Australia will pause the reopening of its international borders to the next cohort of workers and visa holders amid growing concern of the Omicron variant.
An emergency meeting of the National Security Committee tonight decided the “necessary and temporary decision to pause the next step to safely reopen Australia”.
The country was expected to reopen to international skilled and student cohorts, as well as humanitarian, working holiday maker and provisional family visa holders from December 1.
This has now been pushed back to December 15.
The reopening to travellers from Japan and the Republic of Korea will also be paused until December 15.
“The temporary pause will ensure Australia can gather the information we need to better understand the Omicron variant, including the efficacy of the vaccine, the range of illness, including if it may generate more mild symptoms, and the level of transmission,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement with other leaders tonight.
“Australia’s border is already closed to travellers except fully vaccinated Australian citizens, permanent residents and immediate family, as well as fully vaccinated green lane travellers from New Zealand and Singapore and limited exemptions.”
The have been four confirmed Omicron cases in NSW and one in the Northern Territory.
All are in isolation.
More to come…