Australia : Border Reopening plan on hold amid fears of Omicron Variant
Australia on Monday halted plans to reopen its international borders to skilled workers and students, citing concerns over the impact of the Covid19 Omicron variant.
Meanwhile Morrison said the national security committee will meet later on Monday to assess the border reopening relaxations due from Wednesday. A meeting of leaders of all states and territories will be held by Tuesday, he said. The decision was made on the basis of medical advice provided by the Chief Medical Officer of Australia, Professor Paul Kelly.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said he had asked the country’s immunisation advisory group to review the time frame for Covid19 booster shots. About 87% of Australia’s population above 16 years of age have been fully vaccinated, above the rates seen in the United States, Britain and many countries in Western Europe.
Many countries across the world have reacted to the news that South African scientists discovered the new variant by swiftly shutting their borders to travelers coming from countries in the region, including South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi.