The transition to the “post-vaccination phase” comes after Australia hit 85 per cent double-dose vaccination coverage in residents aged 16 and over on Sunday. Across the country, 91.5 per cent have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
The Morrison government will now focus on priority skilled migration and will also seek to welcome students, economic migrants and refugees Down Under, The Australian reported.
Travellers arrive in Sydney from Singapore on Sunday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Flavio Brancaleone
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told the publication the safe reopening of Australia’s border will “accelerate our economic recovery by helping to address shortages in our labour market and allowing businesses to expand and grow with confidence”.
Mr Frydenberg said an average of 110,000 skilled migrants had come to Australia in the two years before COVID-19 swept the globe.
The government also earnt a “significant income” through international students.
“As our recovery gathers pace, businesses around the country are increasingly in need of skilled workers, whether they be in hospitality, mining, construction, or professional services,” the Treasurer said.
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“In meetings last week with businesses representing almost every sector of the economy, the most pressing issue raised was workforce shortages and the need to reopen our borders, allowing skilled migration to recommence.”
The rollout of the vaccine booster program will also be a priority for the government to ensure a smooth reopening following coronavirus lockdowns this year and to avoid an uptake in infections during winter, as currently seen in Europe.
Entering the final phase of the national plan allows Australia to move closer to resuming overseas travel to pre-COVID levels.
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Phase D – the post-vaccination phase – is about managing COVID-19 “consistent with public health management of other infectious diseases”.
Measures may include:
Open international borders
Minimise cases in the community without ongoing restrictions or lockdowns
Boosters as necessary
Allow uncapped inbound arrivals for all vaccinated persons, without quarantine
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