It appears that Australians could be permitted to travel overseas far sooner than anticipated, as new timetable for post-coronavirus travel has been released. The aspirational plan was put together by the newly-formed Tourism Restart Taskforce, and is said to have already been approved by federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham.
According to 7News, the plan to resume travel would allow Aussies to jet off on holiday to New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from July 1. Members of the public would then be permitted to travel to other “safe” countries from September.
The taskforce was created in April and has met with the federal government on a weekly basis to discuss plans to restart tourism, both domestically and internationally. It is reported that the plan was approved by Minister Birmingham at the most recent meeting, which took place on May 22.
On Wednesday the taskforce presented the ACT government and industry heads with its plan for a “proof of concept flight” between Canberra and Wellington on July 1. This flight would carry government officials, as well as business and media representatives.
“We are saying that New Zealand travel will definitely commence on July 1 and from 10 September we will consider whether other bubbles can commence,” John Hart the Chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Tourism said, 7News reports.
Importantly though, the plan has not yet been approved by the Australian and New Zealand governments. However, if it does go ahead passengers travelling across the ditch will not be required to adhere to the mandatory 14-day quarantine period and will instead be able to return home.
When it comes to travelling further afield, the timetable expects that Australians will be able to visit countries deemed “safe” as soon as September, with all international travel then predicted to be back up and running by December 15, 2020.
However Hart stressed that this must be done on a case by case basis, depending on the Covid-19 situation in each country.
“It will be market by market – we just don’t know where countries will be at with COVID when we get to that stage,” he added.
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