We’ve been (not so) patiently waiting for news on when we can finally travel overseas again and this morning the government finally came through with a solid update.
For those looking to plan an early 2021 getaway to Europe you’ll have to put that trip on hold until at least March next year.
The federal government just announced they’re extending the biosecurity emergency period (which has been in place since 18 March 2020) until 17 March. It was due to end next week on 17 December but this three month extension comes following advice from Australian Health Protection Principal Committee who have advised that COVID remains an ongoing threat and is still a huge public health risk. And yes, that’s even with places like the UK having access to the much hyped Pfizer vaccine.
Before you shed a tear at the thought of no overseas travel for the foreseeable, it’s important to remember that while we’re seemingly winning the battle here in Australia, it’s not the same in many other countries.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said in an interview that, “internationally the disease is spreading as quickly as ever.”
“Whilst there’s been some moderation in Europe which is to be welcomed, we also see the numbers increasing in the United States and elsewhere—600,000 cases a day on most days; 10,000 lives lost a day and sometimes higher.”
“What that says is that the international world remains a challenging and dangerous environment, and Australia won’t be fully safe until the international community is safe, which is why our vaccine program is so important.”
Health Minister Hunt announced just last week that Australia will begin to roll out a vaccine to health workers and elderly from as early as March 2021. And with borders slowly opening up, at least we can travel around in our own backyard again.
Like everything surrounding coronavirus, we’ll have to wait and see.
In the meantime, bookmark this page ‘cause we’ll be updating it with new information as it is released.
Image credit: Ross Parmly