How is Australia dealing with Covid-19?
Travel is all set to make a comeback. As countries reach a new phase of the pandemic based on their vaccination coverage and policies, plans to open travel are taking place around the world. This involves a change drifting away from border closures or lockdowns and going in favour of coercive tactics and incentives to get people vaccinated. This also includes easing quarantine restrictions for those who have received the vaccine.
Australia has been one of the world’s Covid success stories, with infection rates approaching zero and most people going about their daily lives as usual. Australia’s tough conservative strategy has undoubtedly saved lives, but there are fears that same approach may now leave it isolated in comparison to other countries.
Known as the land of adventure, fun and beauty, concerns are that with the prolonged shut down from the world, Australia might lose its character of being an open and free country. Ernst and Young, an accounting firm, estimates that Australia’s economy is losing A$7.6bn (£4.18bn; $5.9bn) a month from the closed borders. With this, not only Australia is facing struggles with the economy but also its eminence around the globe.
How are other countries dealing with Covid-19?
Countries like England, Canada and Singapore have reached a good number of vaccinations with Canada fully vaccinating 14% of its population, Singapore 35% and England 47%. Unfortunately, Australia had a slow roll out of the vaccine and is lagging with only vaccinating 3.3% of its population.
In France, some visitors –including Australians – no longer have to even take a COVID test as long as they are fully vaccinated with an EU-approved vaccine. From early July Canada is expected to exempt quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers, including non-Canadians. Amid this, claims are that Australia will not open its borders until mid-2022, implying a two-year plus period of isolation.
What’s next for Australia?
Tim Soutphommasane, a political expert at the University of Sydney says, “Australia is a trading nation; it’s an immigration nation. Our society, culture and economy are bound up in a globalized world. Australia should not be turning its back on the world now and become a hermit nation.” A country having more than 30% of its population as multicultural, it’s a challenge for the people to stay away from their families for so long. As Australia grapples with an uneasy tension, calls for a clear plan to reintegrate it into the world are mounting. People are demanding an exit plan to be implemented as they are in a limbo about their future.
The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison however has other views about the re-opening of borders. In a recent interview, he expressed the country could not use vaccinations alone as a reason to reopen borders. Asked if he would only open the borders when the entire world was vaccinated, the Prime Minister declared it a “moving situation” because “we can’t control what is happening in the rest of the world”.
Surely, we cannot control what is happening in the rest of the world, but we can learn to live with the virus and prepare for the new normal, perhaps.
World health organisation, which declared COVID-19 pandemic believes countries should keep borders open, trade & people moving despite coronavirus.
With the countries learning to open again and move on with the virus, do you think it will be too late for Australia to join in?
We believe Australia will ramp up its operations and soon we will be able to reunite all of you with your loved ones. When there’s hope, there is always a way! And nothing can stop us in being your best way home.