Australia will lift more internal border restrictions in a boost for tourism as new coronavirus infections slow to a trickle, while first vaccines could be available in March, a government minister said on Tuesday (Nov 24).
Queensland state, a popular holiday destination, will allow visitors next week from the country’s two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, after closing its borders in August.
New South Wales has since notched a month without any COVID-19 cases where the source is unknown and restrictions on arrivals from Sydney will be eased on Dec 1, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Residents of Victoria, previously the country’s coronavirus hotspot, will also be welcomed if the state has no new cases on Wednesday, which would mark 26 days without community transmission.
Looking further out, Health Minister Greg Hunt said Australia – which has agreed to buy nearly 34 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine – is increasingly confident it can complete a vaccination programme after the release of preliminary trial results.
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