Australia: Italy's AstraZeneca block 'disappointing' says MP
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Australia, as well as being an idyllic paradise destination, is home to many British ex-pats. No wonder then lots of people are eager for the country to reopen its borders to tourists and travellers. Australia closed its international borders to all non-citizens and non-residents in March 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. The entry ban took effect on March 20, and holds exemptions only for Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, including spouses, legal guardians and dependents. Australia did recently open a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand, however.
How long before Australia opens its borders?
As it stands, it’s not exactly sure when Australia is going to reopen its borders as they’ve been closed for so long.
However, a recent statement from Australia’s health minister suggests it could be some time before the country even thinks about reopening.
Greg Hunt said he was not confident vaccines alone were good enough to keep the virus out, meaning there were “no guarantees” Australia could fully reopen.
Mr Hunt claims there are lingering questions about how long immunity from the jab will last and how effective the vaccines are at stopping transmission.
The health minister said: “Vaccination alone is no guarantee that you can open up.
“If the whole country was vaccinated, you couldn’t just open up the borders.”
The expectation for Australia was once the vulnerable groups were vaccinated, restrictions could begin being lifted.
But Mr Hunt’s admission suggests the Government could be preparing for years of border controls and social distancing.
But after 13 months of no people coming in, a growing number of Australians, including about 36,000 who live abroad, believe the Government is turning the country into a ‘prison island’.
Speaking about the border rules in their country, Australian Sky News host Rita Panahi told viewers: “It’s basically saying we’re still going to be closed off from the rest of the world.
“It’s a terrible policy. How much longer can we remain a prison island?
“At some point, we have to rejoin the rest of the world.”
Holidays: Travel experts warn of ‘danger’ of ‘cheap tests’ [WARNING]
Spain holidays: Will Spain be on red or green list? [EXPLAINED]
Holidays: PCR tests from £60 could be available in some situations [INSIGHT]
Craig Roberts from SeatSpy told Express.co.uk the borders could open sooner than anticipated: “With such an unpredictable situation, it’s obviously very difficult to predict anything.
“However, at SeatSpy we have insights into where people are looking to spend their hard-earned airline miles, so this could give us some sort of indication on what the consensus is amongst savvy travellers.
“From our data, we can see that Sydney, Australia, is the fourth most searched destination in terms of award seat bookings, behind the Maldives, New York City and Barbados.
“Most users are searching for flights between November 2021 and April 2022, so this would indicate when people are expecting to be able to travel to Australia again.”
Mr Roberts added: “Whether or not they will be permitted to do so is anyone’s guess.”
Australia has been widely praised for a successful pandemic response, which has seen daily cases suppressed since last August.
While it’s one of the few countries in the world pursuing a ‘Zero Covid’ strategy, Australia has had to enforce some of the strictest travel measures in the world.
Australia has recorded just 29,437 confirmed cases of Covid and 910 deaths throughout the entire duration of the pandemic.
Just a few cases of the virus have resulted in strict, city-wide lockdowns in Australias, including one recent bout which saw crowds banned from the Australian Open tennis tournament.
Source: Read Full Article