SYDNEY (REUTERS) – Australia may not fully reopen its international borders this year even if a large proportion of its population is vaccinated against the coronavirus, the head of its health department said on Monday (January 18) as the country recorded zero local Covid-19 cases.
Australian authorities also looked at the potential side effects of the Pfizer vaccine afterwards Norway reports a small number of deaths in the elderly who received the injection.
“Even if we have a large population being vaccinated, we don’t know if that will prevent transmission of the virus,” Brendan Murphy told Australian Broadcasting Corp.
Australia, which has managed the coronavirus better than many other countries through targeted lockdowns and high levels of testing and contact tracing, reported zero localized Covid-19 cases on Monday.
Victoria, which hosts the Australian Open, reported four positive cases in overseas travelers, all related to tennis, bringing the total to nine.
The cases have prompted authorities to send three Australian Open charter flights into strict quarantine, forcing more than 70 players into hotel room isolation for 14 days.
“I know that there is a bit of chatter from some players about the rules. Well, the rules apply to them because they apply to everyone,” said Victorian state Prime Minister Daniel Andrews, responding to players’ complaints about the strict quarantine.
Australia has reported more than 22,000 localized Covid-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began.
That The main focus of Covid in Australia is currently in Sydney in the state of New South Wales (NSW), where an outbreak west of Sydney has prompted other states to impose travel restrictions on all NSWs or people on the outskirts of the city who are infected.
NSW state Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian said he would consider allowing the venue to bar entry to people who have not been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Australia will start an immunization program next month.
“The airlines have indicated that if you are not vaccinated you cannot travel abroad and I think that will be an incentive for a lot of people,” Berejiklian told 2GB Radio.
“We will also consider whether we allow places … to make their own rules if they own a business or run a workplace about what they feel safe from Covid.”
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