Freedom of movement at last

Overseas Property | 20 Oct 2021

Australia will be reopening its international borders in November, granting long-awaited freedoms to vaccinated citizens and their relatives.

Since March 2020, Australia has had some of the world's strictest border rules - even banning its own people from leaving the country.

The policy has been praised for helping to suppress Covid-19, but it has also controversially separated families.

"It's time to give Australians their lives back," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

People would be eligible to travel when their state's vaccination rate hits 80 percent, Morrison said.

Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said it was working "toward welcoming tourists back to our shores."

Australian carrier Qantas responded by announcing it would restart its international flights a month earlier. It had already put flights to major overseas destinations on sale from December 18.

However, Western Australia's borders will remain shut to other states until 90 percent of residents have been inoculated, said premier Mark McGowan.

Western Australia may not reach the 90 percent vaccination target anytime soon, with jab uptake in the state among the lowest in the country.

While 74 percent of residents have received their first jab, only 55 percent are double-vaccinated.

"The only way to crush and kill this virus is together," McGowan said.

"Together, we have managed to get through the last 20 months of this raging virus with only 1,096 total cases in the course of the pandemic.

"That's a total New South Wales and Victoria have sadly exceeded many times on a daily basis," he added.



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