Australia's PM says he is in 'no hurry' to reopen borders

Brunilde Fioravanti
Aprile 18, 2021

"But the idea on one day that everything just opens, that is not how this will happen", Mr Morrison told reporters in Adelaide on Sunday.

"There are 3 million people now who have died from COVID". The COVID pandemic is raging around the world.

"I will not be putting at risk the way we are living in this country which is so different to the rest of the world today".

The prime minister said issues around borders and how they are managed will be handled very carefully and in partnership with the states and territories in terms of how the quarantine program works. Morrison flagged today that vaccinated Australians could be able travel overseas "for essential purposes" and return via home quarantine in the second half of the year, but that possibility is only in "planning stages".

"We've worked around the clock to find solutions to get vaccines in people's arms as quickly and safely as possible", Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said.

"We are in a good place but we can not afford to go backwards", he said in a statement.

Australia recently abandoned a goal to vaccinate almost all of its 26 million population by the end of 2021 following advice that people under the age of 50 take Pfizer's Covid-19 vaccine rather than AstraZeneca's shot.

The national cabinet will meet on Monday, the first of twice-weekly gatherings following the vaccine rollout being thrown into disarray after health authorities recommended the AstraZeneca vaccine should only be given to people the over the age of 50 after blood-clotting was linked to younger people.

Doctors are now reporting patients are missing their appointments, saying thousands of doses of the AstraZeneca shot are sitting idle in fridges across the country.

Eligible people aged under 50 can also continue to receive the Pfizer vaccine.

"It's so important that if you are in that age group, please ... go and see a GP or a GP administering the vaccine in your area", he said.

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