Australians See Hope To Travel Overseas
Overseas travel is difficult for Australians as COVID-19 Pandemic has forced them to stay in the country since March 2020. Hence, Australians have had to postpone their overseas travel plans until the situation gets better.
There is hope for Australians itching to travel as the secretary of the Department of Health Australia, Brendan Murphy, announced Australians will likely be able to travel overseas in 2021 when the COVID-19 vaccinations become available.
A trans-Tasman travel bubble is likely to happen. The announcement from New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, echoed the statement saying that Wellington will allow quarantine-free travel to and from Australia in the first quarter of 2021.
Along with the vaccine and the rules changing rapidly, what are the possibilities to travel overseas for Australians?
Grounds For Leaving Australia For Australian Citizens And Permanent Residents
Due to the international travel ban, Australian citizens and permanent residents need to be granted travel exemptions to travel overseas. The citizens and the permanent residents must meet at least one of the following:
- The travel is a part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The travel is for the business or employer.
- The travel aims to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia.
- The travel is for three months or longer.
- The travel is on compassionate or humanitarian grounds.
- The travel is in the national interest.
Australian citizens or permanent residents must provide evidence to support their claims for their travel exemption requests to be approved.
The evidence may include documents that support one of the conditions above based on the citizen or permanent resident’s need.
What Is A Trans-Tasman Bubble, And When Will It Happen?
The Trans-Tasman bubble is a travel bubble which has been agreed between New Zealand’s Cabinet and the Australian Government. Along with the trans-Tasman bubble, Australians may visit New Zealand without any quarantine requirements and it is also applicable vice-versa.
The Australian Federal Government would approve the trans-Tasman bubble as it will benefit both countries economically. However, both countries have to make sure that COVID-19 cases remain low.
The first phase of this bubble was introduced in October when New South Wales and the Northern Territory allowed New Zealanders to enter the country without mandatory hotel isolation. Since then, Queensland has done the same.
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Is It Possible For Australians To Travel To Europe And The USA?
Unfortunately, Australians still have a long way to go before they can leave Australia to travel to Europe and the USA. Professor Rico Merkert from Sydney University’s Institute of Transport and Logistics said it would take much longer for Australians to be allowed to travel to Europe and the USA.
It is due to the fact that the COVID-19 vaccinations might not be rolled out by March 2021 in Europe or the USA. Hence, the extension for the travel ban to Europe and USA might continue until mid-June 2021.
Mr. Murphy, who leads Australia’s Coronavirus Response, also added that the health experts need to assess the effectiveness of the vaccine first before allowing anyone to travel to Europe and the USA.
Holiday makers need to be more patient, all the major airlines still not giving indication on their plans to operate any flights to Europe or the USA as of yet for next year.
Other Possibilities For Overseas Travel
Even though Australia has discussed the trans-Tasman bubble travel with New Zealand, Australia has not secured other travel bubbles with other regions.
However, they may consider another travel bubble with other COVID-safe countries, as Mr. Merkert said a travel bubble with Fiji could happen by March 2021.
Meanwhile, the two other considered bubbles are Japan and Singapore, which would likely to happen after June 2021.
The hesitation is to avoid the worst-case scenario when infected overseas travellers mingle with the locals, which would create a logistical nightmare in terms of contact tracing.
They must ensure the travel bubble is isolated between two COVID-safe populations. Hence, Australians still need to postpone their plans to travel overseas, until these isolated pathways between other COVID-safe countries such as Singapore and Japan are established.
All About Overseas Travel Plan After COVID-19
Research done by an online booking agent showed two-third of global travellers expect agents to give them promotions to support their travel plans.
Specifically, 63% of them are more price-conscious when it comes to searching and planning a trip, 51% of them will consider refundable accommodation, and 38% expect flexibility to change the date without additional charge.
Furthermore, Expedia’s 2021 Travel Trends report shows Australians are seeking their favourite destinations with Bali, Fiji, and Oahu among the ten most-searched destinations for 2021.
The searches by Australians for 2021 travel have increased by 39% over the last month, Skyscanner’s Paul Whiteway said.
He also added January as the most-searched month for travel in 2021 showing Australians are expecting to travel overseas during the summer holidays as soon as possible.
Is It Possible To Visit Australia During The Pandemic?
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