Australia’s prime minister on Monday said his country is planning to resume international travel with “low-risk” COVID-19 countries — including Japan and South Korea.
Speaking at Seven News TV, Scott Morrison said he spoke with pacific leaders and they agreed to resume quarantine-free travel once their governments were confident Australian travelers posed no virus risk to locals.
“We want to ensure that we get no COVID transmission into those pacific island communities,” Morrison said.
“Their health systems are different and we’ve got be very careful about that risk,” he added.
The prime minister said he spoke with South Korean and Japan’s leaders while his foreign minister had been in contact with Singapore.
However, he ruled out resumption of any early travel with Europe and the United States.
“You only need to look at what’s happening in Europe at the moment where they’re going through a horrific further wave of COVID-19, and of course we’ve got to be extremely careful about that,” Morrison said.
Last week, Australia announced it will open border with New Zealand and allow New Zealander to enter New South Wales and the Northern Territory from Oct. 16.
However, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has not yet allowed Australians to visit her country, warning her country’s citizens, who want to visit Australia, they may still have to quarantine upon their return.
On Monday, Australia recorded 15 new coronavirus infections, with no deaths.
The country has reported a total of 27,264 cases, including 898 deaths and 24,855 recoveries, according to health ministry data.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid
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