Oh Fkn Hell: Australia's Tourism Minister Says International Travel Likely To Remain Banned Until 2021
In a presser this week, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the “more likely” scenario would be Aussies banned from overseas travel until 2021, unless special exemptions and on compassionate grounds.
“I hope that we can look eventually at some of those countries who have similar successes in suppressing the spread of COVID-19 to Australia and New Zealand, and in working ... with those countries to find safe pathways to deal with essential business travel that helps to contribute to jobs across our economies,’’ he said.
“But I do, sadly, think that in terms of open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia, that remains quite some distance off, just because of the practicalities of the volumes that are involved and the need for us to first and foremost keep putting health first.”
ScoMo echoed the statement, telling SBS this week: "I can't honestly see international travel more generally, people coming from all over the world to Australia again, any time soon."
Tbh, though, if you take a look at some of the current prices for international flights atm, you’d probably realise you couldn't afford them anyway. Sydney to NYC one-way flights in July start at $2814 on Eithad and $2837 with Qatar, according to news.com.au. Which, considering the same flights have been around the $800 mark in recent years, is over three times more than usual. Wild, right?
Birmingham also gave us an update on our country's border closures. Currently, only Aussie citizens, residents and immediate family members are allowed in, but the govt's been in talks to reopen to a key group of folks.
“There is a certain logic that extends to say that international students and other categories of visitors to Australia who stay here for a longer period of time can more easily be accommodated because we can simply work through the 14-day quarantine periods that have worked so well in terms of returning Australians to this country safely to date,’’ Birmingham said.
In the meantime though: we're still not allowed to leave Aus and hardly anyone new's allowed to come in – and it looks like that won't be changing anytime soon.
Getting ready to wave goodbye to 2020 like we are? 2021 we are ready for you! We are excited to let you know that we are working towards a limited edition #fallsfestival with an All Australian lineup! Stay tuned and subscribe at https://t.co/2OTj2UoITr ✨ pic.twitter.com/sxir13qjYh
— Falls Festival (@fallsofficial) May 6, 2020
Of course, blocking international visitors coming to Australia will have major implications for Aussie music festivals; which sell tickets based (partly) on an international lineup. While many festival organisers have already completely canned or postponed their 2020 festivals for this year – Splendour In The Grass is gearing up for 2021, by which time they hope the international acts they had originally promised as part of the 2020 lineup could be able to travel here again – there are a few festivals still committed to take place later in the year (hey, Falls). If they go ahead, it'll be a very different Falls to what we're used to.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty
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