able to do that at their homes instead.
The government has been considering how and when it can open to the rest of the world, beyond the New Zealand travel bubble
However, Scott Morrison warned the vaccination program was not a “silver bullet” and the nation would need to be prepared for the potential of “many” more COVID-19 cases if international border restrictions were to be widely lifted.
“If we were to lift the borders and people to come, then you would see those cases increase and Australians would have to become used to dealing with 1,000 cases a week or more,” he said.
“Now, it is true that our most vulnerable populations would be vaccinated, but I don’t think Australians … would welcome restrictions and closures and border shutting and all of those things again.”
National Cabinet last week asked the federal government’s expert medical panel for advice on when Australia could consider opening up to other countries, beyond the New Zealand travel bubble starting later this month, as well as alternatives to hotel quarantine.
“What I’m working on right now, is that where an Australian is vaccinated under our program when they will be able to travel overseas,” the PM told a community forum in Perth.
“I would think in the initial stages, particularly for essential purposes, business, things like that, medical reasons, friends and family, important events, funerals, so on.
“That could be done and return to Australia without the need for a hotel quarantine of 14 days and to be able to do that either at home or under some other less stringent environment than you have with hotel quarantine.
“Now that would require being vaccinated and I think that would be an important incentive for people to do that.”
Well thanks, ScoMo! that is the least that Australians would aspect after been locked in for so long without a current perspective to when international borders will open again after the vaccination plan blow.
By Joe Cusmano