‘No Bali holidays until there’s a vaccine’: State premier makes remarkable demand that could see millions of Australians banned from flying overseas for YEARS
- WA Premier Mark McGowan wants Australia’s borders shut until a vaccine exists
- He said opening international travel up could be ‘diabolical’ for COVID-19 cases
- It comes as the Bali Tourism board launches a new promotional tourism video
Australia could remain closed to international travel for the unforeseeable future if the prime minister listens to his state counterparts.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan wants Australia’s borders to remain closed until a coronavirus vaccine is developed.
Asked about the prospect of travelling to Bali, he said: ‘I have said to the prime minister a number of times – I don’t want to see us open international borders until we are very, very sure it’s the right time.
‘And that probably involves a vaccine.
Travel to Bali (pictured) is likely to remain off the cards for the unforeseeable future, with international borders thought to be closed until 2022
‘If we let the virus come back in from international sources and we head back in the direction of Britain or France or Germany or America. It will be diabolical.’
Mr McGowan has been praised by some and criticised by others for his hard line approach to the coronavirus pandemic.
Western Australia has endured the strictest border closures in the country since the pandemic arrived on Australian shores.
A state of emergency was declared in the middle of March, and bans on non-essential arrivals introduced on April 4.
The state will finally reopen after seven months on November 14 with some restrictions remaining for people from New South Wales and Victoria.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) wants Australia’s borders to remain closed until a vaccine is developed
Australian citizen and permanent residents are currently banned from leaving the country due to COVID-19 restrictions, which came into effect on March 20.
International travel is unlikely to resume until 2022, according to Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.
But travel to countries with low infection rates, including New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and South Korea is likely to be allowed much sooner.
Meanwhile the premier’s comments spell bad news for tourism officials on the popular Indonesian island of Bali, where Australians usually flock every winter.
Bali began welcoming domestic tourists back on July 31 after its holiday sector was smashed by the pandemic.
Australian citizen and permanent residents are currently banned from leaving Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions (pictured: travellers touch down at Perth Airport on October 19)
In August Bali provincial Governor Wayan Koster told the media they were not planning to reopen Bali to international travellers until next year (pictured: tourists in Denpasar, Indonesia)
But Bali provincial Governor Wayan Koster told the media they were not planning to reopen to international tourists until next year.
‘The Indonesian government has not been able to open the door of entry for foreign tourists to Indonesia until the end of 2020, because Indonesia is still in the red zone category,’ Mr Koster said.
‘The situation in Indonesia is not yet conducive to allowing foreign tourists to visit.’
An estimated 1.3 million Australians visited Bali in 2019, more than any other country in the world.
The Bali tourism board released a series of promotional materials only last week to promote the destination to travellers including a video of ‘Bali’s new era’.
The video shows the new health and safety measures in place, from face-masks to temperature checks and increased cleaning protocols.
Bali began welcoming domestic tourists back on July 31 after the tourism sector was smashed by the pandemic