Christmas at the latest: Borders to reopen

Trade Minister Dan Tehan says the country’s international borders are likely to open by Christmas “at the latest”.

With vaccination rates across the nation soaring, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has flagged her intention to reopen international borders as soon as the state reaches thresholds set out by the Doherty Institute – even if recalcitrant Premiers refuse to open interstate borders.

And Mr Tehan confirmed at the current rates of vaccine uptake, the country was likely to reach the stage of reopening which would enable international visitation to resume.

“Hopefully, at the latest by Christmas, that Australians will be able to travel with a QR-code link to their passport which will be able to show a proof of vaccination,” Mr Tehan told the National Press Club on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Tehan said Australians’ overseas travel destinations would not be restricted once the country hit 80 per cent vaccination rates.

After his speech, Mr Tehan was asked whether there would be restrictions on the countries which people would be allowed to visit once international borders opened up.

Contingent upon completing 14 days’ mandatory quarantine upon returning, Mr Tehan said travellers would be able to travel overseas without restrictions. The federal government was working on further travel bubbles – such as the one with New Zealand – meaning people didn’t have to quarantine, Mr Tehan said.

“When we hit that 80 per cent national vaccination right, and an individual state hits that 80 per cent, means that outbound travel will resume, so people will be able to freely travel outside of Australia, with, with no restrictions or no limitation,” Mr Tehan said.

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