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People arriving at Sydney airport. Photo: James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Tuesday that foreign tourists won't be allowed to visit the country until at least 2022, AP reports.

Why it matters: Morrison announced last week that the government plans to lift its 18-month COVID-19 travel ban for fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents in November. It was unclear, however, when tourists would be allowed to visit the country.

The big picture: Morrison said Tuesday that after reopening borders to fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents, the government would prioritize allowing skilled migrants and international students to return to the country, AP reports.

  • “We will get to international visitors as well, I believe next year,” Morrison said, per AP.

The other side: Tourism companies in Australia are angry there is no plan in place to bring back international visitors.

  • “Even if they’re not the first priority, we’d like to see how this is going to be worked out. There are many businesses that are just hanging on,” said Daniel Gschwind, chief executive of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council, per AP.

Go deeper

18 hours ago - Health

Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states

U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona, in an "Axios on HBO" interview, said he's reluctant to withhold federal funding from states that won't enforce school mask mandates because he doesn't want to hurt students.

Why it matters: Cardona's comments suggest there are limits to how far the Biden administration will go in pressuring states to adopt universal masking — or vaccine mandates.

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

5 times as many police officers have died from COVID as from guns since pandemic began

Photo: Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

COVID-19 is the leading cause of death for police officers even though members of law enforcement were among the first to be eligible to receive the vaccine, CNN reports, citing data from the Officer Down Memorial Page.

Why it matters: Nearly 476 police officers have died of COVID-19 since the pandemic started, compared to the 93 deaths as a result of gunfire in the same time period, according to ODMP and CNN.

Oct 16, 2021 - Health

Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents

Pope Francis. Photo: Massimo Valicchia/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Pope Francis called on pharmaceutical companies on Saturday to release patents to make COVID-19 vaccines more accessible to the poor, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: There is a stark divide between countries that have access to COVID-19 shots and those that don't, and the gap has widened as some wealthier countries have begun distributing third doses.