Health Department boss Brendan Murphy says tough international border closures and hotel quarantine rules could be needed until 2022.

“Obviously we’re not happy about it but the health priority is going to have to come first at every turn,” she told The Australian Financial Review.
“Unlike any other industry we are materially and absolutely affected by international borders being closed. There are businesses for whom 70 per cent of their annual trade, across the board, is international visitors.”
Ms Osmond said Professor Murphy’s comments showed the urgent need for nationally consistent rules for COVID hotspots and state border restrictions.
“While the domestic tourism piece cannot under any circumstances replace inbound international travel, it will be critical to the survival of lots of players within the industry.
“We can’t recover without the international border being open, we can’t survive unless these issues around state borders are resolved and there is a level of certainty.”
As many as 40 million doses of vaccines have already been administered around the world, with Bloomberg reporting an average of more than 2.4 million injections per day.
Professor Murphy told ABC TV he was not unduly concerned about the implications of the deaths of 30 elderly people in Norway who had received the Pfizer vaccine, but Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration would consider official data.
Weve always taken the view that we needed a diversified vaccine strategy.
I still think that the Pfizer vaccine will be OK, but I think we have to wait and see.
So were going to go as safely and as fast as we can to get our population vaccinated and then well look at what happens.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told 2GB radio that Australian health officials were monitoring vaccine rollouts overseas, with safety the top priority.
“There’s been no delays. We’ve been moving as quickly as we possibly can. There’s been no rush, there’s been no corners cut. All the processes and examinations are being done.
“We’ve been getting the information from across all those countries where vaccinations have commenced and we’re learning from the things that they’re doing.”
Finance Minister Simon Birmingham expects “thousands” of stranded Australians to get home on 20 additional repatriation flights planned for priority areas.
The government-sponsored flights are due to take off between the end of the month and March 31.