Australia will become a “hermit nation” if it doesn’t accept COVID-19...

Australia will become a “hermit nation” if it doesn’t accept COVID-19...
Australia will become a “hermit nation” if it doesn’t accept COVID-19...
Commerce Secretary Simon Birmingham said last weekend that a trip to Europe or the US in 2021 without a vaccine was unlikely. Prime Minister Scott Morrison admitted, however, that talks are taking place with other low-risk countries in the Asia-Pacific region, starting with New Zealand.

Quarantine-free travel bubbles with countries like Japan, Singapore, and South Korea are likely to begin in 2021.

Collignon said “Japan, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, New Zealand and most of the Pacific” should be included in the discussions.

“Right now these countries have low community transmission. What does this mean for the quarantine, maybe you will do it at home? ”He said.

“I think we’ll be in this bond for another two to three years until we get a vaccine that is 90 percent effective.”

The infectious disease expert said setting different rules for different countries – as opposed to the current blanket quarantine requirement for all overseas travelers – made sense and was essential for opening travel bubbles.
People wearing face masks pack in an Asakusa district shopping arcade in Tokyo on Sunday, September 20, 2020.Recognition:Kyodo news

New South Wales, ACT and the Northern Territory will reopen their borders to New Zealanders on Friday, October 16.

At the beginning of the month Singapore opened its borders to travelers from Australia and Vietnam, who can now enter Singapore without being quarantined for seven days.

Upon arrival in Singapore, Australians will perform an immediate COVID test and quarantine for the approximately 48 hours required for the test result to come back. These agreements already existed for New Zealand and Brunei, which have similarly low transfer rates.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Japanese embassy thanked Morrison for flagging Japan for inclusion in future travel bubble agreements and said the country had begun allowing business travelers to enter Japan, albeit with a 14-day quarantine period.

“As many Japanese business people want to travel to Australia, we hope they can come to Australia in the near future,” said the spokesman.

“At this point, it may be too early to fully comment on the timing and manner in which short-term business travel will resume without quarantine.”

Japan has detected 89,652 cases of coronavirus and reported 278 new cases on Monday. The average case number of seven days is around 500 cases.

The Singapore State Department declined to comment on a two-way travel bubble, citing a recent meeting of the two countries’ foreign ministers, Marise Payne and Vivian Balakrishnan, to discuss “how the two countries could work together, to reopen the borders. ”in a safe and gradual way“.

Singapore has reported a total of 57,880 cases and only four as of Monday, with only one in the community.

Negotiations between Australia and South Korea have started but are not at an advanced stage. The South Korean embassy declined to comment. The country has reported 24,805 cases and 102 new infections, the first time in a week that it has recorded triple-digit cases.

James Massola is a Southeast Asia correspondent based in Jakarta. He was previously the chief correspondent in Canberra. He was a three-time Walkley and Quills finalist, won a Kennedy Award for Outstanding Foreign Correspondent, and is the author of The Great Cave Rescue.

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