Australia eases COVID-19 travel warning before border reopens

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ARCHIVE PHOTO: Customers dine at a port bar as a result of reduced coronavirus disease regulations (COVID-19), following an extended blockade to curb an outbreak, in Sydney, Australia, 22 October 2021. REUTERS / Jaimi Joy

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia on Thursday eased its COVID-related travel tips for several countries, including the United States, Britain and Canada, as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in months. of 18 months.

Australia will lift the ban on outbound travel for fully vaccinated residents from 1 November following a strong adoption of COVID-19 vaccines as Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, seek to accommodate foreign travelers without quarantine.

“The changes announced today are a vital step in bringing Australian families together and reopening Australia to the world in a safe way,” Foreign Minister Marise Payne said in a statement on Thursday.

Country-specific updated travel tips will also help Australians access travel insurance more easily, Payne said.

As Australia begins to ease travel restrictions for COVID-19, Victoria on Thursday recorded its deadliest day of the Delta outbreak with 25 deaths and 1,923 cases, the largest increase in infections in four days. Neighboring New South Wales, Sydney’s headquarters, recorded 293 new cases, up from 304 on Wednesday.

Despite the Delta wave, national coronavirus numbers are still relatively low by world standards, with about 166,000 cases and 1,694 deaths.

Australia has been gradually easing tough restrictions in Sydney and Melbourne, helped by higher vaccination levels after a third wave of infections fueled by the highly infectious Delta variant quickly spread to the south-east.

Relaxation of travel rules, however, is not uniform across Australia, as the country’s states and territories have different vaccination rates and health policies.

Under the updated travel advice framework, the “do not travel” warning, set for all destinations in March 2020, has been removed. But no destination will be set below level 2: have a high grade of precaution “.

Report by Renju Jose; edited by Richard Pullin

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