When can I go overseas?

Janice still hasn’t cancelled her flights for an overseas trip in January 2021, in the hope that the travel bans will be lifted before then. She’s asked if that’s likely.

•••

Q. Janice
I have flights booked for January next year. I’m going to Canada. Do you think I’ll be able to fly there? Or should I cancel my flights? I still haven’t done that yet, thinking I might be able to fly.

A. As you would already know, the international travel ban also covers Canada. There’s a ‘Do not travel’ advisory in place for Canada, so unless it’s a life-or-death matter, which I suppose in these times it could be (or could end up being the latter if you do go), then Canada is off limits indefinitely.

Right now, you cannot leave Australia to go anywhere. It’s been that way for around a month, and no-one is yet to make a definitive statement about when the ban will be lifted.

These are unprecedented times for travel, that’s for sure.

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham last week said he thinks the ban could remain for “quite some period of time”.

Mr Birmingham was asked on the ABC’s News Breakfast show last weekend whether overseas travel would be allowed by the end of the year.

“Look, I wouldn’t put any guarantees that you could undertake that overseas trip in December,” was his answer.

“December’s a long time away, and very hard to make predictions about what will happen then, but we could be in this circumstance for quite some period of time,” he added.

The government has repeatedly said the COVID-19 pandemic will affect Australia for at least six months. And the ban will stay in place even if Australia manages to contain the virus, as there may still be a risk of contagion from other countries.

Basically, international travel will be on hold for some time, but who knows for how long.

My advice, if you’re keen on getting to Canada post-pandemic – which I would be if I were you, as Canada is an amazing place and the people are great – then get your flight converted to a flight credit for use at a later date.

If you’ve got itchy feet, you’ll most likely be able to travel domestically sooner, so plan for a local sojourn. It doesn’t hurt to dream and plan for the perfect international holiday, so you can get to booking as soon as the ban is lifted and it’s safer to go.

“We’re not there yet, but certainly this time is a good time for a bit of dreaming, a bit of planning. Think about that Aussie break that you might take when we do finally get to the other side of this,” said Mr Birmingham.

In the meantime, we have some great Canada content to keep the dream alive.

Do you still have flights booked for an overseas trip? How do you feel about overseas travel in the future? Or will you be setting your sights on a local adventure?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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