Hoping to jet off overseas again sometime soon? You could be waiting a while.
Australians are being told we’ll have to wait until the end of this year – or even beyond – before international travel will re-start.
The federal government says now is a good time to start “dreaming” about your next holiday but you may have to look domestically first.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
“Look, it’s impossible to tell at present precisely when travel restrictions will be removed, because that will be a matter dependent upon the health advice at the time.,” Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham told the ABC on Monday.
“This is a time where, unfortunately, people can’t undertake holidays and they won’t be able to overseas for quite some time to come.
“Certainly this time is a good time for a bit of dreaming, a bit of planning, think about that Aussie break that you might take when we do finally get to the other side of this.
“There may come a time where at least we can relax some of those travel restrictions within Australia and that will give you a chance to be able to get out, if you’re in a position where you can afford to do so – perhaps to support some of those regions who at the start of the year were dealing with bushfires, or indeed the many other tourism regions who are struggling at present because of the loss of business.”
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said the federal government was considering subsidising domestic flights for airlines hammered by the pandemic.
“Indeed, I spent the weekend talking about that very thing with Virgin, with Qantas, trying to make sure that we’ve got the trunk routes between capital cities,” Mr McCormack told the ABC.
“We’ll be looking at what we can do in conjunction with the airlines who are cooperative.”
But Mr Birmingham contradicted that, saying it was “unlikely”.
“I think that is an unlikely step, but ultimately we’re going to keep working through very carefully through this crisis.”