Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hinted at what countries Australia might open up to for unrestricted (or less-restricted) travel in the coming months and, well, it’s the usual suspects.
New Zealand is there, of course, as are many countries in Asia that’ve been handling the pandemic pretty well compared to the rest of the world.
“We continue to hold these discussions with countries like Japan, we have had them before with Korea, specific nations of course, New Zealand has already been opened for travel into Australia without quarantine arrangements,” Morrison told reporters on Tuesday.
“I think we proceed cautiously. There are countries that are doing far better than what we are seeing in Europe and the United States.”
It’s time to put to bed any dreams of hopping over to Europe or the US for a cheeky holiday anytime soon, though.
“The situation in Europe and the United States is awful,” he added.
“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.”
So, for convenience’s sake, here’s the list of everywhere Morrison hinted: parts of China, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan.
After New Zealand, the talks with Japan and South Korea seem to be the most advanced at this stage.
A bunch of our other island neighbours in the Pacific have also handled the pandemic incredibly well or have avoided it altogether, and may well be included when the travel bubble does emerge.
As for when that’s going to happen, it’s anyone’s guess at the moment. However, international travel is set to be discussed at the coming National Cabinet meeting on Friday.