UK residents are slowly beginning to resume travel as the Government announced double-vaccinated Brits will be able to return from amber list countries without quarantining from August. The rules around travel have been relaxed since May 19, when the Government allowed international travel to resume as part of step three of its roadmap out of lockdown.
When can you travel to Australia?
Travelling to Australia from the UK is currently allowed as the country is deemed safe, however, Australia isn’t letting anyone in.
Australia isn’t open for worldwide tourism and is still sticking by the rules enabling only essential travel.
This means that returning permanent residents and their immediate family members alongside essential workers are technically the only ones allowed in and out of the country.
But even this is proving difficult in practice.
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More than 34,000 Australians are currently stranded abroad, unable to book a rare flight home or a space in a quarantine hotel.
This policy has been around since March 28, 2020, when the country began its zero-Covid campaign.
When people can visit remains the golden question – and one that nobody has a definite answer for just yet.
As things stand, just over 11 percent of the Australian population are fully vaccinated, meaning they have some way to go before they catch up with some of the world leaders on vaccination.
Many people predict the Australian borders won’t reopen until 2022 at the earliest.
The country’s finance minister Simon Birmingham said in May 2021 that Australians “won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year”.
Mr Birmingham cited “uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout, but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of Covid, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness”.
Australia tried opening up tourism to certain countries, with a travel bubble established between Australia and New Zealand on April 19, 2021.
However, the bubble has now burst amid rising infection rates in Australia and the country continues to grapple with multiple states in lockdown.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins of New Zealand said: “Given the high level of transmissibility of the Delta variant, and the fact that there are now multiple community clusters, it is the right thing to do to keep COVID-19 out of New Zealand.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said the decision was not taken lightly but with “multiple outbreaks and in differing stages of containment” with three Australian states in lockdown, “the health risk to New Zealanders from these cases is increasing”.
The Australian state of New South Wales – hope to major city Sydney – reported 136 new locally acquired cases of Covid in the 24 hours to Friday.
Victoria, home to Melbourne, announced 14 new cases over the same period of time, while South Australia reported one new case.
Roughly half of Australia’s population, some 13million people, is now under some form of lockdown as the country works to stem the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant amid a slow vaccination rollout.
Qantas and Air New Zealand said that starting July 31, most Australia to New Zealand services would be cancelled and that they would maintain a small number of flights for essential travel and freight.
As things stand, scheduled airline capacity between Australia and New Zealand this month is about 44 percent of 2019 levels, according to data from aviation analytics firm Cirium – well under initial forecasts of more than 70 percent.