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Australia in no hurry to open international borders

Australia is in no rush to reopen its international borders, said the country's Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday.

The borders have been closed to all non-citizens and non-residents since March last year.

Australian citizens and permanent residents cannot leave the country due to coronavirus restrictions unless they have an exemption.

Returning Australians from overseas also have to quarantine in hotels for two weeks at their own expense.

"I can assure Australians that I will not be putting at risk the way we are living in this country, which is so different to the rest of the world today. "

Last week Morrison said they were considering a staggered reopening of its international borders to allow residents who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel abroad first.

Australia is one of the world's most successful countries to have handled the pandemic with coronavirus cases of around 29, 000 in total.

But its nationwide vaccine rollout has been a hot political topic - a source of tension between the states and federal government.

Australia had banked on the AstraZeneca vaccine for the majority of its shots, but last week raced to double its Pfizer vaccine order.

That followed advice that people under the age of 50 should take Pfizer's vaccine, after European regulators found possible links between AstraZeneca's shot and reports of rare cases of blood clots.

The government has since abandoned a goal to vaccinate everyone by the end of 2021.