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Thursday, January 20, 2022
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Travel Section: Opening Up

Welcome to the Queenscliffe Herald’s travel section, where we help you uncover the best value travel deals and destinations as the world begins to open back up into the post-Covid era.

In this edition we’ll be covering where exactly you can go both domestically and internationally while noting the rules and regulations of moving around. 

INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL:

Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced the end of the International Travel Ban for Australians from 1 November 2021. Passengers will be required to produce a negative PCR test before boarding their flight. Currently. It’s not currently known how long before travel this needs to happen. 

As the world opens up you can expect more and more countries to accept our Australian vaccines as time goes on and governments around the world work through approval processes.

Airlines are beginning to roll out their own policies regarding who is allowed to travel on their flights. Singapore Airlines released a statement which read “Eligibility to travel on these services is determined by the Australian Government and must at least meet the following criteria:

1) Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, and 2) Have received two doses of a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, and 3) Have a vaccine certificate that meets the Australian Government’s authenticity and verification requirements.

As for when you’ll be returning home to Australia, each State or Territory will impose their own restrictions and requirements for incoming international travelers regarding quarantining. Expect to hear more on this as each region moves towards the 80% vaccination target.

DOMESTIC TRAVEL:

As it stands each state will aim to join the national plan to open up eventually. However different states are going to take longer than others to reach their vaccination targets. For example, Western Australia’s Premier, Mark McGowan, has insisted WA will keep its borders closed until they reach 80 or even 90% double dose vaccination. Even then there is rumour he will continue to keep their borders shut. At the current rate, WA is set to achieve 80% double dose on December 1st and 90% on December 20.

Unlike WA, Queensland is preparing to open its borders to interstate travelers (without requiring them to quarantine) when 80% of their population is expected to be fully vaccinated, which at the current rate will be December 17.

Queensland’s premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, revealed an even earlier phase that will see travel restrictions ease when they reach 70%: dropping its ban on travelers coming from states deemed as ‘COVID-19 hotspots’, provided that the visitors are fully vaccinated, produce a negative test  and complete quarantine for 14 days.

The Delta Variant certainly put a halt to the progress we had made in the hopes to have domestic travel fully open to all by Christmas. Yet oddly enough the state hit hardest with Delta will be the first to ease restrictions to a level that will let groups of 20 see each other at Christmas (as long as they’re all fully vaccinated).

With parts of Australia having reached 70 to 80 per cent first jabs, borders are starting to open up in a way the country hasn’t seen in more than 18 months.

This is an exciting day for the world of travel, and one we’ve been waiting for a very long time. We know there is still a long way to go, and many questions still to be answered, but make sure you keep your eye on QH Travel as we bring the world back to you as it opens up into the post-Covid era.

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