The government has poured cold water on our 2021 international travel plans.
Josh Frydenberg, the National Treasurer, confirmed the decision and said the government’s reasoning behind the closed borders was that they are waiting until a vaccine is available, according to News.com.
He said: “International travel, including by tourists and international students, is assumed to remain largely closed off until late next year and then gradually return over time, and a vaccine to be available around the end of 2021 is one of the assumptions in the budget. He also added: “We know that the road out of this crisis will be unpredictable. We also know that this Budget outlines possible alternative upside and downside scenarios. We are taking nothing for granted.”
However, our country’s domestic borders are expected to open earlier to allow travel within Australia. Restrictions are expected to be lifted by December this year but Western Australia, which includes Perth, will not be reopening its border until April 2021.
Some Aussies, though, are already desperate for a break from our Great Southern Land with Qantas selling out their scenic “flight to nowhere” in under 10 minutes as well as spruiking scenic flights over Antarctica. This was all after their initial warning back in August that international flights were unlikely to resume before April, 2021. It seems that they were right.
Even the trans-Tasman travel bubble is holding out on us, with Australians still barred from entering New Zealand. Australian trade minister, Simon Birmingham, said of the matter that “it’s up to them as to whether they choose to open up to Australia, but we’re certainly making sure that we’re prepared and I’m hopeful that could be this year and then maybe set a model for us to look at for any other countries that meet similar high standards.”
If things continue as they are, then maybe we should be thanking our lucky stars that our country is huge and there’s plenty to see and do.
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(Featured image: @davidclode)