New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Days after PM Modi met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in the US during the QUAD Summit, the Australian drug regulatory body on Friday approved India-made Covishield for international travellers coming into the country. The recognition of Covishield, which is manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, will remove a significant barrier for international students seeking to study in Australia.

"The Therapeutic Goods Administration has advised that the China-made Sinovac and the India-made Covishield vaccines would be considered recognised vaccines when determining whether an incoming international traveller has been appropriately vaccinated", said Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison in an online briefing with the Indian media.

It said Australia is ready to take its next steps to safely reopen to the world, with changes coming to the international border. "Our government is setting out the framework for how international travel will look in coming months," it said.

It is not immediately clear whether the TGA's approval for Covishield will facilitate immediate travel to Australia by Indian students waiting to return to that country or whether certain changes will have to be made to the existing protocols for the entry of foreign nationals into the country.

Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Janssen vaccine are already recognised in Australia. Australian PM Morrison on Friday announced the reopening of international travel and easing of border restrictions. Morrison said that the international border will reopen next month for states that have reached 80 per cent vaccination rates, starting with New South Wales.

Fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents arriving in NSW will be able to home quarantine for a week, instead of paying thousands to quarantine at a hotel for a fortnight, pending the success of the state's home quarantine trial.

Commercial flights out of Australia will resume for vaccinated Australians. Travellers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine to home quarantine, unless they are under 12 or medically exempt, reported ABC News.

Meanwhile, unvaccinated travellers will be required to hotel quarantine for a fortnight. The government will also work with the states to remove travel caps for vaccinated travellers.COVID-19 Testing is expected to continue to be a part of travel, but the government is looking at using rapid antigen testing as part of the arrangement.

On March 20 last year Australia introduced some of the world's toughest border restrictions in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Strict restrictions were imposed by Australia from travelling overseas without permission for 18-months.

 

(With Agencies Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan