Families split apart for years, unaffordable ticket prices and a tourism industry on the brink: What closing the borders until 2022 will REALLY mean for Australia
Australians split from their families have learned the devastating news the international border will remain closed until at least mid-2022.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg predicted in Tuesday night’s Budget Australians would be banned from leaving the country for all but essential reasons until the middle of next year.
Officials assume there will then be a ‘gradual’ return to normal travel after that point.
The lengthy delay in opening the international borders came despite Mr Frydenberg saying there was an ‘assumption’ the Australian population would be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of 2021.
Australians who will miss key family events abroad because of the continuing ban – or see their young relatives grow up – took to social media to vent their fury.
A passenger wearing a facemask arrive at Sydney International Airport on May 1. The international border will remain closed until at least mid-2022, Australians have learned in Tuesday night’s Budget
Australians have reacted with despair at the revelation they will be unable to see their families overseas until the middle of 2022
‘It’s infuriating. I haven’t seen my parents and sister in years,’ one Australian separated from their family overseas wrote following the Budget announcement.
Another noted the irony of the travel ban being extended a full year after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was time for Australia ‘to get out from under the doona’.
‘People like me who rely on the border to be open for their regular job to function, its been hell,’ another wrote.
‘Really don’t know what I can do to keep going. It’s so hard to keep positive.’
Mr Frydenberg on Tuesday night defended his decision to keep the border firmly shut even when Australians achieve herd immunity against the virus.
‘We’re being conservative and cautious,’ he said. ‘We’ll only move on borders when the medical advice says it is safe to do so.’
More to come