Sydney, Australia, Oct 1 (EFE).- Australian states that have fully vaccinated 80 percent of their population will be able to reopen international borders to citizens and residents in November, according to a plan outlined by the prime minister on Friday.
“Many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement.
The government’s plan, which does not yet include the entry of tourists, makes provisions for fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents arriving from abroad to quarantine at home for seven days, as well as future quarantine-free travel to low-risk countries such as New Zealand.
“These changes mean there will be no travel restrictions if you are a vaccinated Australian entering or leaving our shores,” Morrison said.
Those who are not vaccinated, or have received a vaccine not recognized by Australia, will have to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine in the centers designated for these purposes.
The reopening of borders, shut since March 2020, is expected to start in New South Wales, which will be the first region to reach the milestone of 80 percent of its population fully vaccinated.
The various states will begin to reopen at different times depending on their levels of vaccination in this new phase in which PCR tests will continue to be a requirement for international travel, although it is expected that the rapid antigen tests may also be used.
As part of resuming international travel, Australians will also need to present an internationally recognized vaccination certificate, which will include a QR code readable throughout the rest of the world.
Australia, which has more than half of the population in lockdown due to the Delta outbreak in Sydney in mid-June, has fully vaccinated more than 54 percent of its population and 78 percent with one dose.
To date, the country has accumulated more than 106,000 Covid-19 infections and some 1,300 deaths. EFE