Australia’s foreign travel ban could be lifted in November for states that meet the 80 percent vaccination rate.
Daily Mail Australia understands Prime Minister Scott Morrison will brief state and territory leaders of his plans to resume overseas travel for fully vaccinated people at a national cabinet meeting on Friday.
Travelers are allowed seven days of home quarantine on return instead of the current two-week mandatory hotel quarantine.
Australian is in talks to set up quarantine-free travel bubbles with the UK, US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Pacific islands like Fiji for fully vaccinated individuals. Pictured: Big Ben in London
Morrison is not expected to announce a date when international travel will resume, but government sources say borders could open for some states in November.
Australians have been banned from leaving the country since March 18, 2020 under strict biosecurity laws to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.
The biosafety laws are in effect until December 17, but can be removed at any time.
Current projections say NSW will hit 80 percent vaccination coverage by October 16. Victoria will reach the border on November 23, Queensland on December 8 and Western Australia on December 15.
The reopening of the international border would mean residents of NSW and Victoria could fly to London or New York due to the closure of the state borders for Brisbane or Perth.
Meanwhile, Australia is in talks to set up quarantine-free travel bubbles with the UK, US, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Pacific islands like Fiji for fully vaccinated individuals.
Japan is one of the countries in talks with Australia about a travel bubble. Pictured: Osaka
Eventually, the Covid-19 arrival limits for Australian citizens will be removed and hotel quarantine will be scrapped in favor of home quarantine in states signing up, while New South Wales and South Australia are currently undergoing trials.
But perhaps there is no quarantine at all for fully vaccinated people arriving from countries where a travel bubble has been agreed upon.
Such arrangements would mirror the New Zealand travel bubble that existed between April and July before New South Wales suffered the Covid outbreak.
Earlier this month, Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said talks were underway with several countries with high vaccination rates to determine what kind of quarantine arrangements would be needed.
‘With New Zealand we were of course able to do this quarantine-free. It would be great if we can get that going again,” he told Nine’s Today show.
“Then we are in talks with the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, US, UK about what those travel arrangements will look like.
“Hopefully we can quarantine at home, limit the quarantine time and eventually travel quarantine-free. It may require some testing. All those discussions are in order,” he said.
A travel bubble could be set up with Fiji (pictured) so Australians can finally go on holiday
Commerce Secretary Dan Tehan wants a travel bubble with the US. Pictured: the Grand Canyon
When asked whether the quarantine requirements might differ from state to state, Mr Tehan said: “We will work that through with the states and territories. A very important trial is currently underway in South Australia on home quarantine.
NSW has indicated that it also wants to go into home quarantine. As we continue to roll out these trials, the hope is also that maybe we can look at seven days of home quarantine with testing on both sides, because the more we can limit that time in quarantine, obviously the better, the better at bringing returning Australians home. , the better for international students to be able to return.
“So that will all be worked out with the states and territories.”
Mr Tehan said Tourism Australia ‘sent out those positive messages, that our borders are opening for Christmas and that we want to make sure we welcome people’.
NSW is conducting a four-week trial of seven days of home quarantine for returning Australians with the aim of eradicating the hotel quarantine by the time borders open at the end of this year.
We can’t live in a hermit kingdom, we have to rejoin the world
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet
Qantas is preparing to restart international flights for fully vaccinated individuals on December 18.
In an interview with Daily Mail Australia earlier this month, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said NSW residents could fly to London and New York before Perth or Brisbane as Western Australia and Queensland are still pursuing a Covid-elimination strategy and closed their borders. to hold.
When asked if that was an absurd situation, he replied: ‘That’s just the reality.
‘We are talking about returning international students, we are talking about returning Australians. We are opening businesses and the next step is opening the borders,” he said.
“If we can lead the way in international travel, it will be a good thing for the state.
And hopefully that will lead to other states following us. It might be ironic that you can get to Bali before Broome, but that’s where we’re going.’
The treasurer said prime ministers in other states who are nervous about opening up will eventually be pushed into action by their voters who want to travel again.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet with his budget papers
“What I want to see in the other states is that as we go through this period and when we rejoin the world, other states and the Australian people will say we want that too,” and that means living side by side. the virus,” he said.
“There is no evidence that Covid is going away and we cannot hide from it indefinitely.
“We can’t live in a hermit kingdom, we have to rejoin the world.
“I think it’s pretty clear that NSW and Victoria will be the two states working together to achieve that,” he added.
Mr Perrottet said international travel has been crucial to Australia’s success, with tourism bringing in $42 billion a year for the NSW economy.
“Over time, our role as a government is to lead our people to great opportunity and prosperity and it’s not just for us, it’s for our children too and that’s our focus and I think overtime is where that’s true.” Australians want to be,” he said. .
Mr Perrottet said the hotel quarantine will be replaced by home isolation this year and then removed altogether for the fully vaccinated next year.
“My expectation is that we will pass this trial and if it is successful we will switch from hotel quarantine to home quarantine and the next step after that makes sense,” he said.
‘If someone is fully vaccinated and comes from abroad, they should not be treated differently from people who have been vaccinated here. ANIf we rejoin the world, it makes no sense to humans [to quarantine].
“And Australians too, when we go abroad, we don’t want to quarantine for seven or fourteen days either. That just won’t work.
“Ultimately, we’re going to get into a situation where the majority of people around the world have been vaccinated and we’re going to move on and enjoy the opportunities we had before this virus emerged.”
Australians are allowed to go on overseas holidays, even if some state borders are still closed when 80 percent have been vaccinated. Pictured: Sydney passengers before lockdown
What are the four stages of opening?
A. Vaccinating, preparing and testing (from 14 July)
Arrival caps halved to 3,035 per week; early, severe and short lockdowns if outbreaks occur; trials of seven-day home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals in South Australia; medicare vaccination certificates available in apps like Apple Wallet
B. Post-vaccination phase (when 70 percent will be stung, expected by the end of this year)
Lockdowns less likely but possible; vaccinated people face reduced disabilities; limits for unvaccinated arrivals increased; a larger limit for vaccinated arrivals with ‘reduced quarantine requirements’; limited entry for students and economic visa holders
C. Consolidation Phase (when 80 percent is pricked, time not announced)
Only ‘highly targeted’ lockdowns; lifting of all outbound travel restrictions for vaccinated travellers; no limits for vaccinated arrivals; increased limits for students and visa holders; more travel bubbles arise with countries like Singapore; booster shots rolled out
D. Final phase (percentage or time not disclosed)
Unlimited arrivals for vaccinated people without any quarantine and unlimited arrivals for unvaccinated people with pre-departure and on-arrival testing