Australia travel: When will Australia open its borders?

Under the new, proposed Government scheme, which is expected to come into effect on July 6, countries will be categories as either green, amber or red, depending on their infection levels and trajectories, reliability of official data and confidence in each country’s test and trace system. Most of Europe will be declared green or amber, which means tourists from the area qualify for quarantine-free travel to and from the UK. The automatic 14-day quarantine introduce by the Government in recent weeks, will remain in place for ‘red rated’ countries, which are expected to include India, the United States and much of South America.

When will Australia open its borders?

While it is said the British Government hopes to reach an agreement regarding travel with Australia in the coming weeks, Downing Street should not expect the same back.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said even though “a number of countries expressed an interest given our health success in Australia, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be invitations we take up”.

Mr Morrison added there was still a lot of “uncertainty” about when Australia would choose to reopen its borders.

The Prime Minister did, however, agree with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce’s suggestion that a mid-2021 reopening for most travellers was not an unreasonable suggestion.


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Mr Morrison said: “You look around the world and you see the intensity of the virus escalating, not decelerating, then I think it is not unreasonable for Alan Joyce to form the view he has.”

Mr Joyce says that with the exception of New Zealand and a handful of other countries in a ‘travel bubble’, all International flying will be suspended until mid-2021 unless a vaccine is released.

The CEO said: “We might get trans-Tasman travel before then, we may get other nations opening up with bubbles.”

He doesn’t, however, expect the Qantas’ international network to restart “in any real size until July next year”.


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“We have to be realistic about it and say with what’s happening in the rest of the globe it is probably an extended period of time” before Australia’s borders are thrown open on a pre-pandemic scale.

He added it would be “years before international flying returns to what it was”.

Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Fiji and Hawaii have also suggested opening their borders to a handful of countries, which includes Australia.

Where can I travel?

It has not yet been announced which countries will form air bridges with the UK or when the Government will announce which countries are included.

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Transport Minister Grant Shapps previously hinted the information may be revealed by the end of this month – but they have yet to be revealed.

Mr Shapps said last week: “We won’t be in a position to announce which countries – where reciprocal arrangements go into place – until the 29th.”

An air bridge, also known as a travel corridor, is a way of allowing tourists into the country without needing to quarantine for 14 days on arrival.

Reports have suggested that Britain could form a bridge with France, Spain, Turkey and Italy.

Greece was mentioned in some reports, but any potential plans have fallen foul after the country banned all flights from the UK until July 15 at least.

Portugal was also expected to be on the list, but seems unlikely to be included following a surge in cases around Lisbon in the last few weeks.

While Spain has said it will welcome British tourists without needing to quarantine, anyone travelling there would still need to self-isolate on their way back.

If you are travelling to any other country that does not form an air bridge with the UK, you will have to quarantine for 14 days when you get home.

You may also face quarantine measures upon arrival to your destination. 

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