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MNI BRIEF: No More Lockdown for Australia-Morrison

MNI (Sydney)

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Australia would not go back into lockdown due to the emergence of the Omicron virus variant but would stick with an earlier announcement of a two-week pause on the lifting of some travel restrictions.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison declared that “we’re not going back to lockdowns, none of us want that” ahead of a meeting with State and Territory leaders on Tuesday.

Under the visa pauses, visa holders who were set to be allowed back into the country on December 1 will have to wait until December 15 without an exemption, while travel bubble arrangements for South Korean and Japanese citizens have also been delayed.

Morrison was speaking ahead of the release of third quarter GDP tomorrow, which is expected to show the economy contracted by as much as 2.5%. A recovery is underway in Australia as lockdowns are over for most of the country that has seen the Reserve Bank of Australia face pressure on its rate views.