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Australia plans to reopen its borders to international travelers when at least 80 percent of its population has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday.
According to global news agency AFP, Morrison also revealed that restrictions will be loosened when 70 percent of eligible adults have been inoculated. At that time, a limited number of international students and economic visa holders will be allowed to enter Australia as well.
Heading into August, only about 14 percent of Australia's population has been fully vaccinated, with nearly one-third having received at least one dose. However, Morrisson said he believes the country can reach its goal "by the end of the year."
Whenever the 80 percent milestone is achieved, vaccinated Australians will be permitted to travel to safe countries while fully vaccinated tourists from safe countries will be able to enter Australia and avoid mandatory two-week hotel quarantine requirements, AFP reported.
Australia has been one of the most aggressive countries in terms of border closures and COVID-19 restrictions on residents but those efforts have paid off to this point in terms of curbing the spread of the virus, with Australia reporting fewer than 34,000 coronavirus cases, including 923 deaths. Earlier this year, Australia's Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said his best guess for a reopening would be in the middle to the second half of 2022.
A Maryland native and wanderer who has lived across the U.S. from North Carolina to SoCal, Patrick Clarke graduated from Towson...
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