Australia to ease international border restrictions

Australia said it will lift an international travel ban next month, easing one of the toughest restrictions imposed in the world.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said the news comes as state vaccination rates began crossing the 80% target set earlier this year.

"It will be time very soon that we will be able to open those international borders again and that will enable Australians who are fully vaccinated and Australians and residents of Australia who are overseas, who are fully vaccinated, to be able to travel again."

Morrison had slammedAustralia's international borders shut eighteen months ago, with only a limited number of people allowed to leave the country for critical business or humanitarian reasons.

"It's time to give Australians their lives back. We've saved lives. We've saved livelihoods, but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country. And we must work together to achieve that goal."

Under the new plan, Australians who are fully vaccinated will be able to travel abroad and complete a 7-day quarantine at home upon returning.

Those who are not vaccinated will instead be required to undertake 14 days of quarantine at a hotel.

Morrison added it will be up to individual states and territories when they begin implementing the new plan.

Further changes are expected to allow foreigners to enter the country.

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