Widespread worldwide journey unlikely for Australians in 2021
Australia could see another year of international border closings and minimal overseas travel, although nationwide vaccinations are planned to be completed by October.
Head of the Ministry of Health and former Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, who was instrumental in influencing Australia’s response to the coronavirus for 2020, has drawn a pessimistic outlook for the coming year.
“I think we’ll spend most of this year still with significant border restrictions – even if much of the population is vaccinated, we don’t know if it will prevent the virus from spreading,” Professor Murphy told ABC TV Morning.
While most approved vaccines are highly effective at ensuring that their recipients do not get sick, concerns have arisen about their ability to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or new variants of the virus and from vaccinated people ‘asymptomatic carriers “.
When asked if he expected the borders to be reopened so international travel could resume, Murphy replied “I think that’s a big question. I think the answer is probably no. “
“And it is likely that the quarantine will continue for some time. One of the things about this virus is that the rule book was created over time. “
An uncertain new start for trips abroad
Murphy’s prediction casts cold water on hope that Australians could fly on international flights over a handful of similar COVID-safe destinations such as New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, Singapore and other Asian countries with solid records of containing the virus.
As previously reported, Qantas has now started selling tickets for international flights to Asia, the US and London from July 1, which have largely been discontinued since the end of March 2020.
At the time, a Qantas spokesman told Executive Traveler that this reflected his own expectations for the vaccine launch and “international travel resuming from July 2021.”
However, the speaker qualified this “We continue to review and update our international timeline to respond to the evolving COVID-19 situation.”
This brought in quick rebuke by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who said: “The Australian government will decide when international travel will resume.” International borders are opened when international arrivals do not pose a risk to Australians. “
When can travelers expect a vaccination?
The introduction of vaccination in Australia is slated to begin next month. Initially, the imported Pfizer BioNTech vaccine will be used for the highest priority cases, before switching to the lower-cost, locally-made Ozford AstraZenica vaccine.
Murphy previously stated that nearly half of Australians would fall into one of the “priority groups” to receive the vaccine in the first half of this year, with those on the non-priority list – including most potential travelers – following in July.
Australia’s national vaccination schedule.
The majority of the population will get their admissions from special clinics of the Ministry of Health, as well as participating general practitioner clinics and medical centers. Pharmacies could also deliver the vaccine in the second half of the year.
Continue reading: Vaccine available to most travelers by mid-year
Federal Health Secretary Greg Hunt says Australia will be “fully vaccinated” by October, with the country “on track and ahead of schedule” in the approval process.
“We expect Australians to be fully vaccinated by the end of October as it is free, universal and completely voluntary.”
Also read: According to Qantas, 87% of flyers are willing to take a COVID vaccine if necessary
David Flynn is the editor-in-chief of Executive Traveler and a little tragic with a thing for good coffee, shopping and litchi martinis.