Latest Updates on Travel and Tourism: What’s New with Australia’s Travel Bubble Policy?22 June 2021
If you’re planning a trip to Australia, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global pandemic. As one of the countries to have performed better in the pandemic, Australia’s borders are still closed. After murmurs that visitors may be allowed to trickle in by the end of 2021, the government is now suggesting it will be 2022 at the earliest. On May 12, Qantas announced it was cancelling international flights (other to New Zealand) until December 20, 2021. A travel bubble with New Zealand started April 19 — although it was temporarily paused on May 6. However, the bubble between New Zealand and Victoria, Australia, is currently suspended until June 9.
Who Can Go?
Other than those travelling from New Zealand, only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents, their immediate family, and travellers with exemptions can enter. Those claiming exemptions must apply to the Australia authorities. Transit passengers are allowed, if connecting from the same airport. If your transit includes an overnight, you will be put up at a designated quarantine facility and must remain there until your next flight. You may need a visa for transits of more than eight hours.
The long-awaited “travel bubble” between Australia and New Zealand began April 19. But other than that, it looks like Australia will remain pretty closed. On June 1, an Australian court ruled that the stringent travel restrictions were valid. Going forward, on April 16, Morrison suggested that the priority in future would be to allow vaccinated Australians to fly in and out of the country.
But he added that even a partial border opening was still some time away, and would not be considered until the vulnerable have been vaccinated. Easing the restrictions could see 1,000 cases a week, he said. Meanwhile, Virgin Australia founder Richard Branson has weighed in, saying that Australians must get vaccinated as soon as possible to reopen the economy.
What are the Restrictions?
All arrivals and transit passengers other than those traveling from New Zealand must show a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure, before boarding. On arrival, all travelers must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility — including Australian citizens. This is likely to be at your own expense — prices depend on the state or territory. Passengers from some destinations in the Pacific may present a test taken within 96 hours of departure. The exception is for those arriving from New Zealand.
Under the new rules, passengers won’t be allowed to travel if they had a positive Covid-19 test in the previous 14 days or present flu-like symptoms. They must also have spent the 14 days before departure in either Australia or New Zealand.
What’s the COVID Situation?
Australia has seen just over 30,000 cases and just 910 deaths during the pandemic as of June 4, thanks to its swift border closures. Sporadic regional rises in cases are followed by restrictions, which have so far brought numbers down again.
Buckley, J., Jeong, S., Alberti, M., & Watson, a. A. (2021, June 04). Travel to Australia during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go. Retrieved June 08, 2021, from CNN Travel: https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/australia-travel-covid-19/index.html
Optimized by: Netwizard SEO