Prime minister announces Australia will reopen by Christmas

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says all but one of Australia’s states and territories will “open up” by Christmas.

Mr Morrison addressed the media after Friday’s National Cabinet meeting revealing an agreed reopening plan between state and territory leaders that “includes the necessary actions needed on a public health response” to support it.

“By the end of this year, premiers and chief ministers reiterated their support for that goal today,” he said.

Mr Morrison said the plan also details the economic reopening of Australia – the element of easing coronavirus restrictions his government has repeatedly clashed over with Labor state leaders Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk.

Scott Morrison says Australia will be open by Christmas. Source: ABC
Scott Morrison says Australia will be open by Christmas. Source: ABC

He said the state and territories agreed in principal, with the exception of Western Australia, on the reopening framework for Australia by Christmas.

“By Christmas of this year, certainly seven of the eight states and territories will be open and you never know, it might be eight,” he said.

The prime minister also announced he will be allowing more Australians to return home from overseas, targeting to bring back the 26,200 Australians who have registered back by Christmas.

Western Australia will take a further 140 passengers in November and Queensland has agreed to take an additional 150 international arrivals.

Mr Morrison said he could not provide details on when international borders would reopen, likewise for potential travel bubbles with nations such as Japan.

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