‘There’s an absolute punch up’ Simon Calder speaks about tough new travel rules

Australia travel rules changes discussed by Calder

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Australia has just announced it will open its international borders for fully vaccinated Australians from next month for the first time since March last year. The country has been criticised for its slow vaccination programme and closed borders preventing people from travel.

Simon told BBC News: “It was March 2020 when the Australians basically closed their borders completely, they allowed only Australian citizens and permanent residents who were abroad to come in but on a strict quota system.

“I know Australians in the UK who are still having to queue up to get back to their own country and when they get there they’ve got to go into two weeks of quarantine either in a hotel or in a mining camp in the Northern territory but that is all going to change now as you heard Scott Morrison say.”

Simon said flight prices to Australia were reasonable. He told BBC News: “I’ve just checked the prices, not too bad, considering it’s a monopoly situation.

“£1,048 it will cost you, or rather not you unless you happen to have an Australian passport or you’re a permanent resident there.”

But the system has caused issues in Australia as vaccination rates are not particularly high in the country and some Aussies may miss out.

He said: “There’s an absolute punch up going on. I listened so you didn’t have to, to the whole 48 minute press conference and loads of it was all about, well New South Wales and Victoria are probably going to sign up.

“They are the two states with the highest vaccination levels and the key number there is 80 percent of the adult population.

“But they are also the two states with the highest infection rates and if you’re Queensland, Western Australia or if you’re in Tasmania, you are absolutely not signed up for this.

“So there’s an awful lot to be sorted out now and Scott Morrison actually said you might be in Sydney and you’ll be able to go to Fiji or Bali but you won’t be able to go to Queensland and he didn’t know what the Queensland tourist industry would think about that.

“Having said that though, he said almost exactly nothing about people who are desperate to see family in Australia and people who just want to go on holiday there for goodness sake.

“He simply referred to migrant workers and to students who said he might have some good news for next year.

“But there is absolutely no haste in Australia opening to all the Brits who want to go there.”

The BBC presenter also asked Simon where he was headed to on holiday from Stansted airport.

Simon joked: “Well I’m certainly not off to Australia, I’m off to beautiful Eindhoven in the Netherlands.

“There’s an awful lot of people travelling today and I hope they’ve all paid as little as I have.

“The airlines are still desperate to get us back on board but I’m coming back by boat on Monday morning and of course that is when the rules change.

“I’ll be among the first consignment of people who don’t have to have a test before they come back to the UK.”

From October 4, British citizens will no longer have to take a pre-departure test before entering the UK.

However, day two PCR tests will not be replaced by lateral flow tests until later on in October at a yet unknown date.

People arriving from red list destinations will still have to quarantine in an expensive Government hotel.

British citizens are still not allowed to enter Australia under the new rules announced by Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison today.

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