Australia to open up for Christmas?

By | Category: Travel destinations

It has been known for a little while that Australia’s plan to open up to international tourism was based on getting 80% of the population vaccinated and I presume that means fully vaccinated. At present it is just under 50% of all adults over 16 so there is a way to go over the next ninety days or so.

Australia might be open for international travellers by Christmas.

Initially it was thought that international travel would open up next year and then, a few weeks ago, the Australian airline Qantas said it was planning on starting international flights to the UK from about December 18th onwards.

Now the Australian tourism minister – Dan Tehan – has said that Australia will re-open its borders to international visitor by Christmas. And, according to the ABC, this will be “at the latest.”

Is December the planned date because the Aussies want to give time to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases principally in NSW? Is it to get the various states on board so that there can be unanimity rather than one state saying no to international flights? Or is it to align its systems with other international ones so that record keeping and record reading is common across as many countries as possible?

Is it planning on only haveing travel bubbles with certain destinations rather than fully open travel?

Probably it is a combination of all of these plus others as well such as quarantining. Paying thousands of dollars to stay in government approved hotels won’t attract that many to Australia so quarantining has to be substantially altered or, better still, ended for those who have completed the vaccination course

Potential international visitors and Australians wanting to travel abroad won’t really care; they just want a date upon which they can start to travel again.

But Australia which has had one of the toughest travel policies with even states refusing to open borders to their neighboring states might make people nervous about what would happen if a state or the Australian government brought back lockdowns. Would visitors be trapped in those states?

Some Australians have been abroad for much of the last year and have been unable to get back. Not all repatriation flights brought home nationals when|Australia closed to international flights.

That is the key concern international visitors have.

When Austria re-opens its international borders to travellers and holidaymakers again it should come with comforting noises that if lockdowns were to be re-introduced, both Australians abroad and visitors in Australia should be guaranteed to be able to get home within a reasonable time rather than the months that many have endured.

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