Australia Reopens Borders after a long wait


WIkimedia Commons

Northern territory of Australia

Recently, the Australian government has announced that they will be reopening their borders for travel. However, the coronavirus is still affecting many people. This will only affect fully vaccinated citizens. Australia has had some of the strictest restrictions during the pandemic, going as far as banning anyone from leaving or entering the country.
Because 55% of the population have been fully vaccinated, 80% of the population above 16 have at least their first shot. The Prime Minister of Australia has finally decided to reopen their borders to travel, allowing Australian workers to travel freely between countries. However, the people who were initially stranded in another country due to the closure of Australia now have to take a mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine upon their return to Australia. The prime minister states that “Many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel, and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step.”
Since March of 2020, Australia has kept its borders closed to slow the spread of coronavirus within the country. Although this might have been normal compared to other countries, others panicked about the possible spread. Australia has had some of the strictest lockdown policies during this pandemic because they ban people from entering or leaving the country. Even now, with the news that Australia might be opening this November, many people are very excited, as they can travel. For those stranded in different countries, they can finally get home to their families. This also means that this is probably a very anticipated moment. Although many expect Australia to reopen sooner, that doesn’t mean they will be expected to do it. As said in CNN, some states expect a higher vaccination rate, higher than 80% of first doses, before they are ready to reopen services again. This means that even if most of Australia opens, there will still be some states closed. This means that some Australians will be then stuck outside of their state. In addition to this, some states have also seen a surge in cases due to the new delta variant that has been even more deadly than the original coronavirus. Even though it has been devastating to see Australia with their borders closed, this has allowed them to keep the number of cases in many states relatively low, with the very strict states having zero reported cases.
Overall, Australia opening the borders is a joyous expectation for many people, but some still believe it might be dangerous to reopen the borders when the delta variant is still going. For some people, such as the Chief Ministers of States, this means waiting until the first dose percentage goes even higher than 80%, just to stay on the safe side.