The Australian travel ban to end from November, giving benefits both ways to those wishing to leave Australia, and those wishing to re-enter the country..providing relief for expats in the UK amongst others.

In around 18 months, beginning in March 2020, Australia’s strict border rules have made leaving, or entering Australia practically impossible. This has caused great anxiety in sections of the Australian community – home and abroad.

Whilst many have credited the travel ban policy with stopping the country from being overwhelmed by Covid, it has also drive families apart for extended periods. However, that is now soon to end.

In heralding the policy change, Australian PM Scott Morrison said:

“It’s time to give Australians their lives back,”

This policy, however, would not be uniform across the country, with eligibility to travel only commencing when the state that they reside in has a vaccination rate of at least 80%, Morrison added.

In a further tiering of the easing of restrictions, foreigners would not have immediate access to the easing. However, this would be a goal that would hopefully not be allowed not long after the restrictions ease. The government said it had a policy of working:

“towards welcoming tourists back to our shores”.

Australian Travel Ban To End – What Is The Current Situation?

As mentioned earlier, Australia’s travel ban restrictions were viewed as among the toughest in the world. Travel was currently only allowed for

1/ Travel for essential work

2/ Travel to visit a dying family member.

3/ Departures only for essential work

4/ Departures also only for visiting a dying relative.

Many thousands have been stranded overseas, including many expats here in the UK. The reason? Either the citizens lacked a necessary exemption, or the cap on arrival numbers didn’t allow further entry into the country.

Quarantine Rules To Change Too

Up to this point, Australia had a mandatory hotel quarantine requirement. This was prohibitive too on travel, since the cost could rise up to £1,600, or even higher at times. Now, the authorities have also announced the phasing out of this heavy burden. What will replace it?

It’s important to note, at this point, that the change will only apply to vaccinated travellers. Those who are unvaccinated will still be required to quarantine for 14 days…albeit not necessarily in hotel quarantine. The change, which will apply to the vaccinated travellers will reduce quarantine times to 7 days…at home..thereby making travel easier, and more inexpensive.

Australian Travel Ban To End – How The Changes Impact Airlines

With the announcement of easing of requirements, a surge for flight bookings is expected. As such, airlines expect some services will have their resumption delayed in order to handle the heavy demand.

Today’s announcement has brought great relief to 3 of Australia’s eastern cities, with Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra still in lockdown at this point. Despite heavy demand for the vaccine, none of the states are yet ready to open their borders.

Sydney, Australia’s unofficial capital, is closest to easing of restrictions..expected to begin 11 October 2021, when it’s vaccination rate is hoped to pass a line of at least 80% vaccination. Melbourne, which has suffered repeated, and arduous lockdowns hopes to pass that threshold shortly after.

It will be interesting to see how other states such as Queensland, and Western Australia, respond to the National announcement, since they have not agreed to opening at 80%. 

That has helped prompt a surge in the vaccine uptake in recent months.

New South Wales – which includes Sydney – is on track to be first state to cross the 80% threshold, in a few weeks. Victoria – containing Melbourne – is not far behind.

But states such as Queensland and Western Australia have threatened to keep their borders closed until vaccine rates are even higher.

Australian Travel Ban To End – What It Means For Expats In The UK

Today’s news is welcome for the many Australians living in London, who have been unable to travel home.

Whilst many Australians living here love England, the prospect of not being able to return home has been a cause of great anxiety. As such, it is likely that many of the UK’s expat Australian community will likely jump at the chance to book a journey ‘home’.

Londonlad
Author: Londonlad

Leave a Reply