Scott Morrison hints at next travel bubble country

Ash Cant
·3-min read

Following the National Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted at the next country Australia might arrange a travel deal with.

Mr Morrison said at Friday's meeting, the states and territories agreed to key principles regarding the management and reopening of Australia's border.

The vaccine rollout will be key, along with maintaining readiness to suppress coronavirus outbreaks within the community, Covid-Safe behaviours, testing and tracing and a "proportionate"response to outbreaks.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison photographed at a press conference.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted at the next country Australia may arrange a 'travel bubble' with. Source: AAP

"The message from national cabinet is we want to open up more, we want to do it safely," Mr Morrison said after meeting with his interstate counterparts.

"We want to do that because we know we are not just managing the health, but we are managing the economics as well, for people's livelihoods and wellbeing."

While strict travel restrictions have been crucial to Australia's strong pandemic performance, the tourism and aviation industries remain under colossal economic pressure.

The 'next obvious choice' to Aussie travel

However, Mr Morrison did hint at the next country Australia will open its borders to, just like its arrangement with New Zealand.

"I have mentioned Singapore before as an obvious next choice but at this stage it is still some time away,"Mr Morrison said.

According to Johns Hopkins data, Singapore has had over 60,000 coronavirus cases over the course of the pandemic.

The flag of Singapore flies with city skyscrapers in the background.
Australians may soon be able to travel abroad to Singapore. Source: EPA via AAP

Singapore's Ministry of Health has reported no active coronavirus cases in the community, according to the latest data as of April 8.

Mr Morrison said the options regarding borders would depend on how much of the Australian population has been vaccinated against Covid-19.

"If the vaccination population is lower, then that of course limits the options of borders," he said.

The national vaccine rollout was slated to finish by October but now looks likely to stretch well into next year.

On Thursday night, it was announced people aged under 50 years of age should avoid the AstraZeneca vaccine, due to rare blood clots appearing in four to six people per million.

The updated advice is expected to significantly impact Australia's vaccine rollout, which will affect international travel.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
Mr Morrison said international travel will depend on the vaccine rollout. Source: AAP

Experts to assess quarantine

The country's top health experts will provide advice on whether Australians who are vaccinated could travel overseas and return without undertaking mandatory hotel quarantine.

One possibility was home quarantine or no quarantine at all, Mr Morrison said.

He said the experts would also look at whether Australians stranded overseas could return with less strict quarantine protocols if they had been vaccinated abroad with a jab approved by local regulators.

- with AAP

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