Australia to lift outbound travel ban for vaccinated residents from next week

All completely immunized Australian residents and permanent residents will be able to leave the country without a special exemption from Nov. 1, authorities said on Wednesday, as Australia facilitates Covid limitations in the midst of slow increase of COVID-19 cases.

Australians have been not able to travel abroad for over year and a half without an administration waiver, while huge number of completely vaccinated persons living abroad have not been able to return because of a cap on arrival to slow the spread of COVID-19.

A significant number of these are presently expected to return after Sydney and Melbourne finished quarantine rules for immunized travellers from Nov. 1. Different urban areas, for the most part infection free, are relied upon to facilitate their line controls once they arrive at higher inoculation rates.

“The public arrangement is working … (it) is tied in with opening Australia up and that is on the grounds that the immunization rates are climbing so high,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Seven News on Wednesday.

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Australia’s drug regulator, meanwhile, provisionally approved a booster dose of Pfizer Inc’s COVID-19 vaccine for people aged over 18, as first-dose vaccination levels in people over 16 neared 90%.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the rollout is expected to begin by Nov. 8 once the government receives advice from the country’s vaccination technical advisory group.

The decision to lift the travel ban from next week comes after Singapore on Tuesday said it would allow quarantine-free entry to travellers vaccinated against COVID-19 from Australia from Nov. 8.

A third wave of infections fuelled by the Delta variant forced lockdowns in Australia’s biggest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, and both have been gradually easing restrictions after racing through their vaccination targets.

Even with the Delta outbreaks, Australia has fared better than many comparable countries, with around 164,000 cases and 1,669 deaths. Victoria state reported 1,534 new cases on Wednesday, up from 1,510 a day earlier, while those in New South Wales rose to 304 from 282.

(News source: Reuters. Image credit: Sky News)

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