Australia has made a u-turn with its plans to reopen its borders following the emergence of the newly discovered ‘Omicron’ strain of Covid-19.
Australia has been widely criticised for completely closing their borders and separating loved ones over the past two years.
Separated families around the world had been overjoyed at being able to once again be reunited after such a long hiatus, however the country’s National Security Committee said it will now delay the next step to safely reopen Australia by two weeks.
Australia was meant to reopen to international skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holidaymaker and provisional family visa holders from December 1, but this has now been postponed until December 15.
The reopening to travellers from Japan and the Republic of Korea will also be put on hold until December 15.
A statement from the Committee said: “The temporary pause will ensure Australia can gather the information we need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the efficacy of the vaccine, the range of illness, including if it may generate more mild symptoms, and the level of transmission.
“Australia has a proven record of dealing with COVID, we have one of the lowest fatality rates, highest vaccination rates and strongest economies in the world.
“We will continue to take sensible and responsive evidence based action, led by medical experts. This will ensure we can open safely, and stay safely open as we learn to live with the virus.”