Prime MinisterScott Morrison said once Australians make their way home, government would allow a gradual return of skilled migrants followed by international students. He has flagged the possible reopening of the international border by the end of this year.
He, however, ruled out any possibility of tourists travelling to the country this year.
“I think we will have to work through the priorities of Australian residents and citizens, skilled migrants and students. I think they are our priorities, and then next year, I think we will be able to move to that (tourists returning). I hope we can, but we have just got to take this one step at a time.”
Mr Morrison said Australian citizens and permanent residents registered with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and vaccinated would be given priority.
“Having a vaccinated population particularly when we hit 80 per cent that means Australia will be able to open up, begin opening up to international travel again and there are three priorities; the first one is, of course, for Australians around the world to be able to come home if they are vaccinated and not be subject to any caps at our airports,” he said during a virtual press conference.