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Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Source: Loren Elliott/Reuters.
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  • Australia is reviewing its plans to reopen borders to skilled migrants and students from December 1, following the Omicron coronavirus variant cases
  • On Sunday, two people who arrived in Australia from southern Africa tested positive over the weekend for the new variant
  • Scott Morrison has urged people to remain calm as it is not fully proven on the severity, transmissibility and vaccine resistance of the Omicron strain
  • The national security committee will meet later today to discuss the reopening of the border

Australia is reviewing its plans to reopen borders to skilled migrants and students from December 1, following the Omicron coronavirus variant cases.

On Sunday, two people who arrived in Australia from southern Africa tested positive over the weekend for the new variant, while in Northern Territory one case has been confirmed.

Research of the Omicron variant is currently underway to better understand the aspects of the virus. It is currently not clear whether Omicron is more transmissible compared to other variants such as Delta.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced Australia will look into the borders re-opening, which was expected to reopen this Wednesday.

Travelers from nine African countries, including South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, the Seychelles, Malawi, and Mozambique, have been barred from entering Australia.

Anyone who has been in those countries in the last 14 days must be quarantined immediately, and all flights from those countries will be halted for at least a fortnight.

Morrison has urged people to remain calm as it is not fully proven on the severity, transmissibility and vaccine resistance of the Omicron strain.

“So we just take this one step at a time, get the best information,” he told the Today show.

“It’s no longer about cases and how we’re managing COVID. It’s about the severity of the illness that people have and how the public hospital system in the health system is managing and it’s managing very strongly.

“We want Australia to remain open, open safely within Australia. And where we need to have controls on the borders than we already have them, and we’ll keep those under close review to keep people safe.”

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt stated that he has requested that the country’s immunisation advisory panel reassess the time period for COVID-19 booster doses. Approximately 87 per cent of Australia’s population over the age of 16 has been completely vaccinated.

The national security committee will meet later today to discuss the reopening of the border, this will be followed by a meeting with all states and territories on Tuesday.

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