Australia is unlikely to reopen its borders for international travel to and from the country until 2022.
Australia’s former Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy stated that border restrictions and mandatory quarantines would likely stay in place for the entire 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 Murphy told ABC News. “We don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.”
Leading health officials have warned that those who have been vaccinated could still transmit the virus. The vaccines were developed to prevent serious infection in individuals rather than prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Australia has some of the strictest border measures in the world. Since the pandemic began, the country has been completely closed for all tourism in and out of the country.
Australians returning home from abroad face a mandatory state supervised 14 day hotel quarantine. In order for Australians to leave the country, they must have an essential reason for doing so and be approved by the Australian government.
Currently the only country that can enter Australia for non-essential travel is New Zealand. The one way travel bubble allows New Zealanders to vacation in Australia but does not permit Australians to visit New Zealand.
New Zealand has seen great success in stopping the spread of Covid-19 with only 2262 confirmed cases and 25 deaths.
Qantas announced earlier this month that the airlines would be opening for international bookings in July.
Customers are now able to visit the Qantas website and book flights to far-away destinations, such as London and Los Angeles. However, they are able to do so without a guarantee that the borders for the UK or the United States will be open to international tourists.
The move may be premature for the airline considering the government has made no formal announcements regarding any loosening of restrictions.
Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Transport Minister Michael McCormack spoke against the decision, saying that decisions about when international travel will resume will only be made by the Australian government, labelling Qantas’ decision as purely commercial.
Australia has confirmed 28,731 cases of Covid-19 and 909 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories