Australia’s Foreign Minister Maris Payne said the states of South Australia and New South Wales (NSW) would be the first to test home quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will discuss the idea with premiers and chief ministers at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.
Foreign Minister Maris Payne said the proposal would consider alternative options, including home quarantine for fully vaccinated travelers.
“One of the things that has been done so far tells us that a person vaccinated for seven days is stronger than a non-vaccinated person for 14 days,” she told ABC Radio.
NSW and SA have expressed interest in participating in the small scale trial.
“We will start to do this in the times to come when medical advice enables us to do so and procedures are put in place,” Payne said.
The act has allowed diplomats, government officials and the prime minister to stay at homes during the pandemic.
But the regional government is reluctant to expand the program to the general public immediately.
The national cabinet will also reconsider the international passenger cap, which will be halved in five days.
The Secretary of State said the reduction would remain in force until August 31, while Morrison said it would remain in place until at least the beginning of next year.
Payne said work is underway to increase the amount of government-backed flights as demand from Australians stranded overseas increases.
“I am very aware, especially given the extraordinary work my department has done in attempting to return with the Australians, this creates an additional layer of difficulty,” she said.
Australia has offered companies a chance to make their case for a contract to provide vaccination passports for international travel.
Payne said it is working with international regulators and airline groups on similar options.
“Australia wants to make sure we are fully engaged in that process,” she said.
by Matt Coughlan