When will Australia open borders to UK? Key dates

Sydney: Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in NSW

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Australia is continuing with strict lockdowns and border enforcement as part of its zero Covid policy, however, this has meant more than 34,000 Australians are currently stranded abroad. A brief travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia saw some return home but with cases rising the bubble has been closed for two months.

Australia is on the UK Government’s green list of countries – meaning travellers do not need to isolate upon their return.

However, Brits cannot travel to Australia under the country’s current guidelines, and signs don’t point to this changing anytime soon.

Sydney is currently in lockdown due to the spread of the Delta variant, with warnings the outbreak could get worse.

Gladys Berejiklian, the premier of New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital said: “We can only assume that things are likely to get worse before they get better given the quantity of people infectious in the community.”

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Police in New South Wales have asked for 300 military personnel to step in today to help enforce strict lockdown conditions.

Experts have warned restrictions could remain in place until September, with international travel potentially not on the cards until next year.

Australia’s finance minister Simon Birmingham told local media in May 2021 Australians “won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year… given uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout, but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness.”

Currently, an average of 186 new infections are being reported daily in Australia.

Data shows the country has issued at least 11,795,236 doses of COVID vaccines so far.

If every person needs two doses, this figure is enough to have vaccinated about 23.3 percent of the country’s population.

The vaccination effort has stalled in Australia due to a shortage of the Pfizer vaccine and concerns over the AstraZeneca vaccine.

And there’s a way to go, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying Australia will have to vaccinate 80 percent of its adults before it can consider reopening its border.

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Speaking to a press conference, Mr Morrison said Australia was now in phase A – the suppression phase – of its coronavirus plan.

The country will enter phase B when 70 percent of adults are vaccinated.

Mr Morrison said this would mean greater freedoms and special rights for the inoculated.

He did not specify a timeframe but said phase B could be reached by Christmas.

He said: “Lockdowns in phase B are less likely, but they are possible.”

Mr Morrison said the border would be gradually reopened in phase C of the plan, when 80 percent of adults have been vaccinated.

He said: “We are vaccinating the nation, and that enables the nation to be able to move forward … to the types of freedoms that we’re seeking.”

The Prime Minister added: “Every single vaccine will take us closer to achieving each of these steps.

“As Australians, we have to take each step together. And that starts with walking in the door of that vaccine clinic.”

Mr Morrison did not give a date but said: “I believe we can get there by the end of the year” but added that “the timelines are now in the hands of all Australians”.

Due to the rise in cases, all adults in Sydney have been told to get vaccinated with AstraZeneca as soon as possible.

However, there has been hesitation from residents due to reports of blood clots, with some opting to wait until the Pfizer vaccine has been resupplied to the country.

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