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International Travel Unlikely For Australians Until 2022

International Travel Unlikely For Australians Until 2022

Aussies shouldn't get too excited about the prospect of travelling overseas anytime soon. ​

Jessica Lynch

Jessica Lynch

Despite the Covid-19 vaccine soon rolling out across the country, Aussies shouldn't too excited about the prospect of travelling overseas anytime soon.

Health Department chief Brendan Murphy said it's too early to say whether borders can reopen this year.

"I think that that is a big question. I think that the answer is probably no," he told ABC TV.

"I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions - even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.

"And it's likely that quarantine will continue for some time. One of the things about this virus is that the rule book has been made up as we go."

Qantas
Qantas

It comes as a blow to travel agents and aviation companies, with Qantas already reopening bookings for international flights from July 1, 2021.

It was expected flights to Asian destinations, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan, would also resume on July 1.

"We continue to review and update our international schedule in response to the developing COVID-19 situation," Qantas said in a statement to news.com.au.

"Recently we have aligned the selling of our international services to reflect our expectation that international travel will begin to restart from July 2021."

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack also downplayed Qantas' chance of being able to send people overseas from the middle of the year.

"The health and safety of Australians remains the Morrison-McCormack government's top priority," the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development said.

"International borders will be opened when international arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians. Decisions about when international travel resumes will be made by the Australian government

"The Australian government is working on travel arrangements with countries, such as New Zealand, that have low community infections.

"Operations and ticket sales on particular routes are commercial decisions for airlines."

The flights to the UK and US weren't cheap either, with a Sydney to London leg costing an eye-watering $3,400 and Sydney to New York being $2,000.

Qantas boss Alan Joyce said travel to the UK and US would only be able to happen once a suitable vaccine had been made and distributed to enough of the population.

"For some of our big destination like the United States and the UK, it's going to need a vaccine given the high prevalence of the virus in both of those locations," Mr Joyce said at the company's annual general meeting in October.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia, Covid-19