Overseas travel remains unlikely this year

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As the vaccine rollout in Australia gets closer, many thoughts may be turning to exactly how long we have to wait until we are able to travel overseas again, but perhaps we shouldn’t be getting our hopes up just yet.

Former chief medical officer and head of Australia’s health department Dr Brendan Murphy poured cold water on the hopes of international travellers this week, suggesting the borders could stay closed for most of this year.

During an interview on the ABC this week, Dr Murphy downplayed the prospect of border restrictions being eased once the vaccine was rolled out around the world.

“I think the answer is no,” Dr Murphy told the ABC when asked about the potential for borders to reopen this year. ” I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions.

“Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.

“And it’s likely that quarantine will continue for some time. One of the things about this virus is that the rule book has been made up as we go.”

Dr Murphy explained that while he was hopefully the vaccine would quickly see life and travel return to normal, it was important that the government continued to take a safety-first approach to the border.

“We’re going to go as safely and as fast as we can to get our population vaccinated and then we’ll look at what happens,” Dr Murphy said.

While Qantas recently announced that international tickets would go on sale from 1 July this year, transport minister Michael McCormack said the government would not rush the decision on when it would reopen international borders.

“The border will only fully reopen once COVID-19 is no longer a public health risk,” Mr McCormack said.

“Decisions about when international travel resumes will be made by the Australian government.”

When do you think Australians will be able to travel internationally again?

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Written by Ben


Total Comments: 1
  1. 2

    I would agree, can’t see borders opening for most of this year at least. There is also the issue of letting people in from countries with very lax or no restrictions or lock downs, relying on herd immunity. How are we going to deal with them? Will everyone who wants to travel internationally need a COronoa Virus ID of vaccination? Which vaccines will be deemed good enough to offer protection? The effectiveness of the vaccinations will vary widely, especially now that new strains of the virus are popping up in different places which are apparently more easily spread. Will we need multiple vaccinations? It’s a mess!
    We will all need to adapt and make the best out of the situation. The upside is that instead of travelling overseas we now are seeing overseas born Australians travel within Australia, when in the past they were using every opportunity to travel back to their countries of birth. It will allow them to become more aquainted with Australia and maybe ween them off the nipple of the home country maybe realizing their future is here now. This could lead to a more integrated multicultural Australia with a fresh appreciation of life here. It will also help the tourism and hospitality sector to keep going, even in a much reduced way. Many businesses relying on overseas tourists unfortunately will falter. The winners may be the regional areas away from the big cities which always had the bulk of international tourists, as people are travelling by car again now that flying has become so cumbersome and uncertain.



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