MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The reopening of Australia's international borders will be one of the "last things" to happen even when the country launches a mass vaccination campaign against the novel coronavirus, Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said on Tuesday.
"The first vaccinations, as they roll out in a few weeks' time in Australia, it's not going to change everything back to normal. So, there will be a process through 2021 of returning to some sort of normal ... We are in such an envious position at the moment compared with the rest of the world. And so, unfortunately, I think international border changes are probably going to be one of the last things to change rather than the first," Kelly said at a press conference, as cited in the Department of Health's statement.
According to the chief medical officer, the authorities are taking into account a number of criteria when deciding whether to reopen international borders, including recommendations from the relevant regional authorities.
On Monday, Health Secretary Brendan Murphy said that international travel was unlikely to resume in 2021, even with the roll out of the vaccination campaign.
Australia's Department of Health has confirmed so far more than 28,700 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, including 909 deaths.