Australia to lift COVID-19 travel ban for its vaccinated citizens next month

Australia to lift COVID-19 travel ban for its vaccinated citizens next month
© Aaron Schwartz

Beginning in November, Australia will lift a COVID-19 travel ban for its vaccinated residents, allowing them to leave the country for the first time in months, The Associated Press reported.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Friday that when 80 percent of Australians aged 16 years and older have been fully vaccinated, that travel ban will be relaxed. According to NBC News, different parts of the country, which has eight states and territories, will likely reopen at different times.

“We’ve saved lives. We’ve saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country,” Morrison said, according to the AP.

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Fully vaccinated citizens who leave the country will be required to quarantine for seven days and can do so from home. For those who are not vaccinated, they will be required to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days after returning to the country, Reuters reported.

It is not immediately clear when Australia will again allow international travelers to enter.

Morrison said on Friday that New South Wales is expected to be the first state to reach the 80 percent vaccination threshold and that Qantas Airways, which is based in Sydney, has said that beginning in mid-November it will restart some international flights, the AP noted.

Additionally, two vaccines have been added to Australia's approved vaccine list on Friday: AstraZeneca and Sinovac, according to the AP.

Australia reported 1,839 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Thursday and 1,874 cases the day prior, according to data from the World Health Organization. In comparison, cases were down to the hundreds in July.