(Image: Mitchell Squire/Private Media)

Even as Australia hits high vaccination rates, border restrictions are still in place. Travellers from nine countries in southern Africa have to undergo hotel quarantine when coming to Australia even if they’re fully vaccinated, and South Australia and Western Australia are facing calls to delay border reopenings in the face of the Omicron variant. 

We’re likely to be coming to the tail end of border closures, but as this year has shown, nothing is certain. There’s not much Australians can do about restrictions either: constitutional law challenges have so far been unsuccessful, and human rights complaints are difficult to bring about. 

What potential breaches are there? 

Under article 12 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, all people have the right to freedom of movement and nationals have the right to enter their country. There are few limitations to this, says Australian National University associate law professor Kate Ogg.