We’re opening borders on 21 February, said Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Except not really.
Western Australia is still not open to interstate tourists let alone international ones; and for international travellers to enter Victoria, they must abide by the state’s redefinition of fully-vaccinated — which is different to the Federal Government’s.
“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That's the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it,” Morrison said on Monday.
But in Victoria, fully-vaccinated means you’ve been boosted on top of your two initial doses.
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham has today accused Victorian premier Dan Andrews of casting uncertainty, urging him to reconsider.
“It’s a really great breakthrough for Australia’s tourism industry to be able to say, ‘we’re going to let everybody in who has had a double dose’, (because) that is still the standard that is advised by our health officers,” Birmingham told the Today show.
“But to now have this sort of uncertainty cast across it is going to be a crippling blow to businesses that have been on their knees for two years now.”
Of course, Australia could soon change its definition of fully vaccinated to include a booster, as other countries have done, but the national cabinet is still waiting on updated advice from the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisations as to if and when that will happen.
Nationals Senator Matt Canavan is concerned about what the impact of a split nation will do to overall tourism to Australia.
“We need a consistent approach here. You can’t have a situation where someone wants to travel all the way to come to Australia, and then they can’t come to all the different places,” he said on Today.
“What will happen is some people just won’t turn up at all, and that will hurt Queensland and NSW, not just Victoria.”
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