Australia’s government stated Monday that it will temporarily halt the next step of its border reopening plan in order to gather additional information on the Omicron Covid-19 version.
International skilled visa holders, student cohorts and humanitarians, holidaymakers, and those with provisional family visas would not be allowed into Australia until December 15, according to the country’s National Security Committee and Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly.
These groups were supposed to be allowed in on December 1st, according to the country’s plan to restore its borders safely.
The pause will take effect immediately and will “ensure Australia can gather the information it needs to better understand the Omicron variant, including the vaccine’s efficacy, the range of illness… and the level of transmission,” according to a statement from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s office.
Only fully vaccinated citizens, permanent residents, and their close families, as well as fully vaccinated tourists from New Zealand and Singapore, are permitted in under Australia’s existing border restrictions, with some exceptions.