Around the world, countries have begun opening borders to travellers once more after a turbulent few months of isolation and social distancing restrictions, all in an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The latest travel news from Europe is that the EU has compiled a list of 14 countries whose citizens will be welcomed to visit first. According to the New York Times, visitors from low-infection countries including Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan and Thailand will be allowed to visit from July 1. The US and Russia were excluded from the list.
Japan is another country that has expressed an interest in welcoming Australians back. While borders are still said to be closed, it’s rumoured the nation will first allow visitors from four countries, all of which saw successful responses to the novel coronavirus and had low levels of infections. Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam are rumoured to make up the list considered for the ‘bubble’.
Meanwhile, Hawaii is another destination said to be considering travel ‘bubbles’ with low-infection countries, and Australia has also made the cut there, Executive Traveller reports.
In Australia, only state borders have begun to open up, and even then there are still certain restrictions in place. There is still currently a ban on all overseas travel with few exceptions, and there’s no telling exactly when the borders will open again.
Many are waiting eagerly for the ‘Trans-Tasman Bubble‘ to come into effect, that would essentially allow Australia and New Zealand passage between the two nations, with no 14–day quarantine required either side. Experts are predicting September timings at the earliest possible date for commencement.
In addition to New Zealand, it’s possible that a travel bubble would see Australians visiting Pacific Island nations like Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Tahiti. Tourism representatives of these nations are proposing a ‘South Pacific Travel Bubble’, or ‘Trans-Pacific Bubble’, and are making a case for the positive impact that tourism from Australia and New Zealand would bring to the region.
We’ll be keeping a keen eye on any border progressions, and we’ll report back when definitive new travel guidelines are laid down. If you have itchy feet, might we suggest a few domestic trips? Get started on your planning with these 5 stunning road trips around Australia and the 10 cosiest winter cabins to escape to this winter.