Australia plans to halve the number of international arrivals it accepts this week after the outbreak of Covid has blocked half of its population.
The country’s strict border rules allow only Australians and exempt people to enter the country.
Starting July 14, Australia will accept over 3,000 people a week. This is a measure that is likely to continue until next year.
This announcement caused disappointment among Australians abroad and away from their families.
However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the measure would reduce pressure on the country’s quarantine system.
Virus leaks from hotel quarantines (required for all arrivals) are responsible for numerous outbreaks nationwide.
Australia maintains its Covid removal strategy until next year when most of its population can be vaccinated. Only 8% have been vaccinated so far.
“Simply reduce [travel] Caps do not necessarily provide fail-safe, but due to the specific pathogenicity of the Delta strain, it is considered wise behavior while remaining in this stage of suppression of the virus, “Mollison said. I am.
Over the past year, his government has faced criticism of border policies that have increased family separation and made it difficult for many Australians to return home.
During April The government has also temporarily blocked Indian citizens From returning during the deadly wave heights of South Asian countries.
About 37,000 Australians are stuck abroad. On Friday, many online expressed their anger and disappointment at the cancellation of their return trip.
“It’s completely painful and indescribably stressful,” a woman wrote in a Facebook group for left-behind Australians.
To mitigate some of the cuts, Morrison said there would be more repatriation flights for Australians who want to return home.
Australia will also begin trials of arranging home quarantine for vaccinated travelers.
Morrison said arrival restrictions would not be lifted again until most Australians were vaccinated. This goal will not be achieved until next year due to the limited supply of jabs in the country.
What led to this decision?
The new rules aim to reduce the risk that Covid will flee travelers to quarantine and spread to a wider community.
This happened after seven cities, including Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth, were blocked in the past week due to the outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant.
Virus detections in six states and territories show that the virus was the most widespread in Australia this year.
The country has recorded about 250 cases, most of which are associated with the largest city, the Sydney cluster.
The outbreak occurred when an unvaccinated driver transported international arrivals, and the virus subsequently spread to the community.
The New South Wales (NSW) provincial government has put Sydney and its surroundings in a two-week blockade until July 9 and contained it.
“We’ve seen breaches come primarily as a result of infection control procedures and human error … these issues need to continue to be strengthened,” Morrison said.
However, NSW, which has accepted more than half of its arrivals in the past year, said the outbreak had nothing to do with the number of people in the system.
“Don’t assume that the outbreak will not happen just because the number has decreased,” said Gladys Berejikrian. “My heart is directed at the thousands of Australians who have to wait longer to get home.”
Read more about Australia’s strict borders:
Queensland, Western Australia and Victoria all say they have lobbied for a reduction in arrivals after this week’s outbreak.
Morrison Announces Covid’s Exit Plan
The outbreak of Delta prompted urgent talks between the Prime Minister and state and territory governments.
Following a meeting of all government leaders on Friday, Morrison announced a new timeline for Australians on the “Road from Covid”, including international arrival cuts.
He said it would eventually move to manage Covid “as any other infectious disease in our community” while the country focused on controlling the virus.
However, he said Australia remains the first step in curbing the Covid epidemic in the short term. The transition to late stages, including breaking out of the blockade, occurs only when most Australians are vaccinated.
Morrison refused to specify a target level or time frame, but reiterated that all Australians would be able to receive the first dose by the end of the year.
His government has been strongly criticized for its slow vaccine program.
Australia relies on AstraZeneca and Pfizer vaccines to immunize its population.
Rollout delays are mainly Extensive hesitation for AstraZeneca shots, And Pfizer supply shortage.