COVID-19: Australia’s borders closed until August or September 2020
In a media briefing this morning, Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy has advised that we should not expect international travel for Australians to resume for another 3 to 4 months, which takes us to August or September.
He said this on the basis that the opening of borders would be the final stage in any easing of COVID-19 related restrictions.
As quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald, he said:
“The international situation at the moment is such that any relaxation of border measures would be very risky and we just recommended to the national cabinet only a few days ago that we continue the very restrictive bans on people, basically Australians leaving the country, unless there are exceptional circumstances or anyone except Australian citizens coming back, and then only when they are formally quarantined.
“They are extraordinary measures but the international spread of this virus is huge including to some countries where we know they’re not ascertaining cases very well, including in our region.”Prof Brendan Murphy, Chief Medical Officer, Australia
Australia as an island nation was able to close its borders more easily than many other countries – think Europe and the USA. The Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, announced the closure of borders in a media release dated 19 March 2020, to take effect the next day 9 pm, 20 March.
First destination open to Australians: New Zealand
Our Prime Minister has now said that the first destination that is likely to be opened up to Australians for travel is New Zealand. Given their strategy seems to be to head towards the elimination of COVID-19, that sounds like a good choice. Maybe I will get a chance to stay at the new Park Hyatt in Auckland if it opens as now scheduled in September.
This is no surprise, and is in essentially in keeping with previous projections.
Mind you it could all change, if there is a second wave of infection as there has been in some places overseas who have claimed early success, like Singapore. Lets hope that’s not the case.
I was travelling around China near the time of the SARS outbreak, having a temperature gun pointed at my head before I got on or off a plane. That together with flight diversions to unknown airports, with no signs in English made for some very anxious travel.
As I have already told y’all, I have a trip booked to Barbados via New York in October. Will I be going? Who knows. Will I be having a substantial stopover in NYC? Not as things look at the moment – unless I am dressed in head to toe COVID-19 couture. Can you see me in that at the TWA Hotel?