One crucial thing you WON’T need to travel overseas from Australia as borders finally open up – but should get anyway
- Covid booster jab won’t be compulsory for double-jabbed Australian travellers
- Health minister says no there’s no plan to change that requirement ‘at this stage’
- Greg Hunt also announced the resumption of duty free shopping at airports
- 250,000 Australians received their third jab in first week of booster shot rollout
Australians travellers won’t need another Covid-19 booster shot to head overseas, the Federal Government has confirmed.
It’s been two weeks since the country reopened its international borders for the first time in 19 months, allowing vaccinated Australians to head abroad without needing to apply for an exemption.
As the rollout of a Covid-19 booster jab ramps up, Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has announced that a third jab isn’t compulsory for Australians desperate to dust off their passport this summer.
The federal government currently has no plans to make the third Covid booster jab won’t be compulsory for double-jabbed Australian travellers (pictured, travellers at Sydney Airport)
‘Everything is always under review but there’s no plan to change that requirement at this stage,’ Mr Hunt told ABC’s Insiders on Sunday.
‘But as we’ve done throughout, we’ll continue to follow the medical advice. That’s how we’ve had one of the lowest rates of loss of life in the world, one of the highest rates of vaccination.’
He stressed that while boosters shots won’t be compulsory to leave the country, Australians are still urged to roll up their sleeves for the third shot.
‘They are an important booster. They add to the capacity of an individual to have immunity and to have a strong immune response,’ Mr Hunt said.
More than 250,000 Australians received their third jab in the first week of the nation’s booster shot rollout.
Australians must wait six months after their second dose to be eligible for the booster shot.
Australians are urged to roll up their sleeves for a Covid booster shot when they’re eligible
Mr Hunt had more good news for Australian travellers and international visitors on Sunday.
‘Duty free is back on. It’s an incremental but important step,’ Mr Hunt said.
‘We’re opening retail and removing the biosecurity determination which prevents retail in international terminals.’
Mr Hunt expects Pfizer vaccinations for children aged 5-11 will be available from early January, subject to the approval of the Therapeutic Goods Administration and the Australia Technical Advisory Group in Immunisation.
He said US clinical trials have only involved a few thousand children.
‘At this stage, to the best of my knowledge, only the US has provided an emergency approval for children 5-11,’ Mr Hunt said.
The health minister said he will follow medical advice regarding Covid vaccines (pictured vaccinated travellers in LA boarding a Qantas flight to Sydney
He said the TGA and ATAGI do not want to cut corners on the study.
‘But they want to go as quickly as possible, which is what we’re doing. The expectation that they have set is the first part of January, hopefully early January. But it is in the hands of the medical experts,’ he said.
Victoria recorded 905 new COVID-19 infections, 300 fewer than announced on Saturday, and four more virus-related deaths.
NSW announced 195 new cases and one death, while there were 15 new cases in the ACT and none in Queensland.
Health minister Greg Hunt (pictured) strongly recommends a third Covid shot: ‘They’re an important booster.’
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