Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given an update on when international borders and COVID-19-related restrictions could be lifted – and those with dreams of travelling abroad again soon will be disappointed.
“I[t] would welcome if by Christmas it were possible, but I think it’s unlikely that we [will be] able to move back to a restriction-free society [by then],” Mr Morrison said.
“I doubt that is going to happen, and I doubt the medical situation will enable it.”
The PM’s words have effectively put paid to any plans of an overseas summer vacation or Christmas reunion for families this year.
But some experts had warned as far back as April that international travel would not be likely until at least March 2021.
“It’s important that we just look, and test and interrogate the medical evidence and make decisions based on that and nothing else,” Morrison told press on Monday.
While this comes as a blow to outbound travel, it has even greater ramifications for tourism into Australia.
According to Business Insider, the absence of international students threatens to blow a $40 billion hole in the Aussie economy, while a further $40 billion will be lost in inbound tourism receipts this year alone.
In total, the cost of the closure of international borders is likely to exceed $100 billion in 2020.
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