Australia’s international borders are unlikely to reopen until next year, with authorities saying they are “following medical advice” and only do so when deemed “safe”. In a sit-down interview with SBS News, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the budget expectation is that migration will begin again in 2022. We have an assumption in the budget that will be revealed on Tuesday night, but it will be next year,” he said. More detail about when the border ban is expected to lift will be released in Tuesday’s federal budget.
But Mr Frydenberg cautioned that there are many factors to take into account that will determine whether that timeline will be met. We’ve got to follow the medical advice. That medical advice has helped keep Australians safe, that medical advice has helped keep the virus at bay here in Australia, and with a strong health position, we’ve had a solid economic recovery. It’s vitally important we continue to follow the medical advice for borders.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the borders will “only open when it’s safe to do so”.
On Sunday, News Corp reported that Australia would stay closed to the rest of the world indefinitely and that the Prime Minister said there was no need to “move beyond the elimination strategy”.
In a Facebook post, Mr Morrison refuted parts of the report, noting Australia has not moved to an “elimination” strategy for COVID, and that “zero cases” was not the goal.
“We still have a long way to go, and there are still many uncertainties ahead. Australians are living like in few countries around the world today. We will continue to do everything we can to work together to prevent a third wave and roll out our vaccination program.
“And, as always, we will continue to listen to the medical advice and make decisions in the best health and economic interests of all Australians.”
But with the vaccination rollout running at “about 350,000 doses per week”, Australia’s adult population won’t be fully vaccinated until 2023, opposition health spokesman Mark Butler said.
“Three weeks ago Scott Morrison said there could be international travel and home quarantine by as early as July. This morning … he’s saying Australia will be locked down forever,” Mr Butler told reporters on Sunday.
Mr. FrydenbeAs revealed in this year’s Royal Commission report, RG has also confirmed the budget will include more than $10 billion over the four-year forward estimates to address the shocking state of aged care, as revealeonceded that improving the senior care system is partly reliant on having the appropriate workforce.
In the past migrant workers have made up a significant portion of the employment base.
“Unemployment today is at 5.6 per cent,” the Treasurer said, pointing back to Treasury predictions in December that foreshadowed a much higher jobless rate of 7.5 per cent.