Australia's borders will not open 'anytime soon': PM Morrison

Australia's borders will not open 'anytime soon': PM Morrison

FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Morrison speaks during a joint press conference at Admiralty
FILE PHOTO: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at Admiralty House in Sydney, Australia, February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Loren Elliott

SYDNEY: Australia will not open the country's borders "anytime soon", Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday (May 26), but added the country will continue its discussions with neighbouring New Zealand for a trans-Tasman safe travel zone.

"I was speaking with Prime Minister Ardern this morning, and we'll continue to have our discussions about the trans-Tasman safe travel zone," Morrison told the National Press Club in Canberra, referring to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

READ: Australia's most populous state braces for travel chaos as schools, offices reopen

Australia has reported just over 7,100 COVID-19 infections, including 102 deaths, well below figures reported by other developed countries.

With fewer than 20 new COVID-19 cases most days, Australian states are pressing ahead with a three-stage plan to remove most social restrictions imposed by July.

In New South Wales, which includes the city of Sydney, children returned to full-time face-to-face learning on Monday, allowing many parents to return to offices.

With international borders likely to remain closed for months, Morrison is also pressing locals to begin holidays locally to help support Australia's tourism sector.

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Source: Reuters/aa

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