Australian border to reopen for first time in pandemic

Australia will reopen its international border from November, giving long-awaited freedoms to vaccinated citizens and their relatives.

Since March 2020, Australia has had some of the world’s strictest border rules – even banning its own people from leaving the country.

The policy has been praised for helping to suppress Covid, but it has also controversially separated families.

“It’s time to give Australians their lives back,” PM Scott Morrison said.

People would be eligible to travel when their state’s vaccination rate hit 80%, Mr Morrison told a press briefing on Friday.

Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said it was working “towards welcoming tourists back to our shores”.

Amy Hayes, who lives in the English town of Reading, Berkshire, and has not been back to Queensland in nearly three years, said it was “encouraging to see things moving in the right direction”.

For me, and many like me it’s the everyday moments we are missing out on, having extended time away from friends and family and grappling with the erosion of our Australian identity.”

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