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Global biosecurity expert weighs in on whether Australia should open international borders

Article image for Global biosecurity expert weighs in on whether Australia should open international borders

A global biosecurity expert has warned opening international borders, or allowing home quarantine, would significantly increase the risk of major COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia.

There’s speculation that home quarantine may be part of a future plan for returned international travellers, but professor of global biosecurity at the University of New South Wales, Raina MacIntyre, says it’s a risky strategy.

“We already tried it in February and March and the problem was that people weren’t abiding by it, they were breaching it,” she told Neil Mitchell.

“Most people will do the right thing but some people won’t. That’s the problem.

“It’s the minority of people who don’t do the right thing that are holding the rest of us hostage.”

Professor MacIntyre cautioned against opening international borders in the near future.

“We do need to remain stringent with the quarantine of travellers coming back in,” she said.

“If we relax those border restrictions … then we’ll face a greater risk of a third wave.”

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