ScoMo's dropped some more deets on what's on the cards for Aussies travel-wise, including which countries he's considering setting up COVID-safe travel bubbles with and which ones he definitely isn't.
In a presser on Tuesday, the PM said that in addition to the ongoing talks he's having with New Zealand about a potential travel bubble, he's also been chatting to several other countries, including parts of China, Japan, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, about setting up something similar.
"We continue to hold these discussions with countries like Japan," ScoMo said in his presser. "We have had them before with Korea, specific nations of course, New Zealand has already been opened for travel into Australia without quarantine arrangements. I think we proceed cautiously. There are countries that are doing far better than what we are seeing in Europe and the United States."
He continued: "The situation in Europe and the United States is awful. And obviously that presents great risks for people coming in from those parts of the world to Australia, but out of many parts of Asia, particularly in North Asia, places like Taiwan and I would also say provinces of China, Singapore, we, you know, are looking at what alternative arrangements could be hard to channel visitors through appropriate quarantine arrangements for low risk countries.
New Zealand, if you didn't know, is currently allowing its residents to travel to NSW and the NT without having to quarantine, but they aren't allowing Aussies to travel on their turf, still. NZ PM Jacinda Ardern says she wants to wait until all Aussie states have the "full clear periods" of zero community transmission, before allowing Aussie travellers back into NZ.
While we're pleased with the updates (and the govt's careful approach), we're definitely not holding our breath. We've been hearing whispers of potential travel bubbles for nearly six months now, but still have nothing to show for it.
In the meantime, NSW residents can currently travel to SA, Tassie, the NT, the ACT and, as of November 23, Victoria. QLD is still shut to NSW and VIC, as is WA, which has its borders firmly closed to the whole rest of the country. Still, there's tons of good options for your next getaway; just ask Chris Hemsworth.
Written by Sangeeta Kocharekar, an American-born, Sydney-based writer at MTV. Photos from her pre-COVID-19 days as a travel writer are here.