Australia's borders are likely to remain shut for international travellers until late 2022 to keep the country safe from the COVID threat. The country's Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said that a partial ban on arrivals from Covid hotspots is essential to keep the country free from the pandemic.
"The best guess would be in the middle to the second half of next year, but as we've seen throughout this pandemic, things can change," Tehan said in an interview with Sky News on Friday.
While placing India as a high-risk country, the Australian government on April 27 banned entry from citizens and cautioned of legal charges or penalties against citizens attempting to enter the country or violating the new order.
"The hope would be that we might be able to see a few more bubbles set up and we'd be able to see more travel undertaken, but we're in a pandemic. It's going to very much depend on how we can deal with the global pandemic," Tehan added.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison warned that borders will be closed indefinitely for the rest of the world until it is safe to open in a bid to continue preventing outbreaks of Covid-19 strains.
The long closure of borders is feared to put airline and tourism industries in a stagnant position. Economical analysts believe Australia's economy may strike a harder blow with a worse recession with the borders closed.