Bad news for anyone hoping to hop on a plane overseas anytime soon.
The Federal Government has extended the border ban until June, meaning international borders will remain closed for at least another three months.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed the extension overnight, citing the emergence of more highly transmissible variants of coronavirus as the reason.
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“The extension of the emergency period for a further three months is about mitigating that risk for everyone’s health and safety,” Minister Hunt said.
The international border ban has been in place since March 2020 and is likely to remain in place until June this year, meaning Australia’s borders will have been shut off to the rest of the world for 15 months.
“The extension of the emergency period is informed by specialist medical and epidemiological advice provided by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer,” Minister Hunt said.
“The AHPPC has advised the Australian Government the COVID-19 situation overseas continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk to Australia, including the emergence of more highly transmissible variants.”