The Prime Minister has said international tourists will be allowed back into Australia before Easter, but that all depends on one crucial element.
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison revealed inbound travel may be back sooner than previously expected.
“I don’t think it’s too far away, to be honest,” he said during an interview with John Mackenzie on 4CA.
“But we’ve just got to get some medical advice further on that, bit more work to do with the states to make sure we’re comfortable about it.
“I’d like to see us get there soon, certainly before Easter, well before Easter.”
Morrison followed up the comments during a press conference on Wednesday, adding that opening the country up to overseas travellers would depend on the impact it presents to the hospital system.
“The key issue that I’ve tasked the health officials to advise me on in opening up the border to international arrivals is what impact that might have on the hospital system and the pressures that could come from additional people coming into the country at this time,” he said.
“We have had a very successful opening up already over the summer to backpackers and to those on the economic migration programs, and opening up to Singapore.
“And we’ve already been open to New Zealand, Japan and South Korea. That has gone very well. And so the next step is opening up to international.”
The Prime Minister also addressed concerns raised by Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, who said the current border measures didn’t make sense, according to Sky News.
“While we’re allowing Australians to come in and out it doesn’t make sense to me to not allow tourists,” Joyce said.
“It’s the same risk, so hopefully we will get there well before April and we can ease back on the testing requirements that are also there.
“We can see there’s a lot more cases that are happening here than a lot of destinations we fly to.”
Morrison said he empathises with Joyce’s comments.
“… he knows my very strong commitment to getting to that point as quickly and as safely as we possibly can,” he said.
“I just want to be confident that before we take that decision that we are confident about the situation that our hospitals are in, which have been performing extremely well under great pressure, particularly here in New South Wales, but as well in Victoria, I must say.”
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