Don’t get too excited now, but it’s possible Australians may be able to make some interstate trips as early as July, the Prime Minister has alluded in a recent press conference.
Following a national cabinet meeting, of which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was in attendance, Scott Morrison said Australians may be able to undertake domestic trips by the next school holidays, which commence July 3 in NSW and VIC.
“Hopefully by the end-of-term school holidays, if they’re able to go and have a holiday on the Gold Coast or in South Australia and wherever it happens to be out of one’s home state, well, let’s hope that that’s possible,” he said, citing tourism dollars as a result of domestic travel an important part of rebuilding the economy.
Nothing has been set in stone, and all of this will remain dependent on Australia’s ability to keep the curve flat. Scott Morrison urges Australians to keep up their efforts to creating a COVID-safe environment, by maintaining social distancing, avoiding physical contact, undertaking hand hygiene, and “of course, downloading the COVIDSafe app”.
State governments will also have a say in whether they’ll accept tourists from other regions of Australia and when. Right now, QLD, TAS, WA, SA and the NT will not allow unessential travellers within their borders, and any permitted arrivals must quarantine for 14 days.
There have also been murmurs of a Trans-Tasman “bubble” that could see Australians being able to visit New Zealand first and vice-versa. “The Prime Minister and I have been now for several weeks been talking about a safe travel zone between Australia and New Zealand,” Scott Morrison said.
“It is still some time away, but it is important to flag it because it is part of the road back. At some point, both Australia and New Zealand will start connecting with the rest of the world again, and the most obvious place for that start is between Australia and New Zealand.”
Again, this could take some time and there’s no saying just when Trans-Tasman trips could resume. “It’s not something that’s about to happen next week,” Morrison says.
The news comes as Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, says the airline’s budget arm, Jetstar, could drop airfares from Sydney to Melbourne to as little at $19 to stimulate travel between NSW and VIC when restrictions ease, according to The Guardian.
Regardless of when we’ll be able to hit the road (and the skies) again, one thing we can do right now is plan. Start now with our round-up of 5 stunning Australian road trips, peek inside a luxury floating home at Palm Beach, or virtual travel experiences around Australia.
The current health crisis is evolving rapidly. If you suspect you or a family member has coronavirus you should call (not visit) your GP or ring the national Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.