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If borders stay closed this year too, Australia may become a ‘hermit nation’3 min read

May 23, 2021 3 min read

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If borders stay closed this year too, Australia may become a ‘hermit nation’3 min read

Reading Time: 3 minutes

It’s been more than a year since Australia shut its borders to curb the spread of Covid-19. Now, a year later, the nation is still closed off from the rest of the world, and experts say keeping borders closed for another year will lead to a ‘hermit nation’. Tourists who were stuck in the country after the pandemic struck haven’t been able to leave either!

Credit: Natural History

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, meanwhile, thinks keeping the country closed off is a good move, and said, “Everyone is keen to get back to a time that we once knew. The reality is we’re living this year in a pandemic that’s worse than last year.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Credit: NDTV

The good news, and the reason why the PM is defending his move, is that the country has almost no community transmission and life for most people is relatively normal.

Australian Medical Association president Omar Khorshid on Tuesday warned that “Australia cannot keep its international borders closed indefinitely.” He called for improved quarantine facilities and vaccination efforts to permit borders to slowly open.

“At some point, it will not be possible to justify the maintenance of border closures given their impact on lives and livelihoods,” he said.

A University of Sydney task force examining how Australia can safely reopen this week said the country “cannot continue to lock itself off from the world as a hermit nation indefinitely”.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations

As part of a new policy, Australian citizens can face up to five years jail and a $51,000 fine if they’ve been to India and try to board a flight home to Australia in coming weeks!

Citizens speak up

Credit: OET.org

Though the people of Australia may be safe and sound, there are other implications from closing off borders. The economic impact of border closures has impacting business leaders from across various industries.

Virgin Australia Airlines CEO Jayne Hrdlicka, who is against Australia keeping its borders closed, said the country needs to accept that Covid-19 will not be eradicated and borders should gradually reopen.

However, Australian citizens are on board with another year of being cut off from the rest of the world. A recent survey indicated that 73 per cent of Australians want travel banned until at least mid-2022.

Here are some ways the ‘Land Down Under’ can reopen borders:

  • A successful vaccination programme. So far, only three million doses have been delivered in a country of 25 million people.
  • A pilot programme or trial for re-opening borders prior to the conclusion of the vaccination programme. This will help support various industries such as tourism and foreign education.
  • A certification scheme that only permits those with documented vaccination to enter Australia or travel overseas.
  • Improved border protection measures involving rapid testing on arrival
  • A new set of quarantine measures that make it compulsory for people to stay in isolation until they test negative.

Sources: NDTV, theconversation.com