Canberra, May 18 : Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday reiterated that it is not yet safe to allow quarantine-free travel to the country, amid increasing pressure to re-open the borders earlier than the mid-2022 date currently planned for.
“I’m not going to take risks with Australians’ lives,” Xinhua news agency quoted Morrison as saying to reporters here.
On Monday, Jayne Hrdlicka, the Chief Executive of Virgin Australia Airlines, said at a business event that the borders should be considered to be re-opened when the most vulnerable people are vaccinated against Covid-19.
She acknowledged that “some people may die” but it would be “way smaller than the flu”.
While addressing the media on Tuesday, Morrison described the comments as “insensitive,” saying the pandemic was still raging overseas.
He confirmed that the government is working on a plan that will give vaccinated Australians greater freedoms during future coronavirus outbreaks.
As of Tuesday, there has been more than 3.18 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in Australia.
At the current pace of roughly 447,000 doses a week, Australia could reach the 40 million doses needed to fully vaccinate the adult population in mid December 2022.