Australia’s international borders are set to open in November, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, though state premiers have already started pushing back.
Morrison made the announcement on Friday, noting that the decision was always part of the National Plan.
Business groups, which have pushed for the reopening of borders to bring in vaccinated workers and international shoppers, welcomed the move.
“Our international border has been closed since March last year, which is a long time to go without tourists and many businesses have been decimated as a result,” ARA CEO Paul Zahra said.
“Before the pandemic, international travellers spent over $40 billion a year when visiting Australia and that boost to the economy has been sorely missed. We can’t be isolated from the rest of the world forever.”
State premiers are divided on the issue, however. Queensland’s Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was disappointed state and territory leaders weren’t briefed ahead of Friday’s national cabinet meeting, and that Queensland won’t be opening its borders until it is safe.
Victorian premier Dan Andrews welcomed the decision, as did a leaderless NSW state government, which said it will open the state’s borders once its reaches a 80 per cent vaccination rate regardless of the national vaccine rollout, and, according to The Guardian, this is a position backed by Morrison.