After putting a strict travel ban into place at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia has unveiled plans to start reopening its border next month.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Friday that the country is set to reopen its border for vaccinated citizens and permanent residents as soon as 80 percent of the population in a state or territory has been vaccinated, NBC News reports. This is expected to happen sometime in November, according to CNN. The country has stuck to strict COVID-19 rules, "even banning its own people from leaving the country," BBC News notes.
But Morrison said Friday that the country is "finalizing plans so Australian families can be reunited, Australian workers can travel in and out of our country, and we can work towards welcoming tourists back to our shores," noting, "many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step," per CNN. He also said, "It's time to give Australians their lives back."
The Australian prime minister didn't announce a plan for opening the country's borders to foreign travelers, but he said the country is working "towards welcoming tourists back to our shores."