Australia is ready to gradually reopen its international borders ‘within weeks’, the country’s prime minister Scott Morrison has announced.
The pime minister said Australians will be able to return home and travel overseas ‘within weeks’ if 80 percent are vaccinated.
“The time has come to give Australians their life back. We’re getting ready for that, and Australia will be ready for takeoff, very soon,” Morrison said.
Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said it was working “towards welcoming tourists back to our shores”.
However, people can now leave Australia only for exceptional reasons such as essential work or visiting a dying relative.
The move came after 18-month closure. Citizens were not able to travel overseas without permission and thousands of Australians left stranded abroad.
Australia has closed its borders since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020.
The decision was the world’s strictest border rules.
Australia has recorded more than 1,300 deaths from Covid-19 and more than 107,000 cases of infection.
Last month, Australian capital had facing its ‘most serious public health risk,’ after detecting the first case of community transmission.
A total lockdown went into effect across Canberra for a whole week.
The announcement came after reporting its first locally acquired case of COVID-19 in more than a year.
The country’s biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney, are already under hard lockdowns.