Scott Morrison has promised more flights home for Australians stranded overseas once the country hits its vaccination target.
During the Quad meeting at Washington DC, the Prime Minister said stranded expats would be able to return home once 80 per cent of Australians are double jabbed.
The target is expected to be reached by December but Mr Morrison could not guarantee that the 45,000 stranded Aussies would be back in time for Christmas.
He said arrival caps, which were introduced to help manage hotel quarantine figures, would be lifted allowing for more Australians to return home.
‘We have been running more commercial flights and if we need to, we will (run more), but once we hit 80 per cent vaccinations, then that means Australians will be able to travel in those states that are opening up,’ he told reporters on Saturday.
‘They will be able to get on planes and go overseas and come home, and that means Australians who are overseas and who are vaccinated with the vaccines that are recognised in Australia will be able to get on planes and come to Australia.’
At 80 per cent vaccination international borders will be set to reopen with caps on arrivals to be lifted as part of the country’s national roadmap to reopening.
Current projections indicate Australia’s vaccination target is expected to be reached by December.
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Earlier in the week Scott Morrison confirmed he would forge ahead with relaxing tough border measures in line with the national reopening plan.
‘That’s certainly what we intend to facilitate – for vaccinated people to travel,’ he told reporters in Washington DC on Thursday.
Mr Morrison said he was looking forward to welcoming back students and skilled migrants when borders ease.
‘Those vaccination numbers will continue to rise,’ he said.
‘As they rise, the opportunities to get back to life as normal as it can be, and living with the virus, will just be coming closer each and every day.’
Australia is in talks to set up quarantine-free travel bubbles with the UK, US, South Korea, Singapore and Pacific islands such as Fiji for the fully vaccinated.
Over 26,130,313 doses of the vaccine have been administered to Australians across the country.
Of that number 10,340,279 are fully jabbed.
On Friday Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the state would start a four-week trial of home quarantine for returning Australians as NSW edges closer to 80 per cent vaccination.
Qantas is preparing to restart international flights on December 18 with NSW residents expected to fly to London and New York.
Queensland and WA are set to keep borders shut until 90 per cent vaccination is achieved as part of its Covid elimination strategy.Internet Explorer Channel Network