Australia: local, Intra, Inter, Oceania and international travel
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison made some statements about the timetable for returning to ‘normal’ travel this week.
The statement comes without dates unfortunately, so we are yet to know when we will be able to return to ‘normal’ travel, but we have a better idea of how it will be rolled out:
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Current flights and restrictions will remain for the moment
That means that:
- Current government-funded minimum schedules from Qantas and Jetstar will remain
- Self-isolation for 14 days after arrival will apply to states with restrictions. That includes South Australia, Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania
- International arrivals must self isolate for 14 days
However, our Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) has outlined the stages for the loosening of current COVID-19 travel restrictions. The implementation of these stages will be up to each state and territory around Australia, so don’t expect a countrywide approach. Advice will be reviewed every three weeks by the National Cabinet, passing on its advice to the states for potential implementation.
Here are the stages as outlined, as far as travel is concerned:
Stage #1: Intrastate Travel
This will be the first travel path to open up – travel within your state other than for essential purposes. These restrictions are different in each state. For Queensland, you can travel up to 50km for non-essential purposes at the moment, and as of 16 May, you will be able to travel further – up to 150km for a day trip. That means Brisvegasites will be able to head to the Gold or Sunshine coasts for a dip.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is scheculed to make some announcements on the loosening of restrictions for Victorians on Monday 11 May.
Stage #2: Interstate Travel
This will involve the resumption of some travel between states, especially those that currently have restrictions on entry.
The ‘Road Map’ does not give any guidance on what ‘some’ travel means, but it is thought this might include essential business and personal travel. Think business travel that cannot be accomplished via video, and personal travel like funerals and weddings, but not for recreation.
At the moment I can head off to Victoria from New South Wales, without the need to self isolate on arrival. If I wanted to head to South Australia (which I do), then I would need to self isolate for 14 days. Stage #2 would involve the lifting of this self-isolation restriction. It will be up to each state, and we have no indication on when Stage #2 might be implemented.
Stage #3: General interstate travel and Trans- Tasman Travel
This stage will allow for a wider range of interstate travel, probably including for recreation and holiday purposes. It may also extend for travel to the land of the long white cloud, our cousins over the ‘dutch’ in New Zealand. That will be the limit of long-haul! There is some talk that this might include Oceania, think island nations like Vanuatu and Fiji.
Well this is the great unknown. No timing has been announced, although it feels like people are thinking in weeks for Stage #1, a month or so for Stage #2, and up to 3 months for Stage #3. Full international travel, like we used to know it, is still off the table.
‘There is nothing on our radar which would see us opening up international travel in the foreseeable future. . .’Prime Minister of Australia, Scott Morrison
Let’s cut to the chase. If you want to use your passport, then you might be able to use it to go to New Zealand within the next three months, but you would be unwise to actually hold your breath.
International travel as we used to know it, will not be sanctioned anytime this side of September 2020.
Personally, I am seeing December.