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Apparently International Travel Won’t Start Until The End Of 2021

All I can say is, thank god that Australia – New Zealand travel bubble is looking more and more likely to happen every day (in fact, Kiwis are already given the green light to some of our states), because our Government has said we won’t be opening Australia’s borders to anyone else until the end of 2021.

“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,” said Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, speaking to the National Press Club in Canberra.

“We have taken every step possible to give Australia the best possible chance of getting a vaccine,” he added.

As much as that sucks, the silver lining is that there does seem to be an exception for those travel bubbles that keep being murmured about.

 

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Over the weekend federal tourism minister, Simon Birmingham, didn’t rule out opening up our borders.

“We are beginning to open up to New Zealand because of their similarly strong COVID outcomes and it may be possible to do likewise with other low risk nations,” he told The Sun Herald.

“However, the prospects of opening up widespread travel with higher risk countries will remain very reliant on effective vaccination or other major breakthroughs in the management of COVID.”

Understandably, this is a bit of a smack in the face, not only for those of us who are highly addicted to travel (yes, it’s a thing, science says so), but also to the tourism industry.

Executive director of the Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC), Simon Westaway, told Traveller there needed to be more of a conversation about such long border closures.

 

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“That new conversation needs to happen now,” he said. “[The New Zealand travel bubble is] a start, but what’s absolutely paramount is a realistic and even boundary-pushing plan to get our international market moving again and with a timeline”.

Well, at least we have New Zealand. And we should thank our lucky stars that we happened to be “stuck” in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. I mean, Uluru even got named in the top 3 ‘best places in the world to travel’.  Two Aussie cities made the ‘top 40 coolest suburbs in the world‘. Not to mention Sydney made ‘top 10 best cities in the world‘ for the third year running.

Hold someone’s hand and take a deep breath, we’ll get there.

(Lead Image: Unsplash / Artur Tumasjan)