Scott Morrison reveals the countries you may be able to holiday in first – including parts of CHINA
- Scott Morrison has identified parts of Asia as lower risk coronavirus countries
- The prime minister said international borders will be discussed on Friday
- Australia’s mandatory two-week quarantine could be cut for low-risk countries
- Hotel quarantine was introduced in March to stop virus from entering Australia
- New research claims countries could be put into different risk categories
Scott Morrison has revealed Australians will likely be allowed to travel to Asian countries like Japan and Taiwan when coronavirus restrictions eventually ease.
The prime minister said international borders would be one topic of discussion when the National Cabinet meets on Friday.
‘Not to the point of a decision on that, but I think a further assessment of where things are out,’ he said on Tuesday.
Mr Morrison said the government has already spoken with Japan, Korea and New Zealand about prospective travel arrangements amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured on Tuesday) said international borders would be one topic of discussion when the National Cabinet meets on Friday
Kiwis are able to travel to NSW and Northern Territory without the need for a 14-day isolation but arrivals to New Zealand are required to complete a fortnight of quarantine.
‘I think we proceed cautiously,’ he said.
‘There are countries that are doing far better than what we are seeing in Europe and the United States. The situation in Europe and the United States is awful.
‘And obviously that presents great risks for people coming in from those parts of the world to Australia.’
Mr Morrison suggested Asian countries would be at the top of the travel list when restrictions are finally eased.
‘But out of many parts of Asia, particularly in North Asia, places like Taiwan and I would also say provinces of China, Singapore, we are looking at what alternative arrangements could be hard to channel visitors through appropriate quarantine arrangements for low risk countries,’ he said.
‘That is a process other countries are doing as well. We are open to that.’
Mr Morrison admitted the ‘risk’ was Australians returning home after overseas travel and the need for hotel quarantine to manage outbreaks.
‘But I am looking forward to a different environment next year and we assess this at every meeting about what is possible,’ he said.
Australia’s mandatory two-week hotel quarantine could be cut to just eight days for arrivals from low-risk coronavirus countries like New Zealand and Thailand, according to research. Pictured: A woman wheels her luggage at Sydney Airport
It comes as new research from mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s Minderoo Foundation and the Burnet Institute of medical research claimed Australia’s mandatory two-week hotel quarantine could be cut to just eight days for arrivals from low-risk coronavirus countries like New Zealand and Thailand, The Australian reported.
‘Australia could quickly, safely and sensibly manage the reopening of our interstate and international borders — turbocharging the nation’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 recession,’ Minderoo’s chief researcher Steve Burnell said.
‘Universal 14-day quarantine is an outdated, one-size-fits-all approach that is adversely impacting the Australian economy and countless people’s lives.’
Australia’s hotel quarantine program was introduced back in March to stop coronavirus from entering the country through returned travellers.
But researchers believe a risk-based model – called ‘traqQ’ – could be implemented to modify the program.
Travellers would be tested at the beginning of their journey and two Covid-19 tests conducted at the end of quarantine, regardless of how long the traveller was isolated for.
‘Such enhanced testing, when combined with a seven-day quarantine, reduces the risk that individuals remain infectious post-release by a third,’ Dr Burnell said.
Australia’s hotel quarantine program was introduced back in March to stop coronavirus from entering the country through returned travellers. Pictured: Officers move travellers into the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney for the beginning of their 14-day isolation in March
Countries would be slotted into five different risk categories from low to high based on the national number of coronavirus cases and testing numbers.
The risk assessment would determine how long travellers are required to quarantine for.
Current trends suggest Cuba, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Togo would be in the low-risk category, with seven days in quarantine.
All states and territories have been identified as very low risk, with researchers determining there is no need for quarantine for domestic travel.
Europe and the US would fall into the very high risk category as they battle a second wave of the virus.
Australia’s international border is expected to remain shut until at least the middle of 2021 but officials are working on a travel bubble with New Zealand.
Pictured: Returning overseas travellers are ushered into the InterContinental Hotel in Sydney for the beginning of their 14-day imposed quarantine in March