Australia to reopen international borders next month

14-day compulsory hotel quarantine to phase down, but vaccinated travelers to be subjected to 7-day home quarantine.

Australia to reopen international borders next month

Australia announced on Friday that it will reopen its international borders to fully vaccinated citizens beginning next month.

"We will be able to open those international borders again and that will enable Australians who are fully vaccinated, and Australians and residents of Australia who are overseas who are fully vaccinated," Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a news conference in the capital Canberra.

"This will happen next month," he added.

Australia has been one of the countries in the world since March of last year with the tightest border controls, even prohibiting its own citizens from leaving the country.

Initially, the borders will be opened to states that have met the targets and vaccinated at least 80% of their populations, starting with New South Wales, the premier said.

Australia's compulsory 14-day hotel quarantine will be phased down, Morrison said.

Travelers who are properly vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the country's health officials would, however, be subjected to a seven-day home quarantine when they arrive in Australia, he added.

Those who have not been vaccinated or who have been vaccinated with an unapproved vaccine by the Australian government will be placed in a 14-day supervised quarantine.

Morrison said his government would consider quarantine-free travel between some countries, such as New Zealand, "when it is safe to do so."

Recently, the highly contagious Delta variant spread in some Australian states, including New South Wales and Victoria that bringing strict restrictions in those regions.

During the past 24 hours, Australia reported 2,064 new cases, bringing the total caseload to 106,992, while 1,311 people so far died from the deadly virus, according to ABC News.

So far, 28 million doses have been administered in Australia and 55% of the adult population over the age of 16 having been vaccinated.