International Travel and Tourism banned Indefinitely – Chief Medical Officer
International Travel and Tourism to Australia will be cut off indefinitely until the crisis can be resolved by medical science, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says.
Brendan Murphy, who has led Australia’s response to the pandemic until the end of June 2020, said government policy wouldn’t change in regards to international travel and tourism.
Despite recent offers by the European Union and United Kingdom to open up travel to Australian citizens, Australia will remain closed.
“To fully open the international border without any quarantining or any restrictions probably will require a vaccine to be able to adequately protect vulnerable people in the community,” Murphy said in an interview with ABC News.
“Until that happens, we’re going to have some sort of border measures … and if we don’t get a successful vaccine in the relatively near future, then we have to re-evaluate.”
Murphy said he was optimistic about such a vaccine so the world could come.
“I’m getting more confident. There’s so much effort going into vaccine development now, and there are literally hundreds of candidate molecules and a number that are in clinical trial at the moment, and I think it’s likely we will get a vaccine,” he said.
Note, Murphy is moving to the role of Secretary of Australia’s Health Department. The role of Chief Medical officer moves to Paul Kelly.
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian international travel and tourism would be unlikely until at least mid-2021.
The Australian tourism industry was expected to take a $50 billion plus hit as the entire international tourism market disappeared overnight.
The industry will be relying on international arrivals for the foreseeable future. The drastic change means the domestic tourism sector would be significantly important as millions of Australians holiday domestically. A new airline will service the east coast to meet expected demand.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce was also preparing his airline for another year of limited international flights between Australia and the rest of the world.
As it currently stands, Australians cannot leave the country unless granted special permission by border officals.
Citizens and residents of Australia who are returning from overseas to Australia are forced j to 14-days if mandatory hotel quarantine.
Despite the grim global travel situation, Australia is looking into a travel bubble between New Zealand, major Australia cities and other Pacific Island nations.
Other nations have extended a hand to Australia in recent days.
Just yesterday the EU said Australian nationals would be welcome to visit the European block of nations.
The UK was also extending an invitation to Australia for travel there.
Countries such as Greece have been open to Australians since May.
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Ryan is Contributing Editor