'We are ready': Major change for Aussies travelling overseas

Fully vaccinated Australians will no longer have to apply for travel exemptions to leave the country, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced.

The move comes as the country prepares to ease its borders and resume international travel from Monday.

Speaking with Sunrise on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison confirmed exemptions for travelling Aussies will be scrapped.

He said Australia, which shut its borders at the start of the Covid pandemic, is ready for such a big change.

Passengers are seen lining up to check in at Sydney Domestic Airport, in Sydney, Wednesday, June  23, 2021. Source: AAP
From November 1 vaccinated Australians will be free to travel overseas. Source: AAP

"Over half a million Australians have already been able to download the international vaccine certificate," Mr Morrison told the Seven Network.

“I can announce from today that last night the health minister signed off on the fact that from the first of November Australians who are double vaccinated will be able to travel overseas, as we’ve flagged and were looking forward to that.

"We are very close now to the reciprocal arrangements with Singapore."

Singapore ready to open to Australians

Overnight, Singapore announced it would allow Australians to travel to the country without quarantine from November 8.

Mr Morrison said flights to the country from Australia are on offer from November 22 and the government is “working on a timetable around about then”.

Meanwhile, the US has announced fully vaccinated foreign tourists will be able to enter the country from November 8 and discussions are continuing about allowing travel between Australia and Bali.

The PM pointed to Australia’s high vaccination rate as a reason behind the decision to do away with exemptions.

"The national plan is working. The national plan is about opening Australia up and that is because the vaccination rates are climbing so high," Mr Morrison said.

“Today I can tell you that Australia’s first dose vaccination rate is now higher than the United Kingdom, higher than the United Kingdom, it’s already higher than the US and that’s the whole population so well done Australia.”

Australia to hit 80 per cent fully vaccinated

Australia is poised to hit the 80 per cent full Covid-19 vaccination mark within a week, as at least four states gear up for quarantine-free international arrivals.

The latest forecast on covid19data.com.au has a best case scenario of 80 per cent — a target set by national cabinet for major changes to restrictions — being hit on November 2, which is also Melbourne Cup Day.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Wednesday 87.4 per cent of Aussies have had one vaccine dose.

The federal health department's latest data shows 74.1 per cent of Australians over 16 are now fully vaccinated.

The QANTAS domestic terminal is seen at Sydney Airport in Sydney, Tuesday, August 3, 2021. Source: AAP
Qantas is preparing to launch numerous international flights. Source: AAP

South Australia to ease travel rules

South Australia has announced it would scrap isolation requirements for overseas and domestic travellers who have received two coronavirus jabs when the state reaches 90 per cent immunisation coverage.

Premier Steven Marshall expects the milestone to be reached before Christmas, weeks after state borders open on November 23.

Victoria and NSW will from Monday permit double-jabbed overseas arrivals to enter Melbourne and Sydney without having to isolate.

Tasmania has set December 15 as the date it will throw open borders to international and domestic travellers.

All travellers will be required to test negative for coronavirus.

The South Australia government's announcement further isolates Western Australia, which is likely to remain shut to countries, states and territories with coronavirus until next year.

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