Australia’s tourism minister issues warning international travel unlikely to resume until at least 2021
- Australians are unlikely to be allowed to fly overseas until at least January 2021
- The federal tourism minister warned people not to book foreign holidays
- Instead, he said state border are likely to be reopened in the coming months
- He encouraged Australians to start ‘dreaming’ about their perfect staycation
- It could prove a much-needed boost to the embattled local tourism industry
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Australians could be blocked from going abroad until at least January, with the ban on international travel likely to stay until next year.
Holidaymakers should avoid booking any international travel during the coronavirus crisis, warned Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.
‘I wouldn’t put any guarantees that you could undertake that overseas trip in December,’ he told ABC’s News Breakfast.
‘This is a time where, unfortunately, people can’t undertake holidays and they won’t be able to go overseas for quite some time to come.’
With travel restrictions between states likely to ease in the coming months, people are instead being asked to start ‘dreaming’ about their perfect Australian getaway.
Australia’s tourism minister Simon Birmingham (pictured, left) warned Australians they may not be going abroad for some time
‘There may be a slightly earlier point in time where it becomes feasible to think about domestic travel again,’ he explained.
‘We’re not there yet but certainly this time is a good time for a bit of dreaming, a bit of planning.
‘Think about the Aussie break that you might take when we finally get to the other side of this.’
Under strict laws designed to stop the spread of COVID-19, the federal government has banned Australians from flying abroad in all but essential circumstances.
Anyone returning to the country had to enter a mandatory 14-day isolation in a hotel, supervised by the police and Australian Defence Force.
Instead, keen holidaymakers are being told to prepare to visit areas in Australia once the state borders are open – such as the Whitsundays in Queensland (pictured)
Speaking about whether travellers with holidays booked in December should reconsider their plans, Mr Birmingham said it was ‘hard to make predictions’.
‘I wouldn’t make any guarantees that you could undertake that overseas trip in December,’ he went on.
‘December is a long time away, and it’s very hard to make predictions about what will happen then, but we could be in this circumstance for quite some period of time.
‘The success we are having in terms of slowing the spread of the virus in Australia does mean that we could be at risk in terms of exposure to people from overseas, in countries who have not controlled it so well, for quite some period of time.’
Holidays to the likes of Rome (pictured, the city in lockdown on East Monday) will likely be impossible until at least January 2021 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic