BUDGET 2021: International travel pushed to mid-2022
One of the assumptions in the ’21 Budget of Australia’s Federal Government – brought down last night in parliament, is that our international borders will not open until mid-2022.
Alan Joyce over at Qantas was betting on October 31, 2021 – just 6 months away. Now he can kiss that goodbye and keep those A380’s stored for more than another year.
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This is devastating news for the international travel industry, including Qantas and ex Virgin international staff. It’s also pretty bad news for anyone who has relatives, partners or friends they want to see who live overseas. It’s also a pretty good way to piss-off anyone who is used to taking an overseas holiday every year or two. And places like Bali, who rely on the tourist dollars of Australia won’t be too happy either.
Gradual roll-out, travel bubble by travel bubble
What we can look forward to is the slow roll-out of travel bubbles. Similar to the trans-Tasman bubble, countries with low virus infection rates, good contact tracing and quarantine protocols will be the first in the queue. They might include Pacific nations, Taiwan and Singapore. In his statements ahead of the opening of the trans-Tasman bubble, Joyce even included Japan – but given the current pre-Olympic wave, that might no longer be on the list.
The other implication of this statement is that Australia’s vaccine roll-out won’t be completed until mid-2022. That’s a whole lot later than mid-2021 which I think was ‘Scotty from marketing’ (our Prime Minister’s) original promise. They have royally stuffed up the vaccine delivery program, and are only now – largely due to the competence of state governments, beginning to deliver the service they promised.
Getting Australians vaccinated is step one in any return to open international borders. Go on, book yourself in for the jab!
What to do?
I’d recommend you start booking your domestic holidays for at least the first half of 2022 before they start selling out, like supermarket toilet paper in a pandemic. Kimberley’s anyone?