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    Pack your bags! Australians could be travelling overseas within months with coronavirus vaccines due to arrive in January

    • International travel may be on the cards for eager Australians again in 2021 
    • Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham said it will be later in the year
    • Vaccines are expected to arrive in January, but will take months to distribute 

    Australians could be able to book an overseas trip within months with coronavirus vaccines set to arrive in January.

    Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham said international travel may be back on the cards in 2021, but it will depend on the effectiveness of the vaccine.

    Though it is possible, Senator Birmingham said to do it in the first half of the year would be challenging.

    ‘Then of course the manufacturing rollout, distribution, uptake, all the other factors that come into how it is that a vaccine could change the way we look at things around this pandemic,’ he told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

    Australians could be able to book an overseas trip within months with coronavirus vaccines set to arrive in January (Pictured: Passengers boarding at Sydney airport)

    Health authorities are seen testing people in cars at Victoria Park COVID testing centre in Adelaide

    Health authorities are seen testing people in cars at Victoria Park COVID testing centre in Adelaide

    ‘It’s not impossible… I think the first half may be challenging.’ 

    Aside from the various vaccines Australia is involved with, a new nasal spray with the potential to fight Covid-19 and other respiratory viral infections will be tested in the hopes of manufacturing it domestically.

    The federal government said that along with a private partner it would provide $11.7 million to fund the testing, as part of the Biomedical Translation Fund.

    ‘This investment will continue the proud Australian tradition of discovery and translation that saves lives and improves lives,’ Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

    The first batch of vaccines are expected to arrive by New Year’s Day but Australians may have to wait months to get the jab.

    The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced by biotechnology firm CSL, is on track to be ready by December 28 but will need to finish its clinical trials.

    After that it must be approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, which is expected to delay the rollout of the jab to the end of January.

    That would still be far earlier than Mr Hunt’s earlier forecast that the first dose of a successful vaccine won’t be available until March. 

    Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham has said international travel may be back on the cards in 2021, but it will depend on the effectiveness of the vaccine

    Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham has said international travel may be back on the cards in 2021, but it will depend on the effectiveness of the vaccine

    The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced by biotechnology giant CSL, is on track to be ready by December 28

    The AstraZeneca vaccine, which is being produced by biotechnology giant CSL, is on track to be ready by December 28 

    Meanwhile, South Australia emerged from its hard lockdown on Sunday, earlier than envisaged after a pizza shop worker on a temporary work visa was found to have lied about how he contacted the virus.

    Even so, SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said she had no regrets about ordering the the lockdown after modelling showed her state had a 99 per cent chance of enduring a ‘significant wave’.

    SA recorded just one new case on Sunday, a woman in her 20s who is quarantined in a hotel after travelling overseas.

    Among its list of easing restriction, South Australians can now attend pubs and restaurants in groups of 10, hold private gatherings of up to 50 people and go to beauty salons and gyms.

    The AstraZeneca jab, which was produced at the University of Oxford, is seen as the leading candidate across the globe (pictured CSL staff work on the vaccine)

    The AstraZeneca jab, which was produced at the University of Oxford, is seen as the leading candidate across the globe (pictured CSL staff work on the vaccine)

    Of the pizza worker, federal Labor frontbencher Brendan O’Connor said people shouldn’t lie, noting there had been similar problems in his own state of Victoria which made it harder for health teams to deal with.

    But he also said actions by the federal government that leave people without support do have consequences.

    ‘We did say there should be modest support for people on temporary visas,’ Mr O’Connor told the ABC’s Insiders.

    ‘You can’t give them nothing because they will end up being in a difficult situation as clearly is the case with respect to this particular individual.’

    In Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews announced that from midnight on Sunday compulsory face mask-wearing will come to an end for Melbourne along with a further easing of other restrictions.

    South Australia emerged from its hard lockdown on Sunday, earlier than envisaged after a pizza shop worker on a temporary work visa was found to have lied about how he contacted the virus

    South Australia emerged from its hard lockdown on Sunday, earlier than envisaged after a pizza shop worker on a temporary work visa was found to have lied about how he contacted the virus

    ‘Masks will be required inside in all settings, they will not be required while outside,’ Mr Andrews said.

    ‘However you need to carry the mask with you because you will have to wear the mask outside if you can’t socially distance.’

    At the same time, NSW’s three-month border checkpoint operation with Victoria will come to an end, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian championing her state as the only Australian territory ‘which welcomes everyone’.

    ‘All Australians are welcomed in NSW, all New Zealanders are welcome to NSW without quarantine,’ she told reporters from nearby the Albury checkpoint.

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