Interview with Natalie Barr, Sunrise

  • Transcript
Subjects: International travel and the Australian Open.
28 October 2021

Natalie Barr: Joining us now is Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan, morning to you. The do not travel advisory has been removed for all countries this morning and reverted to the old system. Are there any restrictions on where we can travel to?

Dan Tehan: Look, there's no restrictions on where you can travel to but, obviously, go to the Smart Traveller guide and look at the individual requirements for each country because they will differ. We now can travel right across the world. We've got the Smart Traveller advice now for 178 countries, so any Australians taking up the option to travel as of 1 November, please go to Smart Traveller and make sure you check on the specific requirements for the country that you'll be travelling to.

Natalie Barr: Do you have to be fully vaccinated with two doses to get on a plane to get out of Australia?

Dan Tehan: That's right. You've got to be fully vaccinated with your two doses to get out of Australia, otherwise you need to ask for an exemption. So, for all those who are fully vaccinated as of 1 November, as of Monday, you're free to fly, free to leave the country and go wherever you want to go.

Natalie Barr: Do you have to be fully vaccinated to get into Australia? As in the people coming back from overseas who have been stuck there for ages.

Dan Tehan: So, fully vaccinated Australians when they come back to New South Wales and Victoria won't have to quarantine. For other states, obviously there are different requirements in place, but for those fully vaccinated Australians coming back to New South Wales and Victoria, you won't have to quarantine. And obviously we're looking at different arrangements with New Zealand. We've got arrangements with the South Island, part of the North Island we're looking at that again. With Singapore there will be an announcement in days as to the requirements there. So, we're looking to open up further and further, safely, and make sure that we can get international travel back to normal as soon as we possibly can.

Natalie Barr: Okay, let's talk about tennis players because Dan Andrews says unvaccinated tennis players will not be welcome at the Australian Open. The Prime Minister said on this show yesterday they can come if they're unvaccinated and they quarantine. What are your thoughts?

Dan Tehan: Look, my thoughts are we need to have — use common sense here and if we can bring players in, and especially the best players in the world, and they can do two weeks quarantining, that seems to me like a common sense proposition. Novak Djokovic has been an absolute stalwart of the Australian Open, one of the best players ever to play at the Australian Open. It would be a shame if we couldn't find a way, especially if he was prepared to do two weeks quarantine, for him to come and to be able to continue to try and defend the outstanding record he has at the Australian Open.

Natalie Barr: Okay, you don't care that, you know, 90% of Australia's rolled up their sleeves and fought the good fight and got the vaccine and yet people like him could possibly come in?

Dan Tehan: Well Nat, I've rolled up my sleeves. All my family have rolled up their sleeves. It's incredibly important that you get vaccinated. But I think what we need to be able to do is to use common sense. And if there's two weeks quarantine available, which would mean that players are safe, and they are the best players in the world, it means that we can put the best tournament in the world on and remember it highlights Melbourne across the globe. I think we can use some common sense.

Natalie Barr: Okay, thank you. Dan Tehan.

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