Trapped Down Under: Scott Morrison says Australians won’t be allowed overseas for ‘the foreseeable future’ – and refuses to put a date on travel bubbles with any ‘safe’ countries
- Since 17 March this year Austalians have been banned from leaving the country
- The ban is in place until 17 December and may be extended beyond that date
- Scott Morrison has said there will be restrictions ‘for the foreseeable future’
- Mr Morrison said he is working on travel bubbles with Japan and South Korea
Scott Morrison has said Australians will not be allowed overseas for the ‘foreseeable future’ and has refused to put a date on when travel bubbles will be up and running.
Aussies have been banned from leaving the country since 17 March unless they are going for more than three months or have an exemption.
The ban, due to the coronavirus pandemic, is in place until 17 December and may be extended.
Scott Morrison has said Australians will not be allowed overseas for the ‘foreseeable future’ and has declined to put a date on when travel bubbles will be up and running
Mr Morrison (pictured on Wednesday) said: ‘There will still be, for the foreseeable future, restrictions on Australians leaving the country’
In an interview with Cairns radio 4CA on Thursday, the prime minister said: ‘There will still be, for the foreseeable future, restrictions on Australians leaving the country.’
He said it meant there are ‘great opportunities’ for domestic tourism businesses – as long as state borders open – because Aussies will have to holiday at home.
Most other liberal democratic countries, such as Canada, the UK and New Zealand, are discouraging international travel but not stopping citizens going overseas.
Mr Morrison is working on travel bubbles to allow Aussies to holiday in certain low-risk countries without having to quarantine when they get back.
He said he is in the ‘early stages’ of discussions with Japan and South Korea but refused to say when the arrangements could be in place.
‘I can’t give you an honest answer to that because I don’t want to raise expectations,’ he said.
What are the reasons for being allowed to leave Australia?
Your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
Your travel is essential for your business/employer
You are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
You are travelling outside Australia for three months or longer
You are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
Your travel is in the national interest
Source: Home Affairs
The federal government is from Friday allowing New Zealanders to enter without quarantine.
They will be able to land in Sydney, Darwin and Adelaide because state leaders there have given the green light.
But Australians still cannot travel to New Zealand where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is pursuing an elimination strategy.
Federal budget papers earlier this month assumed that Australia’s population won’t be vaccinated until the end of 2021 and that overseas travel will ‘remain low’ until then.
The government expects every state border to be open by Christmas, except for Western Australia, which it believes will keep its borders closed until after its state election on March 31, 2021.
Overseas travel has been banned since March and it remains unclear when it will resume. Pictured: A temple in Busan, South Korea