The Australian state of Western Australia with the metropolis of Perth is not expected to open its borders to the rest of the country again until 2022 because of the corona pandemic. Regional Prime Minister Mark McGowan said on Monday that people from regions with particularly high numbers of infections such as New South Wales, Victoria and Australian Capital Territory (ACT) will only be able to return to the state when 80 to 90 percent of the population has been vaccinated.
“I expect we will reopen as soon as we get very high vaccination levels,” said McGowan. “I expect that will be the case sometime next year.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the inner Australian borders have repeatedly been closed at short notice in the event of corona outbreaks. With a few exceptions, the international borders have been closed since March 2020.
Australia, with its 25 million inhabitants, has long been successful in the fight against the virus thanks to strict rules and its isolated island location. Experts blame the delta variant and the slow-moving vaccination campaign for the numbers that have been increasing in some regions for weeks.
The government of New South Wales with the metropolis of Sydney admitted last week that the zero Covid strategy, which Australia had long pursued, had failed. “It is impossible to eliminate the Delta variant,” said Regional Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian.