(Bloomberg) —

Australia has held discussions over plans to reopen international travel with nations including Japan, South Korea and Singapore, though remains cautious over easing measures to combat Covid-19, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

Talks in the past week have also included some South Pacific nations and would build on an existing agreement to allow New Zealanders to visit parts of the country without having to undergo quarantine, Morrison told reporters Sunday in Queensland.

Tourists from New Zealand will be permitted to visit New South Wales state, which includes Sydney, and the Northern Territory from Oct. 16, the first major step by Australia to reopen international borders that were closed in March.

”We have to go cautiously on this, very, very cautiously,” Morrison said. “Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still there, and it is no less aggressive today than it was six months ago.”

Australia’s Victoria state, handling a resurgence of community transmission after security failures at quarantine hotels for returning overseas travelers, reported 12 new Covid-19 cases Sunday in a statement from the region’s government. New South Wales, the most populous state, recorded three new locally transmitted cases in 24 hours, authorities said.

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