Overseas travel won’t be normal until 2024

 

Australians hoping for the full return of overseas travel will have to wait another three years for things to get back to normal, according to a pessimistic new forecast by economists.

Deloitte Access Economics' latest quarterly business outlook predicts international travel won't fully return until 2024, as international borders open slowly until then.

On top of that, Deloitte said quarantine for arrivals would likely remain in some form for years, as efforts continue to stop the virus being imported back into the country.

Deloitte economist Chris Richardson said that would have a bearing on overseas travel getting back to what it was pre-COVID.

"That keeps international travel - both inbound and outbound - pretty weak in 2022, and it may not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024," he said, according to 7 News.

Deloitte's quarterly forecast was prepared prior to Australia's national vaccine rollout hitting a setback last week, which could further dampen expectations about the return of overseas travel.

 

RELATED: Vaccine blow for international travel

 

Overseas travel won’t fully return until 2024, Deloitte economists warn. Picture: Chris Kidd
Overseas travel won’t fully return until 2024, Deloitte economists warn. Picture: Chris Kidd

On Thursday, federal health authorities recommended Australians under 50 avoid the AstraZeneca vaccine due to a blood clot risk, and take the Pfizer vaccine instead.

There are now concerns Australia will not reach its October 31 target to complete the national rollout, potentially putting in limbo airlines' plans to resume overseas flights on that date.

However, Australians are on the cusp of travelling quarantine-free to New Zealand, with the long-awaited trans-Tasman travel bubble set to open from April 19.

The travel corridor means Australians can fly to New Zealand without needing to enter mandatory hotel quarantine.

It will begin on at 11.59pm April 18, with major airlines including Air New Zealand and Qantas able to take bookings from April 19.

The announcement of the travel bubble was dubbed by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as a world first of sorts, and an "important step" in post-pandemic recovery.

Singapore could be the next destination for Australian travellers, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinting at the possibility of a travel bubble with the city-state last week.

 

Australians will be able to fly to New Zealand without having to quarantine from April 19. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw
Australians will be able to fly to New Zealand without having to quarantine from April 19. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Andrew Henshaw

 

"I have mentioned Singapore before as an obvious next choice but at this stage it is still some time away," he said.

Australia and Singapore have reportedly been in talks to negotiate a travel bubble that could be in effect as early as July.

The plan would be dependent on the ability of both countries to provide a proof of vaccination certificate, and would see Australians and Singaporeans travel freely for work, study or holiday purposes without the mandated two-week hotel quarantine.

In a statement to Nine newspapers on Wednesday, Singapore Airlines spokesman Karl Schubert said the carrier "remains committed to working with the Singapore and Australian governments to support and progress the safe restart of travel between the two countries".

Earlier this year, Department of Health Secretary Dr Brendan Murphy said he was hopeful international travel would be on the cards again from 2022, after vaccine programs were completed in Australia and rolled out extensively around the world.

 

 

Originally published as Overseas travel won't be normal until 2024



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