Filipinos who may be planning to fly to Australia anytime soon to visit friends and relatives or for some sightseeing may have to give it another think.
The Australian government has announced it is sticking to the controversial strategy of keeping Covid out by shutting its doors to all foreigners until mid-2022.
Australia has on its own devised one of the most effective systems of keeping their citizens relatively free of the deadly virus and in the process maintaining a semblance of life as it was in pre-pandemic days.
In March 2020, Australia closed its doors to non-residents and non-nationals as a means of curbing the entry and spread of the virus in the sub-continent, with limited international travel confined mainly to returning citizens or residents.
“We are being guided all the way by medical advice and economic advice,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said, shrugging criticisms from various sectors regarding this draconian anti-Covid plan which has resulted in the stranding of thousands of Australians in India which is currently the epicenter of the pandemic.
The border closure – combined with snap lockdowns, swift contact tracing and strict compliance with health protocols – has made Australia one of the premier societies in the world where people are getting to live their lives with a great degree of normalcy.
As of May 17, Australia has reported a paltry 29,978 Covid infections and 910 deaths. In stark comparison, the Philippines has 1.14 million infections and 19,191 deaths.