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Travel Will Not Return to Normal Until 2023, Officials Confirm

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Sobering news from travel officials today has confirmed that overseas travel, as we knew it, will likely not resume as normal until 2023. Yes, three years from now.

While it’s helpful to have a more realistic timeline around when we could likely hit the skies for holidays once more, the news does come as a disappointment to many. No Europe trip, no backpacking adventure, no destination wedding. At least not for a few years, by the sounds of it.

Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, delivered the official word on ABC News Breakfast May 14, saying: “We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of the air traffic, and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023, which is later than our previous forecast.”

De Juniac says the rumoured plan to restart the domestic travel industry first is part of the plan, followers by the opening of “regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America”.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes interstate travel could resume as soon as July, the idea of Trans-Tasman “bubble” that could see Australians being able to visit New Zealand first and vice-versa, could still be a little ways off.

“The Prime Minister [Jacinda Ardern] and I have been now for several weeks been talking about a safe travel zone between Australia and New Zealand,” Scott Morrison said in a press conference recently.

“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.”

It’s out of our hands for now, but one thing we can do as we wait for more concrete steps is plan. Start now with our round-up of five stunning Australian road trips, read up on the tips to avoid crowds on your first post-iso escape, or see 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.

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