CANBERRA, AAP – Fully vaccinated Australians will no longer have to apply for travel exemptions to leave the country, as the country prepares to ease its international borders.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the exemption will no longer be in place from Wednesday, ahead of the resumption of international travel from November 1.
Meanwhile, Singapore announced overnight it would allow Australians to travel to the country without quarantine from November 8.
“Over half a million Australians have already been able to download the international vaccine certificate,” Mr Morrison told the Seven Network.
“We are very close now to the reciprocal arrangements with Singapore.”
The prime minister said Australia’s first-dose vaccine rate had passed the rate in the US.
“The national plan is working. The national plan is about opening Australia up and that is because the vaccination rates are climbing so high,” Mr Morrison said.
The news comes with Australia poised to hit the 80 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination mark within a week, as at least four states gear up for quarantine-free international arrivals.
The latest forecast on covid19data.com.au has a best case scenario of 80 per cent – a target set by national cabinet for major changes to restrictions – being hit on November 2, which is also Melbourne Cup day.
The federal health department’s latest data shows 74.1 per cent of Australians over 16 are now fully vaccinated, with 87.1 per cent having received a first dose.
South Australia announced on Wednesday it would scrap isolation requirements for overseas and domestic travellers who have received two coronavirus jabs when the state reaches 90 per cent immunisation coverage.
Premier Steven Marshall expects the milestone to be reached before Christmas, weeks after state borders open on November 23.
Victoria and NSW will from Monday permit double-jabbed overseas arrivals to enter Melbourne and Sydney without having to isolate.
Tasmania has set December 15 as the date it will throw open borders to international and domestic travellers.
All travellers will be required to test negative for coronavirus.
The SA government’s announcement further isolates Western Australia, which is likely to remain shut to countries, states and territories with coronavirus until next year.
Officials from the federal health department and Therapeutic Goods Administration will answer questions on the vaccine rollout and case numbers in Canberra on Wednesday.
A key question will be when the TGA will approve booster shots.