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Overseas travel in early 2021 ‘challenging, not impossible’, says Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham

Senior federal cabinet minister Simon Birmingham says it’s not impossible that international travel could be back on the cards next year, but to do it in the first half of 2021 would be challenging.

Such travel will depend on the effectiveness of coronavirus vaccines.

“Then of course the manufacturing rollout, distribution, uptake, all the other factors that come into how it is that a vaccine could change the way we look at things around this pandemic,” Senator Birmingham told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“It’s not impossible … I think the first half may be challenging.”

Aside from the various vaccines Australia is involved with, a new nasal spray with the potential to fight COVID-19 and other respiratory viral infections will be tested in the hopes of manufacturing it domestically.

The federal government said that along with a private partner it would provide $11.7 million to fund the testing, as part of the Biomedical Translation Fund.

“This investment will continue the proud Australian tradition of discovery and translation that saves lives and improves lives,” Health MInister Greg Hunt said in a statement.

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