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Australian Health Minister outlines roadmap to reopen borders

10/05/2021 02:08 PM

CANBERRA, May 10 -- Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt has confirmed that the government is working on a roadmap to reopen the country's international borders, Xinhua news agency reported.

"It's really built around the three principles of green lanes and opening up new bubbles with different safe countries, as we've done with New Zealand, and as we'll do with others in the Pacific and within the region as they become progressively safer," he told reporters on Sunday.

"Second part of the roadmap is in relation to our own domestic vaccination strategy, protecting the nation. And then the third element is the capacity for regular travel for those who have been vaccinated."

The government has previously flagged greater travel freedoms for people who have been vaccinated against COVID-19, including being able to quarantine at home rather than at hotels or in dedicated facilities on return to Australia.

Hunt said they would be "able to travel earlier" and highly likely "return with lesser restrictions."

The government will hand down the federal budget for the financial year 2021/22 on Tuesday night.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that forward projections contained in the budget are based on the assumption that migration and travel will resume in 2022.

However, he warned that there were several factors that would determine that timeline.

"We've got to follow the medical advice," Frydenberg told public service broadcaster SBS recently.

As of Sunday afternoon, there had been 29,923 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the numbers of local and overseas acquired cases in the last 24 hours were zero and 16 respectively, according to the latest figures updated on Sunday evening from the Department of Health.



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