Around the world, countries are reopening their borders and even offering free or subsidised travel as a way to entice travellers and their tourist dollars, however, it’s unlikely Australians could take part with the news borders aren’t set to reopen until 2021.
Tourism Minister, Simon Birmingham, has said tight border restrictions played a large role in Australia’s successful response to the threat of COVID-19, and that the country would be in no rush to reopen borders if it meant compromising on the health of the nation.
“I do sadly think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off,” Birmingham told the National Press Club. “Just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first.”
When asked if 2021 would be a more likely timeframe for the reopening of borders, he said: “I think that is more likely the case”.
But what about the highly anticipated Trans-Tasman or Trans-Pacific bubble, you ask? Well it’s possible borders to a select few countries in the Southern Hemisphere could open to Aussie travellers sooner, however, no set date has been made for this to come into effect.
What we do know about a travel bubble is that both Prime Ministers Scott Morrison and Jacinda Arden are working on it with the help of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group — an alliance co-ordinated by the Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum — made up of around 40 people from various government agencies, airports and airlines, health professionals and border agencies.
Some experts are predicting September, should both countries continue to successfully manage COVID-19 and feel comfortable allowing a passage between the two that would mean travellers do not need to undergo a 14-day quarantine period on either side.
We’ll continue to update you on how that plan progresses, but in the meantime, domestic travel within Australia is a great way to stretch those legs and explore our own backyards. Check out the 10 cosiest winter cabins around Australia, and the trending Aussie destinations to get inspired.