Australians have itchy feet and so naturally cannot wait to travel as soon as it’s deemed safe and appropriate once more.
While our dreams of a Trans-Tasman or Trans-Pacific bubble have been temporarily quashed for now, there will come a time when we’ll be able to venture overseas again, safely and with fewer risks.
No one really knows exactly what the future of travel will look like yet, but experts do know that not all borders will be opened at the same time. Likely those countries with fewer or no infections will be opened up for Australians first, provided Australia can keep its own numbers down.
Speaking to News.com.au, aviation expert Neil Hansford says the opening up of borders around the world “won’t be universal”.
He predicts a Trans-Tasman bubble with New Zealand will still come first, followed by the opening up of the Pacific Islands, which include Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tahiti.
Singapore could follow, with Japan and Vietnam rounding out the top five countries most likely to open up to Australian visitors. Here is his full list:
Hansford says that countries in Africa and South America could be off-limits for Aussie travellers for up to 24-36 months, and that really, only those countries who can maintain NSW-level infections would be able to open.
Anyone hoping to see the United States on that list should also prepare to wait a while. Just last week, Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the national carrier would likely not resume flights to America until a vaccine could be distributed.
“The US, with the level of prevalence there, it’s probably going to take some time and probably going to need a vaccine before we could see that happening,” Joyce said in a media briefing.
As for now, Australian borders are staying firmly shut, just as they have been for the last five months. “International travel constraints on inbound arrivals to Australia should be continued in their current form,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said earlier this month in an address.
“We look forward to at some point that that might be able to be altered, but at this point, we are not going to put any further strain on the quarantine arrangements around the country and that will remain in place now for some months.”