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Australia works to extend travel bubble to some Asian countries
From:Xinhua  |  2020-10-12 18:38

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CANBERRA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Sunday that his government has been making efforts to extend the country's travel bubble to countries including Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

Ahead of the resumption of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Australian regions of New South Wales and the Northern Territory from Friday, Morrison on Sunday said that Australia will move "very carefully" to open the quarantine-free travel with a "handful" of countries.

"I've had a number of discussions with Pacific leaders this week," he told reporters. "There's also been discussions with the Prime Minister of Japan."

"The Foreign Minister, this week, has been talking to the Prime Minister of Singapore. I've also had discussions with the President of South Korea," he said.

"But we have to go cautiously on this, very, very cautiously. COVID-19 hasn't gone anywhere, it's still there -- it's no less aggressive today than it was six months ago. We need to keep the habit of COVID-safe behaviours," he noted.

However, the travel to and from Europe or the United States is expected to remain off-limits until 2022 unless a vaccine for the COVID-19 pandemic is developed and rolled out.

As of Monday afternoon there have been 27,286 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Australia, with 23 new cases in last 24 hours.

The state of Victoria reported 15 new cases on Monday, New South Wales confirmed six more, and Western Australia recorded two. Enditem