Australia When borders reopen after COVID, where will Australians be able to travel?
VIC's Covid restrictions Dan Andrews WON'T ease - even at jab target
Victoria's highly-anticipated freedom roadmap has revealed lockdown-fatigued Melburnians will still be bound by a raft of Covid restrictions even once vaccination targets are hit.But the premier has refused to budge on some rules even once 80 per cent of Victorians 16 and older have received both doses, expected to be around November 5.
It's been more than a year and a half since Australia's international borders were slammed shut, so it's no surprise that many of us are itching to get overseas for a holiday or to see loved ones.
While the federal government has said they hope to, no date has been set despite national COVID-19 vaccination rates moving swiftly towards 80 per cent — the point at which the national plan sets out there will be a "gradual reopening of inward and outward international travel with safe countries".
There have also been calls from the aviation industry and travellers for.
Australia plans to reopen international borders by Christmas, but detail is light on
Australians are busting to get overseas, but there is still a lot we do not know about what travel will look like when international borders reopen.Gill Harris is one of many Australian residents who have been separated from family overseas for almost two years because of travel bans.
But that hasn't stopped many Australians desperate to reunite with family from dusting off their passports and booking outbound flights for later in the year, crossing their fingers they'll be able to get back home.
For everyone else starting to dream about a holiday, the chosen destination may depend more on accessibility — and some bucket list locations might be trickier to get to than others as we take our first cautious steps towards opening up to the world.
Where will flights from Australia be going?
Qantas, which owns Jetstar, and Virgin Australia have both revealed the first lot of international routes which will restart once Australia's borders open.
From December, Qantas has planned to resume flights to "COVID-safe" destinations, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, Singapore, Canada, and Fiji. In a statement this week the airline said they were still on track to gradually restart flights from December 18 subject to government approval.
The top ten holiday locations Aussies are searching for post-lockdown
New research has revealed the top 10 most searched travel locations by Australians, hoping for a post-lockdown getaway once the 80 per cent vaccination target is reached.In a bid to decipher exactly where Aussies are planning on roaming to, Booking.com has released its Back to Travel report to prove that Queensland and Western Australia reign supreme when it comes to states we're wanting to travel to.
Qantas is also planning to restart trans-Tasman flights between Australia and New Zealand from mid-December on the assumption the travel bubble will have reopened, while flights to Hong Kong are expected to return from February.
As part of their reopening plan, the airline announced it would temporarilydue to ongoing uncertainty over the state's domestic border restrictions. Instead, Qantas said they were in discussions with the Northern Territory government to assess whether a daily Melbourne-Darwin-London route could fill the gap.
"People are clearly keen to travel," Qantas Group chief executive Alan Joyce said in a statement on Sunday. "We saw a 175 per cent spike in web searches in the week after we announced our plans and we've seen strong bookings for December and January for our flights to London, Los Angeles and Singapore in particular."
Liberal MPs want ban on Australians heading overseas lifted within month
Liberal MPs want national cabinet to stop requiring Australians to get an exemption for overseas travel within a month.The nation's borders have been shut since March 2020 following the first domestic outbreak of the coronavirus, with residents seeking to leave the country required to apply to the federal government for a travel exemption for specific reasons.
He said the key factor in increasing services was changing quarantine rules for returning Australians. "We're hoping the system evolves quickly for vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries to not have to quarantine on arrival," Mr Joyce said.
Currently, only South Australia and New South Wales have committed to trialling a home quarantine system, but federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan has flagged he hopes that.
As for the rest of Qantas and Jetstar's international routes, there are plans to reopen them from April next year.
Meanwhile, Virgin Australia has scheduled a number of services between Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne and Nadi, on Fiji's main island, from December 23 and 24. Following that, a spokesperson said flights to New Zealand would resume in early 2022 and services to Bali from March next year.
"We'll continue to add flights as demand for travel increases and international travel restrictions begin to ease," the spokesperson said.
What about within Australia?
For those looking to stay closer to home this summer, it's looking likely an interstate jaunt will be a possibility.
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Daily Mail Australia understands Prime Minister Scott Morrison will hold a press conference at about 1pm on Friday to announce plans to let Australians finally go on an overseas holiday. The announcement will take place an hour before a national cabinet meeting at 2pm where Mr Morrison will discuss the plan with state and territory leaders.
With the announcement of Victoria and NSW's reopening road maps, Qantas said it would bring forward their plans to restart services between the states to November 5.
The news is less promising for Western Australians hoping to make it to the eastern states — or those wanting to return to Perth for Christmas.
In the same update, Qantas said it would cancel most of its flights from Western Australia to Sydney and Melbourne until at least February 1.
"Based on our discussions with Western Australia we know their borders won’t be open to New South Wales and Victoria until early next year, so we’ve sadly had to cancel the flying we had planned on those routes in the lead-up to Christmas," Mr Joyce said.
Flights between West Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and South Australia will continue as normal, while services between West Australia and Queensland are set to increase "in the coming weeks" pending the easing of travel restrictions.
Do other countries have restrictions?
Many do, and Australians will have to make sure they're aware of all the restrictions and requirements of the country they are planning to travel to.
This may include proof of vaccination, negative COVID-19 test results and periods of quarantine.
For example, Japan, one of the "COVID-safe" destinations on Qantas' list, currently requires fully-vaccinated travellers to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival and return a negative test before they can move around freely.
Time has come for careful steps back into the global community
It is a welcome, necessary and appropriately cautious decision that reflects Australia is on track to reach its pivotal 80 per cent vaccination target.When the Morrison government shut the nation's borders in March 2020 Australians found themselves subject to some of the toughest COVID-19 travel restrictions globally. Despite the heavy economic toll — the Business Council puts the cost of border closures at about $7.6 billion a month — and the immeasurable grief of people separated from loved ones overseas, Australians rightly supported a closure that worked to our natural advantage as an island nation.
Singapore is also currently closed to short term travellers from Australia but a quarantine-free "green lane" trial for fully-vaccinated travellers from certain nations gives some hints of what will be required of travellers in the future.
Under the trial, travellers were required to undertake, and pay for, three COVID-19 tests on arrival on top of a pre-departure negative result.
Meanwhile, Canada has introduced a vaccine mandate for all incoming international travellers.
In Fiji, where tourism is the country's largest industry, the plan is to.
While the COVID-19 situation is likely to change in destination countries in the lead up to Australia's reopening, it's all but certain a return to how we travelled before the pandemic is a long way off.
What you'll need before you travel
With many of the details of how borders will be reopened in Australia yet to be revealed, it's not entirely clear.
But the government's announcement earlier this year of a vaccine passport suggests your COVID-19 vaccination status will play a key role in whether you can get on a plane and possibly whether you'll need to quarantine when you disembark.
The vaccination passport, set to roll out from October, will be accessed via an app and will include the same information as your regular passport plus a QR code that can be scanned by border officials to prove your vaccination status.
Mr Tehan has said the government was in talks with international embassies to ensure Australia's vaccine passport would be accepted once people can go abroad.
In certain countries, access may depend on the type of vaccine you've received — for example, the United States currently does not recognise AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria) — but it's so far unclear how that will work.
Of course you'll also still need your regular passport, so it might be time to check that it's still up to date.
And while travel insurance has always been a feature of overseas travel, with the possibility of sudden outbreaks or surprise quarantine requirements it's likely to become even more important in the post-pandemic world.
Where can I travel overseas from Australia if I'm fully vaccinated? Which COVID-19 vaccine do I need? .
Visiting family members or taking a holiday overseas won't be as simple as booking a plane ticket once Australia's border opens up.But visiting family members or taking a holiday in a different country won't be as simple as booking a plane ticket.