Coronavirus: Australia's Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphys says overseas travel remains unlikely this year
Australia’s Chief Medical Officer believes it is unlikely international borders will substantially reopen this year, even if most people are vaccinated against coronavirus.
Brendan Murphy downplayed the prospect of a widespread easing of border restrictions, meaning dreams of international travel this year remain on hold.
“I think the answer is probably no,” Professor Murphy told the ABC on Monday.
“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.”
A survey of more than 1200 people by market researcher Roy Morgan has found more than three quarters of Australians are keen to be vaccinated.
Western Sydney residents are being urged to get tested after NSW reported six new cases of coronavirus.
And preparations for the Australian Open tennis tournament have been thrown into disarray after five more players tested positive for coronavirus.
More than 70 players have been forced into hard lockdown in hotel quarantine, meaning they will not be able to train for two weeks.
The influx of international sports stars has also shone a light on the thousands of Australians still stranded overseas and unable to come home.
The federal government has secured 20 additional charter flights to bring more Australians home before March.
But the government is facing calls to ramp up its efforts, with the global pandemic quickly becoming much worse across Europe and the United States.