In a public health warning Thursday echoing developments worldwide, Australia’s prime minister said that people who are not vaccinated “will face more restrictions.”
“We’d have to have more restrictions on people who are unvaccinated because they’re a danger to themselves and others,” Scott Morrison told the 3AW Radio program.
“Vaccination will not be made mandatory,” Morrison said, adding, “but there will be restrictions” on unvaccinated Australians.
Australia is administering both the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines to its citizens.
“If you’re not vaccinated you present a greater health risk to yourself and to others than people who are vaccinated … and public health decisions will have to be made on that basis,” he said.
Public health experts have said unvaccinated people make it easier for the more dangerous Delta variant of the virus to spread, and for new strains to develop.
Morrison also said he didn’t know if Australia would be open by the end of the year.
Australia is witnessing a resurgence of COVID-19, with the local government in New South Wales (NSW) imposing a lockdown in the region.
Amid the rise in infections, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller on Thursday asked the Morrison government to deploy 300 Australian Defense Force personnel to help Greater Sydney residents “comply with lockdown restrictions.”
However, the Cumberland Council mayor has said his southwestern Sydney community would “find the image of troops patrolling their streets demoralizing,” SBS News reported.
The country has reported 658,004 COVID-19 cases after 503 fresh infections today. Around 10,737 people have lost their lives to the virus in Australia since the pandemic began in December 2019.
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