Corona in Australia
Corona in Australia

A senior Australian health official announced, Monday, that international borders are unlikely to open to travelers this year.

Brendan Murphy, Secretary-General of the Australian Department of Health and lead advisor on the virus response, said travel to and from the country is not expected to resume in 2021.

He told public broadcaster IBC that he believed there were "significant border restrictions" that would continue to be imposed this year.

He added, "Even if many residents were vaccinated, we do not know if this would prevent the transmission of the virus."

He continued: "It is likely that the quarantine will continue for some time."

Australia has largely closed its borders to foreign visitors since March 2020 to stop the spread of Covid-19, while allowing a limited number of citizens and their families to return to the country every week.

As a result, tens of thousands of Australians are still stranded abroad, while returning travelers must pay about 3,000 Australian dollars ($ 2,300) to spend a 14-day quarantine in a hotel.

Australia: Coronavirus cases in Sydney closed for 4 days

The authorities of the Australian city of Sydney decided to close the centers of infection with the Corona virus, from today, Saturday until midnight, next Wednesday, while the authorities have taken steps to contain the outbreak, in the hope of keeping them open during birthdays (Christmas) for travel.

Gladys Peregiklian, Prime Minister of New South Wales, told reporters that the number of mass casualties in the "Northern Shores" area had risen to 38 as of Saturday, while she instructed residents of the region to stay home from five in the evening.

And she warned residents of other areas to stay away from hotspots of infections, saying that restrictions might be imposed in the rest of Sydney, if infections spread.

"We want to give the entire state the best chance to enjoy the Christmas period safely, and we need to take those steps now," she tweeted.

Residents can only leave their homes for basic reasons, including buying food, accessing health care, playing sports, work or education, which cannot be completed from home.

The precautionary measures included the closure of bars, clubs, gyms, places of worship, retail markets and 35 beaches in the area.

The outbreak, which was first discovered yesterday, Thursday, was a shock in Australia, where cases of the virus had nearly disappeared in the past seven weeks.

On Saturday, several Australian states announced travel restrictions for arrivals from Sydney.