Australia ‘pauses’ to reopen its borders for international arrivals on 1 December

The federal government has decided to “pause” its plan to reopen the nation’s borders for visa holders from Dec. 1, delaying the watershed immigration shift for two weeks until Dec. 15. The delay has been induced by the emergence of the Omicron variant, a very highly mutated but not yet fully understood strain of the Covid-19 virus. Two confirmed cases of Omicron have already been identified in Sydney, although both cases were asymptomatic and quarantined.

The Prime Minister took the decision to change the planned reopening of Australia’s international borders following an urgent meeting with the National Security Committee.

“The temporary pause will ensure that Australia can gather the information we need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the effectiveness of the vaccine, the range of diseases, including whether it can generate milder symptoms and the level of transmission,” a statement said. from a read the federal spokesman.

Australia has already suspended entry for foreign arrivals from nine South African countries, although Australian nationals and residents arriving from these countries will be allowed to enter, although it requires supervised quarantine for 14 days.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “Australia has a proven track record in dealing with Covid. We have one of the lowest mortality rates, highest vaccination rates and strongest economies in the world. We will continue to take sensible and responsive evidence-based actions, led by medical experts “This will ensure that we can open safely and remain open while learning to live with the virus.”

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