Omicron COVID variant in Sydney, South Africa, Travelers test positive, NSW COVID cases increase, Victoria COVID cases increase, NSW hotel quarantine will be reintroduced


Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced Seven’s breakfast Sunrise.

Co-host Natalie Barr asked him if the Omicron variant shows Australia opened its borders too soon.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said there will be a national cabinet meeting today or tomorrow. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Here is the PM’s response:

The only countries to which our borders are open are Singapore and New Zealand.

Otherwise, the only people who come to Australia are those who have very specific exemptions and those who are Australian residents and citizens.

We do not close our borders to Australian citizens. This has only been done once in the case of India and for a very short period of time.

[As for the Omnicron variant], of course, that is concerning and that is why we are getting all the information we can. The cases that have arisen, as you say, are under quarantine and appropriate action is being taken by the NSW government in these areas.

As we reported earlier, international students and migrant workers are due to land in Australia from the beginning of December (which is only a few days away).

Mr Morrison said he “will consider this in light of any new information.”

“This is not the first of the new strains that we have seen, and the evidence to date does not suggest that it is a more serious form of the virus. And [with] problems with transmissibility and impact on the vaccine, there is no evidence yet to suggest that there are any problems there.

“But if this information were to be communicated, then obviously we will think about it and move forward very quickly.”

He added that a national cabinet meeting will be called today or tomorrow.


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