Australia reports 2,357 new coronavirus cases - GulfToday

Australia reports 2,357 new coronavirus cases

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A long queue of cars waits at a drive-through COVID-19 testing site in Melbourne. AFP

Gulf Today Report

Australia reported 2,357 new cases of the Delta coronavirus variant on Saturday, as the push to vaccinate the country's population continues in order to end lockdowns and allow for the reopening of international borders.

Fifty-five percent of Australians were fully inoculated as of Friday, but nearly 80% have received at least one shot.


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Victoria state, which reported a record 1,488 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, on Friday ordered about 1 million employees across industries to receive at least one dose of a COVID vaccine by Oct. 15 to keep working.

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Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison gestures during an event. File photo

Citizens and permanent residents abroad have been allowed to return, subject to quotas and a mandatory 14-day quarantine period in a hotel at their expense.

"I think it's great coming up to Christmas that people get to reunite with their families," Peter Hendriks, a priest in Sydney, told the media about the decision to reopen borders.

Meanwhile, the country has outlined plans to lift a pandemic ban on its vaccinated citizens traveling overseas from November. But no date has yet been set for welcoming international tourists back.

Travel restrictions that have trapped most Australians and permanent residents at home over the past 18 months would be removed when 80% of the population aged 16 and older were fully vaccinated, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Friday.

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Australia has outlined plans to lift a pandemic ban on its vaccinated citizens traveling overseas from November.

Australia introduced some of the toughest travel restrictions of any democracy in the world on people entering and leaving the island nation on March 20 last year.

Most Australians have had to argue for rare exemptions from the travel ban to leave the country. There are a few exceptions from the ban including government employees and essential workers. Tourism is never accepted as a reason to cross the border.

Hundreds of thousands have failed to reach relatives’ death beads, missed funerals or weddings and have yet to be introduced to grandchildren because of restrictions aimed at keeping COVID-19 out of Australia.

 

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