The head of Australia̵
Don’t expect to dip your toes in the sand on Sydney’s Bondi Beach or take the city’s famous bridge climb at least this summer.
On Wednesday, Greg Hunt, Australia’s health and care minister for the elderly, announced that the South Pacific state had extended its ban on international visitors until June.
“The emergency period of human biosecurity under the Biosafety Act 2015, in force since March 17, 2020, will be extended by an additional three months until June 17, 2021,” he said.in a statement.
Among the expanding safeguards:
- Pre-departure tests and requirements for wearing masks for international flights.
- Restrictions imposed on cruise ships within Australian territory.
- International travel restrictions for Australians leaving the country.
- Restrictions on retail stores at international airports.
Hunt added: “Australia’s General Health Committee (AHPPC) advises the Australian Government that the situation with COVID-19 abroad continues to pose an unacceptable risk to public health for Australia, including the emergence of more transmissible options.”
However, he promised that “the Australian Government will continue to work closely with national and territorial agencies, national health committees and the cruise industry to develop a framework for the phasing out of cruise ships in a way that is proportionate to the risk to public health. “
Australia and neighboring New Zealand were serious about border controls during COVID-19. It took most of the year for both sides to establish a quarantine-free travel corridor, which they announced in December.,, according to the British newspaper The Guardian. But they stopped the bubble in late January when New Zealand announced its first new case of coronavirus in months, later confirmed to be the newer version of South Africa, the BBC reported.
According to John Hopkins, Australia has reported about 29,000 cases and 909 deaths since the coronavirus began spreading around the world early last year.
Regarding recent case levels, Australia reports an increase in new daily cases, peaking at 43 new cases on 21 December heading for the Christmas and New Year holidays. But according to the World Health Organization, cases have started to decline again. The new daily cases have remained below 20 since mid-January.
Cumulatively, New Zealand had just over 2,300 cases and only 26 deaths, the last of which was in mid-February, according to data from John Hopkins. After a peak of about 30 new cases in mid-January, the WHO announced that the daily total number of cases had low single-digit figures for the last month.
So when can Australia open its borders to international travel?
It’s more like late fall, said Alan Joyce, CEO of Australian flag carrier Qantas.
“We now plan to restart the international journey at the end of October this year, in line with the day when the introduction of vaccines in Australia will be effectively completed,” Joyce said in a call for revenue in late February.
Below:Australian Qantas Airways expects to resume international flights at the end October
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