Canberra, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has flagged travel bubble arrangements with Japan and South Korea as the country gradually reopens to the world.
Morrison recently told the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry that quarantine-free travel between Australia and the two Asian countries would soon resume after a suspension of more than 18 months.
As of Monday, fully vaccinated Australians are able to travel to Singapore without quarantining provided they test negative to Covid-19 within 48 hours of departure and again after arriving.
From Nov. 21, Australia’s borders will open the other way, meaning fully vaccinated travellers from Singapore will be able to fly into Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney without undergoing quarantine.
“Singapore opens up on the 21st of November. I think we’ll move fairly quickly beyond that into (South) Korea and Japan, and before the end of the year I hope we’re opening up even more,” Morrison said on Wednesday.
Morrison also said that international students and skilled workers will be allowed back into Australia without quarantining “as soon as possible.”
“Students will be back, I think, before the end of the year,” he said.
On Thursday morning, there were more than 1,500 new locally-acquired coronavirus cases and five deaths reported in Australia, as the country continues to battle the third wave of infections.
The majority of new cases were in Victoria, the country’s second-most populous state with Melbourne as the capital city, where 1,313 cases and four deaths were reported.
As of Wednesday 89.7 percent of Australians aged 16 and over have received one Covid-19 vaccine dose and 81.5 percent were fully inoculated, according to the Department of Health.