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International border timeline not dependent on vaccine rollout alone

Article image for International border timeline not dependent on vaccine rollout alone

Australia’s airlines have hit out at the federal government over a lack of clarity around when international flights can resume beyond New Zealand.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham accepted the criticism is “accurate”, but refuted suggestions a faster vaccine rollout would change matters.

He pointed out to Jim Wilson there are many unanswered questions about the vaccines, including their longevity, effectiveness against variant strains, and prevention of transmission.

“If we hadn’t closed the international borders, COVID would’ve run rampant across the country.

“As soon as we’re in a position to do so we’ll let the rest of the country know, but we’re not going to jeopardise … 12 months of success by rushing to a premature reopening.”

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Image: Getty

Jim Wilson
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