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COVID-safe Australia Day celebrations: 12,000 people become Australia's newest citizens

Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses for photos with new citizens during an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra. Source: AAP

Across the country, citizenship ceremonies have been held to welcome more than 12,000 people who have become Australia's newest citizens. But COVID-19 physical distancing measures mean the number of new citizens receiving certificates on this Australia Day was reduced by 50 per cent, compared with this time last year.

Many of the ceremonies were being held for the first time since in-person events were paused in April last year by some councils due to the virus.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison touched upon the impact of COVID-19 in his Australia Day address, paying tribute to essential workers who have kept the country running during the pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses for a photo with new citizens during an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison poses for a photo with new citizens during an Australia Day Citizenship Ceremony and Flag Raising event in Canberra.
AAP

Meanwhile, Australians have been warned coronavirus vaccines will not trigger wholesale changes to restrictions when the rollout ramps up in coming months.

Speaking to the ABC, Acting Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd is tempering expectations that vaccination will lead to life returning to pre-pandemic settings after the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use in Australia.

For health and support measures currently in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in your language, visit: sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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