Australia’s tourism and trade minister, Dan Tehan, estimated that international borders would be open by Christmas and that the country will relax its travel restrictions before the end of the year. “I empathize with Australians who have been denied the opportunity to travel overseas this year. It’s another reason why everyone should get vaccinated,” Tehan told the National Press Club on Wednesday September 22nd.
We need to commit to the national plan that is designed to be able to open our borders to the rest of the world by Christmas at the latestDan Tehan, Australia’s tourism and trade minister
More than 45,000 Australians are currently stranded overseas and the number has risen in recent months due to a reduction in the number of travelers Australia is letting in. According to official figures, approximately 4,700 of these Australians are considered “vulnerable”.
Tehan said the government was considering travel bubble agreements with other countries, similar to agreements put in place with New Zealand earlier this year. “That will mean there will be no 14-day quarantine, which currently applies to people returning to Australia,” he said.
The details of those quarantine arrangements will depend on the travel bubbles that Australia agrees with each countryDan Tehan, Australia’s tourism and trade minister
Tehan said he hoped to see the implementation of a nationwide home quarantine scheme to speed up the return of overseas travel. South Australia has been conducting trials to assess the effectiveness of facial and location recognition technology to monitor people who must serve their quarantine at home.
We still have a bit of work ahead of us, but basically that’s the plan we’re looking at as we move toward the 80 percent national vaccination rateDan Tehan, Australia’s tourism and trade minister
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said it was absurd to let states and territories handle limits on the number of people entering the country from overseas, given that the federal government is responsible for customs, immigration and borders. “It’s terrible that people are getting stranded. We have to fix this situation,” Albanese told ABC radio.
He added that the answer is to build quarantine centers with government funds, and with the support of the states and territories. It is estimated that home quarantine will come into effect in all parts of Australia before quarantine centers in Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth are completed. “This system is a tragedy for people stranded overseas. It is also a tragedy for people who want to see their loved ones,” Albanese said.