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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