Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday said that the country’s borders will remain closed indefinitely amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Morrison said in a media interview that there is no “appetite” among Australians to re-open the country’s borders to international travellers as Covid-19 continues to spread throughout the world, reports Xinhua news agency.
“I don’t see an appetite for that at the moment,” he said.
“I think what we’re seeing at the moment is the appreciation of the people that the pandemic isn’t going anywhere.
“All I know is once you let it (Covid-19) back in again, you cannot get it out. You’ve crossed that threshold,” the Prime Minister added.
The government had previously said that the borders will re-open once the adult population has been vaccinated against the virus.
However, Morrison said that he could not guarantee that would be the case.
He said there was not yet “considerable clinical evidence that tells us transmission is preventable”.
“I think Australians want to ensure that the way we’re living at the moment is maintained.”
As of Sunday morning, there had been 2.63 million vaccines administered in Australia, while the overall Covid-19 caseload and death toll stood at 29,906 and 910, respectively.
The government initially planned to vaccinate the entire population by October but hopes were dashed after the early stages of the rollout were plagued by supply issues.
In the meantime, Morrison said the government was continuing to work on how vaccinated people could be given greater freedoms.
“The next big step that can be taken is that Australians who are vaccinated, based on clear evidence that this prevents transmissibility, are able to travel and return to Australia without having to hotel quarantine, and ideally we only have to engage in some sort of home quarantine of a less restrictive nature,” he said.