NEW DELHI: Australia's top medical regulator, Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), on Friday approved the Covishield vaccine manufactured by the Serum Institute of India for incoming international travellers, a step that is expected to facilitate the return of thousands of Indian students to that country.
It is not immediately clear whether the 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 facilitating the entry.
The Australian PMO said that the government will finalise in the coming weeks the processes for people to be able to show their vaccination status if they have had a TGA recognised vaccine. "People who have received vaccines not recognised by the TGA, or who are unvaccinated, will be required to undertake 14 days of managed quarantine on arrival," it said.
In another welcome development, Australia has decided it will reopen its international border from November, giving long-awaited freedoms to vaccinated citizens and their relatives.
Since March 2020, Australia has had some of the world's strictest border rules - even banning its own people from leaving the country.The policy has been praised for helping to suppress Covid, but it has also controversially separated families.
"It's time to give Australians their lives back," PM Scott Morrison said. Travel would not immediately be open to foreigners, but the government said it was working "towards welcoming tourists back to our shores".
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