Scott Morrison has pledged to fast-track international travel for NSW residents in a rousing new video that asks unvaccinated Australians to go out and get jabbed.
Mr Morrison thanked Australians for their efforts in boosting the country’s vaccination rate to 61.9 per cent in a heartfelt new video released on Sunday.
He promised NSW residents would soon be rewarded with overseas holidays, as the state is on track to hit 80 per cent vaccination mark by November.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) has pledged to fast-track international travel for NSW
‘The NSW premier and I have been discussing how we can accelerate our plan to open international travel when home quarantine is made available,’ he said.
‘I know the NSW Government is looking at ways to fast track home quarantine in November and if that happens we will be able to move to facilitate the opening up of the international border into NSW sooner.
‘Now, that would mean home quarantine for vaccinated Australians wishing to return home via Sydney and giving the option for international travel for vaccinated Australians to leave and return.’
Mr Morrison said daily case numbers in NSW were now just a third of what they were at the height of the outbreak
‘The vaccines are doing the job. The vaccines are working,’ the prime minister said.
He thanked residents in Victoria for getting vaccinated in record numbers despite recording ‘tough’ case numbers in the past week.
Mr Morrison said he had been discussing opening NSW’s border early with state leader Dominic Perrottet (pictured, loved ones are reunited in Sydney)
More than half of Australia’s population is now fully vaccinated, with 61.9 per cent having received two doses of a Covid vaccine (pictured, passengers at Sydney airport)
Mr Morrison said the state’s first dose vaccination rate was higher than Britain, with 85.5 per cent having received one dose of a vaccine.
He said Victorian’s could look forward to the ‘light at the end of the tunnel’ that high vaccination rates would provide as well as being reunited with friends and family.
The prime minister also cited Queensland and Western Australia’s vaccination efforts as both states are soon to hit the 70 per cent single-dose mark.
Mr Morrison also congratulated Tasmanian residents for their impressive take-up of the vaccine despite being almost untouched by Covid-19.
‘There’s steady progress across the board, and today I want to urge you, to everyone, please go and get your jab,’ he said.
‘Please go and get your second jab. And check with your friends and family if they’ve had the jab.
‘Australia, it’s been the battle of our generation. It’s been long. It’s been tough. There have been so many sacrifices. But we are well and truly getting there.’
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet earlier suggested international borders would open for the vaccinated as early as November 1, two weeks ahead of the national plan.
He said he spoke to the prime minister about the possibility of opening international borders earlier.
Mr Morrison said daily case numbers in NSW were now just a third of what they were at the height of the outbreak (pictured, a woman in Melbourne Airport)
Currently, fully-vaccinated Australian residents can travel overseas when their state hits the 80 per cent double dose mark (pictured, a pop-up testing clinic at Sydney airport)
Fully vaccinated Australian residents can travel overseas when their state hits the 80 per cent double dose mark but foreigners visiting the country will have to wait until well into November.
On Sunday, Mr Perrottet said he hoped to welcome back double vaccinated Australians stranded overseas.
‘It makes complete sense for them to return to Australia,’ he said, adding he’d like to see vaccinated citizens quarantining at home rather than in medi-hotels.
He is also open to taking in residents from other states if their governments don’t consider following his lead.
Referencing Queensland’s strict border policy, Mr Perrottet said he’d be willing to open NSW to stranded Queenslanders overseas – if Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would agree to foot the bill.
‘There are so many people who are still on the other side of the world who want to come home,’ he said.
‘We can do that for people who live in other states, we want to help them out… just Queensland should pay the bill.’
Mr Perrottet indicated that if a test of seven-day home quarantine for the fully vaccinated goes well, there was no reason the border couldn’t be opened sooner.
‘Stuart Ayres is running the pilot in NSW at the moment,’ he said.
Mr Perrottet (pictured) confirmed he had spoken to the Prime Minister about the possibility of opening international borders earlier that scheduled in the national plan
The NSW Premier suggested international borders would open for the vaccinated as early as November 1, two weeks ahead of the national plan (pictured, a traveller at Sydney airport)
This is something we are focused on, if we can bring back international travel faster we are certainly looking at that.’
After 106 days of lockdown in Sydney and even longer in Victoria, Mr Perrottet said residents deserve reprieve for their efforts.
‘It’s been a tough 100 days of blood, sweat and no beers,’ Mr Perrottet said. ‘But tomorrow will be a great day.’
‘Yesterday we hit 90 per cent first dose… NSW is leading our country out of this pandemic.
‘Not just leading our country, but leading the world… And that’s been the secret to our success.’