PM ‘agile’ in fast-tracking reopening of international borders: Margy Osmond

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been praised for his “agility” as leaders in the tourism sector welcomed plans by the federal government to fast-track the reopening of Australia’s border.

Restrictions on the nation’s international borders will ease in November once states begin to hit their vaccination targets more than 18 months after overseas travel was banned at the start of the pandemic.

Tourism and Transport Forum CEO Margy Osmond says the announcement will offer hope to an industry which has remained optimistic despite being hardest hit.

“We’re thrilled to see there’s some sort of hope for the industry now and grateful the government’s decided to be a bit more agile and bring back this opening by a month, which is terrific news,” she told Sky News Australia.

“We’ve been preparing for some time, we are the ultimate optimists, we live in hope.”

With quarantine measures still in place, Ms Osmond says those attempting to reunite with separated family and friends will make up the bulk of travellers.

“But there are some issues that still need to be resolved and we saw some of those dealt with on Friday,” she continued.

“I think what’s important to understand, though, is that this first tranche of opening is more about visiting friends and family than it is about anything else because you are still going to have to do some quarantining and really, from an international tourism point of view, in terms of bringing people back into Australia, they’re not coming unless there’s no quarantine.”