Prime Minister Scott Morrison was surprisingly frank in a new interview with A Current Affair.
He's also urged Australians to “look forward” despite ongoing coronavirus outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.
“A year ago, we couldn't have contemplated any of this,” he said.
“That has been the swift change and terrible impact that has occurred.”
Despite Victoria's renewed lockdown, Morrison is remaining positive.
“We are still doing very well, in seven states and territories. Victoria is obviously a different situation and we feel for everybody in Victoria,” he said to A Current Affair host Tracy Grimshaw.
“We've done it once. Even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, we can do it again.”
But, he said, “Australia doesn't win if Victoria doesn't win”.
However, he issued a grim warning for those Aussies who are eager to get overseas.
“That will be very challenging,” Mr Morrison said of overseas travel.
“Right now the opportunity for large-scale travel beyond our borders is not foreseeable.”
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His comments came just hours after Federal Treasurer Frydenberg hinted to a border reopening in January 2021.
“From 1 January to 30 June 2021, it is assumed that the travel ban is lifted, but that a two-week quarantine period is required of arrivals to Australia,” the statement says.
“This leads to the resumption of arrivals by temporary and permanent migrants, but at lower levels overall than normal,’’ the Treasury document states.
Morrison was quick to explain that he couldn't put a date on wider international travel, but expected a bubble between Australia and New Zealand to be launched by the end of this year.
“I would hope and expect that before the end of the year, New Zealand and Australia would be able to agree on a safe travel zone,” he said in the ACA interview.
“Prime Minister Ardern and I were only talking about it last week and she remains as committed to that as I do. We are progressing that … and there are many Pacific nations equally that want to be able to be part of that.
“Discussions that I had with the Japanese PM Shinzō Abe … they are keen to see safe travel (between nations) so we will adjust and we can adjust.”
Photo credits: A Current Affair
This article originally appeared on Over60.