There’s been a lot happening in terms of travel bubble news for Australians this week. First, Federal Tourism Dan Tehan shared that border openings and bubbles with Singapore, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand will happen if 80% vaccination rates are reached. And that in 2022, Japan, South Korea, the US and Great Britain could likely follow.
Then, Qantas shared that, in line with Australia’s vaccine rollout, it planned to resume international travel by Christmas, with Singapore, the US, Japan, the UK and Canada among its first overseas destinations – if quarantine can be relaxed for vaccinated travellers.
So, with these two updates, plus previous travel bubble information that’s been shared, what are the places Australians may soon be able to travel to? Here’s the list.
While the travel bubble with our Kiwi neighbours was paused in late July following the Delta outbreak, there will be flights available from a select number of locations in Australia, available on a limited number of dates in September. Other than that, however, there’s been no new update on when the Australian-New Zealand travel bubble will resume.
Back in April, the Sydney Morning Herald had reported that “multiple senior government sources” had confirmed Singapore will be the next priority for quarantine-free travel. Since then, apart from the news this week, there’s been no other updates on when the country’s borders will open to Australians.
Though it was looking likely that a travel bubble with the South Pacific, and in particular Fiji, which had barely any COVID cases, would be next, the island nation has unfortunately experienced a spike in cases in recent months.
After NZ, Singapore and Fiji, Japan had been next on the list in terms of talks of a travel bubble. In fact, there had originally been hope that the country would open its borders to Australia before the 2021 Olympics. However, that of course didn’t happen. Now though, according to the Tourism Minister, it appears it could be likely in 2022.
After the opening of the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble back in April, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had said, “We have looked at places like Singapore and Japan and South Korea and countries like this, but at this stage, we are not in a position to move forward on any of those.”
Though Morrison did once say that given the surging case numbers in the US and the UK, these two destinations would likely be among the last Australia would open its borders to, from the news this week, it looks like, once we reach vaccination targets, we could be lifting border restrictions with them.
Again, the UK is apparently now on the list of possible travel bubbles, according to the Tourism Minister. Back in June, Morrison and the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson were in talks for a free trade deal, which would clear the way for more Australians to live and work in Britain once international borders reopened.
Before the COVID outbreak, the nation had been gearing up to welcome back travellers and seriously considering bubbles with other low-infection countries, including Australia. Right now, Thailand is allowing visitors but quarantine is required. At least people can carry out their mandatory 14 days on a yacht!