- Australia is set to open international borders by November.
- Will start issuing international travel certificates from today
- Reported a record 2,000 cases on Thursday
Australia is slated to reopen its international borders from November in a bid to again allow its citizens to travel to and from the country without seeking permission as states close in on key COVID-19 vaccination targets.
The decision to reopen the international borders comes even as the pandemic continues to spread across the country. On Thursday, Australia reported 2,005 fresh cases and 18 deaths. It was for the first time since the onset of the pandemic that the country recorded more than 2,000 infections a day.
In the last seven days, fresh COVID-19 infections stood at 12,944, up 10% from 11,777 in the preceding seven days.
Within country, Victoria has now become the epicentre of the pandemic. The state reported new 1,143 local cases on Thursday.
A total of 941 new cases were reported in the worst-hit state of New South Wales on Thursday, with majority of cases reported by Sydney. On the other hand, Queensland recorded six and the Australian Capital Territory 31 infections.
Meanwhile, the federal government will begin to issue international COVID-19 vaccination certificates from today. The government is also engaged in talks with other countries across the globe to work out which vaccines will be recognised in international travel bubble arrangements.
Australian borders were abruptly shut on March 20 last year, with Australian citizens and permanent residents needing to seek a government-issued exemption to travel, returning travellers were forced into hotel quarantine for 14 days on arrival at a cost of more than AU$3,000.