No travel to US and Europe until 2022: Australians face long wait for flights to tourist hot spots

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Australians will not be able to travel to the United States or Europe until 2022, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned.

It comes as a number of European countries have experienced a huge spike in coronavirus cases, dashing hopes of a travel bubble with Australia.

Last week, Germany, France and Spain recorded their highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since widespread testing began.

Meanwhile, the United States is averaging 47,000 new infections a day – 12% more than two weeks ago – with peaks in states across the country.

It comes after the federal budget revealed last Tuesday that travel will “stay low” until 2021 – presumably only for essential travel, rather than vacation abroad.

The government predicts that the Australian population will not be vaccinated until the end of 2021 – which means overseas travel “will remain low” until then and social distancing measures will be maintained.

But offering a silver lining, Birmingham said Australians could travel to New Zealand by the end of the year.

A number of European countries, including the UK, experience a peak in coronavirus cases last week, dashing hopes of a travel bubble with Australia

The first leg of a travel bubble with New Zealand will begin this Friday, when the Kiwis can visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory

The first leg of a travel bubble with New Zealand will begin this Friday, when the Kiwis can visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory

“We are starting to open up to New Zealand due to their similar COVID results and it may be possible to do the same with other low risk countries,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“However, the prospects for widespread opening of travel to high-risk countries will remain very dependent on effective vaccination or other major advances in the management of COVID. “

Mr Birmingham said international travel to high-risk countries “cannot come at the expense of our health and economic strength at home”.

He did not reveal what other destinations could be added to Australia’s tourism bubble, but government sources revealed that low-risk countries such as Japan, Singapore and Pacific island countries are in the works.

The first leg of a travel bubble with New Zealand will begin this Friday, when the Kiwis can visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory without having to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine.

But Australians will still not be allowed into New Zealand, prompting the government to create a two-way bubble across the divide before the end of the year.

“Our agreement with New Zealand will provide a plan to prove the model of how we run safe corridors – greenways for international visitors entering and leaving Australia – and whether this can be extended to other countries in Australia. Similar low risk on the track, ‘he said.

Kiwis who plan to come to New South Wales and the NT are still being warned by the country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to reconsider their need to fly down.

“Our advice to travelers remains that New Zealanders are not traveling abroad at this time,” said a spokesperson for MFAT.

“Opening the travel bubble will not automatically result in a change of travel opinion. “

Kiwis will still have to pay for the mandatory hotel quarantine after returning to New Zealand, a move that is expected to reduce the number of travelers.

Although Qantas, Jetstar and Air New Zealand have flights available to Australia, the airlines haven’t seen huge demand.

“I think it’s fair to say that there has been constant interest, but on a very low basis,” a Qantas spokesperson told ABC.

Australians will still not be allowed into New Zealand, prompting the government to create a two-way bubble across the divide before the end of the year.

Australians will still not be allowed into New Zealand, prompting the government to create a two-way bubble across the divide before the end of the year.

Kiwis will still have to pay for the mandatory hotel quarantine after returning to New Zealand, a move that is expected to reduce the number of travelers.

Kiwis will still have to pay for the mandatory hotel quarantine after returning to New Zealand, a move that is expected to reduce the number of travelers.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the government’s travel ban will likely extend to an unprecedented 18 months.

“International travel, including that of tourists and international students, is expected to remain largely closed until the end of next year, then gradually return over time, and a vaccine available towards the end of 2021 is one of the budget assumptions, ”Mr Frydenberg said last week.

“We have taken all possible measures to give Australia the best possible chance to get the vaccine. “

The federal government expects every state’s borders to be open by Christmas, with the exception of Western Australia, which it says will keep its borders closed until its state is elected on. March 31, 2021.

World Health Organization spokesperson Dr Margaret Harris said the WHO was “very concerned” about the increase in the number of cases in Europe as the northern hemisphere enters winter. ”

“Colder weather leads to behaviors that promote the transmission of a respiratory virus – people tend to congregate indoors to stay warm, more often in poorly ventilated spaces,” she said. .

International Travel Addressed in Federal Budget

The federal government expects every state’s borders to be open by Christmas, with the exception of Western Australia, which it says will keep its borders closed until its state election on March 31, 2021.

Travel abroad has been banned since March and it is still unclear when it will resume.

Last week’s budget papers say travel will “stay low” until 2021 – likely only for essential travel, rather than vacations to Bali, Europe or the United States.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has previously said the first step will be to open “safe locations”.

New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Pacific Islands such as Fiji may be among the first countries Australians will be allowed to travel.

Last week's budget papers say travel will `` stay low '' through 2021 - likely only for essential travel, rather than vacations to Bali, Europe or the United States. Pictured: Scott Morrison

Last week’s budget papers say travel will “stay low” until 2021 – likely only for essential travel, rather than vacations to Bali, Europe or the United States. Pictured: Scott Morrison

The Prime Minister revealed last week that he was considering a ‘traffic light system’ that would allow people entering Australia from countries protected by Covid to avoid quarantine in hotels.

“Our borders will open up at some point to safe places, whether it’s New Zealand or parts of the Pacific or places like South Korea or Japan or countries that have had a much higher success rate. high, ”he told reporters.

Mr Morrison said other countries, including Denmark and Greece, had similar models in which returning travelers were only required to enter quarantine if they came from countries with high levels of the coronavirus.

He said he plans to quarantine people in their homes rather than in hotels if they arrive from a low-risk country.

“Home quarantine may play a role in the future and this is something that is being considered by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

“We will need a more flexible approach that gives us more options to manage this, so this is something that is actively being considered,” he said.

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