With limited exceptions, Australian citizens have been unable to leave their country for the past 18 months. That ban had been scheduled to end on Sept. 17 although most assumed that it would be extended. It has. Its new end date is Dec. 17, which, if it is adhered to, would allow Aussies the opportunity to see family members and others abroad in time for Christmas.
Conversely, it could be further extended. However, it could also be shortened. That latter option is possible if at least 80% of Aussies have been fully vaccinated prior to Dec. 17. However, there is a long ways to go for that to be achieved. As of Thursday, just 29% of Aussies are fully vaccinated with an additional 20% partially vaccinated. With that said, Australian officials are confident that the current vaccination pace will allow this to be reached before this extended deadline expires.
Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier, is planning to immediately take advantage of a hopeful Dec. 17 end date to this ban as it has already listed daily flights operating from that country to cities such as Los Angeles and London on Dec. 18. Additional flights to Tokyo and Honolulu are set to start later that month.
Alan Joyce, Qantas’ CEO, said that Australian government officials had indicated to him that it was “reasonable” for him to expect to be able to comfortably operate those types of routes at that time.
It is also possible that country-specific travel may be made available prior to the ending of this travel ban. Travel lanes have been considered between Australia and countries such as Fiji and Singapore.
At the moment, Australian citizens and permanent residents are by and large the only ones who may enter Australia. Those who are eligible to do so must, in nearly all cases, take a COVID-19 PCR test within the 72 hours prior to their flight’s departure and have a negative test result to show when checking into their flight.
Upon arrival in Australia, they must complete a 14-day quarantine at a designated hotel. This costs up to 3,000 Australian dollars ($2,200) per adult with an additional up to 1,000 Australian dollars ($700) for each additional adult and an additional up to 500 Australian dollars ($400) for each additional child who has reached at least 3 years of age who will be housed in the same room or apartment.