republicworld– To shield Australians from deadly COVID-19 strain outbreaks, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared on Sunday, May 9, that the country’s borders will remain shut to the rest of the world indefinitely.
As the Coronavirus spread across the world, Australia’s borders were closed in March 2020. Under COVID-19 border laws, only citizens and legal residents were permitted to enter the country. Due to a severe increase in COVID-19 cases in India, Australia suspended all direct passenger flights from India with immediate effect until May 15.
‘Australia’s borders will remain closed indefinitely’
According to reports, Morrison noted that there is currently “no appetite” for Australia to open up to the rest of the world and that he aims to be cautious. He also mentioned that even after the vaccine rollout was completed, it was still uncertain if it was safe to restart and that he has no plans to compromise the “zero cases” goal.
He added, “borders would only be opened when it is safe to do so. We still have a long way to go, and there are still many uncertainties ahead. I think Australians want to ensure that the way we’re living at the moment is maintained.”
It comes after Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Thursday that opening international borders is unlikely to happen anytime soon because Australians have sent a “strong message” that they do not want to “risk COVID entering this country.”
COVID-19 situation in Australia
In Australia, there have been 29,906 coronavirus cases recorded, with 910 deaths so far. According to Federal Government estimates, 2.5 million Australians have received their first dose of the Coronavirus vaccine. According to reports, the government has been criticised for its slow roll-out, which has fallen short of its deadline of four million adults receiving the vaccine by the end of March.
Morrison announced on Friday, May 7, that between May 15 and May 31, Australia would charter three repatriation flights from India. On May 15, the first flight into Darwin will arrive. Commercial flights to and from India are also prohibited.
Flights to carry stranded Australians home would be “focused on getting those Australian citizens, residents, and families who have been registered with our high commission and consular offices within India,” Morrison said. According to official data, there are 9,000 Australians in India who want to return home.