Canberra: Australia plans to halve the arrival of commercial passengers due to virus risks as parts of the country came out of the closure on Friday.
Australia will reduce its limit of 6,000 passengers a week to 3,000 by July 14 to reduce the pressure on hotel quarantine, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said after a meeting with state and regional leaders.
Australia already has some of the world’s strictest border restrictions aimed at keeping COVID-19 landuit. The new restrictions add to obstacles with which 34,000 Australian citizens and permanent residents have been stranded overseas and registered with the government to want to return home.
The government will rent more planes to take back Australians, but the reduced restriction on arriving passengers could continue until next year.
“If medical advice changes every now and then, and if medical advice indicates that we can change it, then of course the National Cabinet has always been receptive to the advice, and we will continue to monitor it,” Morrison told reporters, referring to its decision-making meetings with the state and area leaders.
“We do not want to keep the caps longer than we should,” he added.
Nearly half of the Australian population has been locked up since last week due to clusters mostly from the delta – variant of the coronavirus it is considered more contagious.
Several cities in the state of Queensland and the Northern Territory came out of the closure on Friday.
The capital of Queensland, Brisbane and the surrounding Moreton Bay area, will remain in the lock until Saturday, after a mother and daughter tested positive in Brisbane.
The largest group is in Sydney where 31 new cases were reported on Friday, the largest daily version of the current emergency. Sydney’s two-time exclusion will end on 9 July.
Throughout the pandemic, Australia was relatively successful in containing bunches and registered fewer than 31,000 cases in a population of 26 million and 910 deaths in total.
The higher infection rate of the delta variant has exposed the vulnerability of the Australian population in which, according to government data, only 8% have been fully vaccinated.
Morrison said a vaccine would be available by the end of the year for every Australian who wants it.
The government has proposed fewer restrictions on vaccines, such as allowing them to quarantine at home for a week after traveling overseas instead of spending two weeks in a hotel for uninitiated people.
“Many people say, ‘Well, why should I be vaccinated?’ They go: there is not much COVID around Australia. I’m more likely to be run over by a car than to get caught, I do not know COVID, ” Morrison said.
“We are prisoners of our own success in this. If you are vaccinated, you can change the way we live as a country. You can change how you live in Australia. And I think this is a very powerful message, “he added.
Australia imposed extremely severe border restrictions in March 2020 that prevented Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving the country as well as foreigners, except under limited circumstances.
Source: Telangana Today