According to Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly these travel bans were no more a "proportionate" and "effective" measure given the world over spread of the new variant called Omicron. This ban has been removed by the federal government of Australia.
This ban had been applied previously since 29th November on countries like South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, and Malawi. This meant that any individual belonging to any of these above mentioned countries was not an Australian citizen, permanent resident, or their immediate family were not allowed entry to Australia.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly in a statement said that ban was no longer imperative due to the spread of Omicron to other countries on a global scale. "Given the global spread of Omicron, international border bans are no longer a proportionate or effective means to contain the spread of Omicron. At this stage there are no direct flights from Southern Africa to Australia and only Australian citizens, permanent residents, immediate family members, parents and eligible visa holders are able to enter Australia."
This decision regarding the relaxation of the restrictions was taken in accordance with other nations like the United Kingdom. This removing of these travel ban has invited criticism from diplomats from African countries who have stated this undertaken measure as "discriminatory" and not "equitable and fair."
The health department stated that this was it was implemented to grant them additional time to evaluate the severity and transmissibility of the Omicron variant. According to the WHO, this new, heavily-mutated variant was first found in southern Africa last month, and since then have witnessed cases in 77 countries.
Also, more than 13,000 cases of Omicron were found on a global level whereas 109 of those were detected in Australia. Even under the earlier restrictions Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members were also needed to undergo "into immediate supervised quarantine for 14 days" Want more such updates? Get in touch with our certified immigration consultants by ringing us at 8595338595 or mail us at [email protected]