Ouch: Australia’s Borders To Remain Closed Until Later In 2022

184

Australia’s international borders have largely been closed since March 2020, and the country has by all accounts done a great job minimizing coronavirus cases and deaths. Now the big question is when Australia plans to reopen international travel. There’s an update on that front, and it’s one that most people probably won’t like.

Australia’s new timeline for allowing visitors

Australia’s finance minister, Simon Birmingham, has shared an update regarding Australia reopening its borders, ahead of the federal budget being delivered this week. With the government’s latest plan, Australia doesn’t plan to reopen its borders at the start of 2022, but rather plans to reopen borders later in 2022 at the earliest.

As Birmingham explains:

“We recognise that if Australians want to be kept safe and secure, and given uncertainties that exist not just in the speed of the vaccine rollout but also the extent of its effectiveness to different variants of COVID, the duration of its longevity and effectiveness, these are all considerations that mean we won’t be seeing borders flung open at the start of next year with great ease.”

He claims that there’s even more uncertainty than existed a few months ago due to coronavirus variants.

Of course it’s worth mentioning that Australia isn’t totally closed to foreigners, and the country has been pursuing “travel bubbles.” One such bubble between Australia and New Zealand already exists, and there are discussions about further ones launching.

Most of us shouldn’t expect to visit Australia anytime soon

Vaccinated Australians may be able to travel sooner

While Australia’s borders won’t open to most foreigners anytime soon, prime minister Scott Morrison is pushing for a plan to allow vaccinated Australians to travel overseas and avoid the mandatory quarantine on their return. Medical experts have been “urgently” asked to determine how this could be done.

While the priority is to vaccinate vulnerable Australians, allowing Australians to travel abroad is one of the next major goals. As he explained:

“This is what I’ve tasked the medical experts with, is ensuring that we can know when an Australian is vaccinated here with their two doses, is able to travel overseas and return without having to go through hotel quarantine.

I think we’re still some time away from that. The states, at this stage, I’m sure wouldn’t be agreeing to relaxing those hotel quarantine arrangements for those circumstances at this point in time. But what we need to know from the health advisers is what does make that safe and what does make that possible.”

It doesn’t sound like this is anywhere close to becoming a reality, and for that matter if you’re taking a zero-tolerance approach to coronavirus, I question how feasible this is, outside of travel to other countries with a zero-tolerance approach.

Vaccinated Australians may be able to travel internationally sooner

My take on Australia’s travel reopening plan

Let me start by saying that I’m no doctor, epidemiologist, or economist. And let me also acknowledge that international travel is a privilege and not a right, I’m not Australian, and I have no plans to travel to Australia anytime soon even if I could, so I don’t have much skin in the game.

I had a lot of respect for how Australia initially handled coronavirus, keeping people safe, and in the process also allowing life in the country to be pretty close to normal. With the country’s zero-tolerance policy for coronavirus, it makes sense that the borders have been closed. And economically Australia hasn’t done worse than most other countries while remaining largely closed off.

That being said, at this point I can’t make sense of Australia’s strategy:

  • I can appreciate the risk posed by variants, but the issue is that presumably variants will be around as long as coronavirus is
  • Based on the data we’ve seen so far, vaccines work quite well against variants
  • My personal belief is that once everyone has access to vaccines and has time to build immunity, life should largely return to normal
  • There will absolutely still be coronavirus cases and (unfortunately) deaths, especially among those who choose not to get vaccinated; however, there are also lots of deaths from the flu, and that’s a risk we’ve taken for a very long time
  • Personally I think not acting like the vaccine is the solution only creates vaccine hesitancy in the long run, and that’s not a good thing
  • While some will say “you can never be too safe,” that seems to me like a slippery slope

Again, I’m not Australian, though, and I’d love to hear how those living in Australia feel about this news.

This latest update is terrible news for Qantas

Bottom line

Australia has no plans to reopen its borders anytime soon, and quite to the contrary, doesn’t plan on welcoming visitors on a widespread basis until later in 2022 at the earliest, regardless of vaccination status.

However, the government is considering a program to allow vaccinated Australians to leave the country without having to quarantine on the way back. Only time will tell if that becomes a reality.

This seems extreme to me, but what do I really know…

What do you make of Australia’s plan to keep borders closed?

Conversations (184)
Oldest comments are displayed first.

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Kevin

    Well, can't blame Australia for being too safe. I wish I could visit soon but that will just be postponed! Like you said, travel is a privilege and their vaccination rates are very low since they've been doing well and Italy stole their vaccines lol

    but anyway, whatever they need to do to keep the people safe. I doubt their economies are falling apart anyway lol

  2. Canphoenix

    “Let me start by saying that I’m no doctor, epidemiologist, or economist.“

    That’s certainly a more reasonable preface to your comments than what Mr. Vaccine from the Wing has been taking lately, who declared Australia to be a total failure. I know all of you bloggers want nothing more than the world to reopen for trip reports and content aplenty, but Australia is acting within their right to keep people out. This reverse travel-shaming of...

    “Let me start by saying that I’m no doctor, epidemiologist, or economist.“

    That’s certainly a more reasonable preface to your comments than what Mr. Vaccine from the Wing has been taking lately, who declared Australia to be a total failure. I know all of you bloggers want nothing more than the world to reopen for trip reports and content aplenty, but Australia is acting within their right to keep people out. This reverse travel-shaming of people who now aren’t comfortable with travel (countries included) is shallow at best. That said the tone of this blog is much more rational and measured than some others out there.

  3. William

    The science just straight up doesn't matter to these people anymore. Vaccines work, and policy makers need to act like it.

    Paranoia and fear have no place in public policy, and yet that's what seems to be gripping Australia's government. Hopefully voters there wake up, especially with the outrageous ban on their own citizens returning at all (which likely violates international law).

  4. Ryan

    How stupid and a paranoid. Shame on Australia. Governments should have no say. It’s up to the people and what risks they do and don’t want to take.

  5. The Original Donna

    I have no skin in this game as well but I wouldn’t be happy if I did. So basically, vaccinated Australian could be permitted to travel to other countries but those countries citizens will not be allowed into Australia for the indefinite future regardless of vaccine status. No reciprocity!

  6. Ryan

    I hates Trump but I’d take him back over NZ/AU leadership.

  7. Joey

    Australia's flu season is just about to start so they're making precautions to prevent any rise in covid cases over the next few months.

  8. Max

    Why do you say that international travel is a privilege, not a right? If so, according to you the DDR, or other socialist countries, which did not allow their people to travel, did nothing wrong?
    Free travel is a right and no country should forbid their citizens to travel. Free movement is not a privilege, but a right.

    1. Ben

      @ Max -- I say international travel is a privilege and not a right because... that's the reality? I'm not making a judgment call, but rather am just stating a fact.

  9. snic

    Australia's vaccination program has gone much slower than anticipated, so this isn't surprising:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2021/may/05/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-coronavirus-updates-tracker-australia-daily-live-data-stats-update-total-numbers-distribution-progress-schedule-tracking-new-cases-today-statistics-latest-news

    Given how careful Australia has been, I suspect they won't open up their borders even to vaccinated tourists until all adults AND children have been vaccinated, or at least been given the option to be vaccinated. I would be surprised if that happens before around 1 year from now.

    Australia's vaccination program has gone much slower than anticipated, so this isn't surprising:

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/datablog/ng-interactive/2021/may/05/covid-19-vaccine-rollout-coronavirus-updates-tracker-australia-daily-live-data-stats-update-total-numbers-distribution-progress-schedule-tracking-new-cases-today-statistics-latest-news

    Given how careful Australia has been, I suspect they won't open up their borders even to vaccinated tourists until all adults AND children have been vaccinated, or at least been given the option to be vaccinated. I would be surprised if that happens before around 1 year from now.

  10. pho tastee

    it is only 30 million people and they can't get the vaccines rolling. just another uncle trump's lapdog.

  11. George

    Have friends in Australia, they are desperate and depressed.

    It's awful. The average people are being crushed and silenced, so the powerful politicians can get more press and more power.

    Modern slavery, at work, and being cheered by the press.

  12. John K

    I'm Australian, based in Sydney and used to go overseas 5-7 times a year and I cannot put into works how much I miss seeing friends in the region and family in North America, but the benefit to these strict measures is that life here is very much back to normal, as long as you don't want to leave the country (you need a special exemption for travel, it is very hard to come by...

    I'm Australian, based in Sydney and used to go overseas 5-7 times a year and I cannot put into works how much I miss seeing friends in the region and family in North America, but the benefit to these strict measures is that life here is very much back to normal, as long as you don't want to leave the country (you need a special exemption for travel, it is very hard to come by and with the cap on intl flights, which I believe is 30-40 pax per flight, the costs of the flights are outrageous with most passengers getting bumped unless they booked an F or J ticket, so departing Australia is fraught with complications as you cannot be sure when you will be able to return).

    We need the vaccines to roll out asap, but they have banned the AstraZeneca vaccine for under 50s and the Pfizer vaccine won't be here in any significant quantity until the end of the year. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if we still didn't have open borders at the end of next year, minus mini bubbles with Fiji, Cook Islands, and maybe, maybe Singapore / Taiwan. Australia is so strict, I have lived in Singapore and Japan and I have to say I think the Aussie govt is almost as tough as Singapore, everyone is so at ease to let go of their freedoms for the benefit of safety but we need some semblance of balance but with a virus elimination strategy we are very much trapped here for the near term.

  13. Tom

    You can’t claim you believe in the science/medicine, rollout the vaccine then say “tough. It’s too dangerous” lol what a load of paranoid BS. Policymakers at their worst, yet again.

  14. Mattie

    You can definitely blame Australia for being too safe because there are other 2nd order effects: livelihoods of those businesses dependent on tourism; impacts on tourism tax revenue, etc. At some point safety has a practical limitation. They are going beyond anything that is needed, and they will pay a steep price for it (or at least its citizens will).

  15. Sharon Mattei

    This is sad news for me. I have a granddaughter who was born in Sydney during the pandemic. She’ll be two before I can see her. Unless there is an exception to the rule that I don’t know about.

  16. Brian

    As an American who is (was?) hoping to spend to New Year's Eve in Sydney, this isn't the news I was hoping to hear, but I understand the Australian government's perspective here.

    I'm curious as to whether travel bubbles with Australia will depend on whether other countries enact similar policies. What I really want to know is whether I would be allowed to enter Australia if I spend two weeks in New Zealand first. I...

    As an American who is (was?) hoping to spend to New Year's Eve in Sydney, this isn't the news I was hoping to hear, but I understand the Australian government's perspective here.

    I'm curious as to whether travel bubbles with Australia will depend on whether other countries enact similar policies. What I really want to know is whether I would be allowed to enter Australia if I spend two weeks in New Zealand first. I wish I could be more optimistic about the answer being yes (or about being able to travel to New Zealand in December).

  17. snic

    I think it's important to reiterate this: the Australian government is NOT saying, "Even though everyone is getting vaccinated, we're keeping our borders closed." Everyone is NOT getting vaccinated as fast as they had planned, and that is why they are keeping the borders closed. So it is not fair to criticize them for a policy (vaccinate everyone and still keep everyone out) that is not their actual policy.

    It IS fair to criticize them...

    I think it's important to reiterate this: the Australian government is NOT saying, "Even though everyone is getting vaccinated, we're keeping our borders closed." Everyone is NOT getting vaccinated as fast as they had planned, and that is why they are keeping the borders closed. So it is not fair to criticize them for a policy (vaccinate everyone and still keep everyone out) that is not their actual policy.

    It IS fair to criticize them for their slow vaccine roll-out, which is the real cause of their delayed opening to outsiders.

  18. Luis

    Feel sorry for Australians living in what is now a police state. Total abuse of power by their government.

  19. Steve_CC

    If Lockdowns worked why does Australia keep having them?

  20. ChrisInVillage

    @Ben @Max -- on travel as "right" verses travel as "privilege": the issue is a bit more complex than slogans. I agree with @Max that the example of former East Germany reminds us that the right to leave our country is a fundamental right. Then there is the issue of the country I am going to -- for example, do I, as a German, have a fundamental right to enter Saudi Arabia? For many years...

    @Ben @Max -- on travel as "right" verses travel as "privilege": the issue is a bit more complex than slogans. I agree with @Max that the example of former East Germany reminds us that the right to leave our country is a fundamental right. Then there is the issue of the country I am going to -- for example, do I, as a German, have a fundamental right to enter Saudi Arabia? For many years I could not enter as a tourist, and it seems difficult to argue that all countries must admit all citizens of all other countries as tourists, since that is a fundamental right. Then there is the issue of cost -- traveling is expensive (though there are cheap options, which is not what this blog is about). So in that sense, travel is a privilege. And finally there is Corona -- in certain times, certain rights can be restricted for the protection of all.

  21. Dan

    @Ben and @Max,
    When I was studying for the bar exam years ago, I remember learning that "something is a privilege and not a right" is a classic wrong answer. Any thinkin of this involves poor legal reasoning. There is nothing in the law separating rights from privileges.

    For US citizens, international travel is a right (here is an excellent law review article on the subject). https://scholar.smu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1354&context=law_faculty This means that the US cannot restrict...

    @Ben and @Max,
    When I was studying for the bar exam years ago, I remember learning that "something is a privilege and not a right" is a classic wrong answer. Any thinkin of this involves poor legal reasoning. There is nothing in the law separating rights from privileges.

    For US citizens, international travel is a right (here is an excellent law review article on the subject). https://scholar.smu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1354&context=law_faculty This means that the US cannot restrict this right the way that Australia does (I am thankful about this).

    I do not know enough about Australian law to know whether it is a right for Australians as well. However; I have read opinions that restricting travel likely violates international law (see https://science.sciencemag.org/content/367/6485/1436.2). I would need to do more research to see how this applies, but based upon this, it seems that restricting travel does infringe upon rights if this premise is correct.

    My biggest issue with the way governments have handled the pandemic are that they have not had an end game in mind, and that they act in ways that are not legal based upon the legal documents that state what can and cannot be done.

  22. Ed

    I love in Australia and the federal government is an absolute joke. They cock up everything they touch. Early on the states took control of the situation and this is how we have our zero Covid situation, almost no restrictions and an ability to go about, most, of our lives.

    What the feds had to do was buy the vaccine, they were late doing it and self-identify de risk the process by buying enough...

    I love in Australia and the federal government is an absolute joke. They cock up everything they touch. Early on the states took control of the situation and this is how we have our zero Covid situation, almost no restrictions and an ability to go about, most, of our lives.

    What the feds had to do was buy the vaccine, they were late doing it and self-identify de risk the process by buying enough different types. In fact they basically put a big chuck of the buy into Astra Zeneca, because it could be made in Australia and into a University if Queensland development effort that didn’t work out. (Plus a little Pfizer and novavax). A very risky course when none of the vaccines had been proved safe or effective at that point.

    Now we’re in a situation where the AZ vaccine is not recommended for the under 50s and the over 50s are wondering if they should take it as well. For the record I’m under 50 and would be more than happy to take the AZ vaccine, but I’ll have to wait a long time because we are so far off track with the vaccine roll out, millions of doses behind schedule.

    What about quarantine, also a federal responsibility, well that is in almost the same place it was a year ago. Not only did the feds shift all their responsibilities into the states but they have actively shot down several proposals to improve and expand it. Most recently a Victorian proposal to build a dedicated facility, which if we have closed borders for another year we will definitely be needed.

    In the meantime, to add to the failure to bring Australians home, the feds, at midnight last Friday, threatened 5 years in jail and $60,000 to any citizen returning from India. Luckily even members of their own party, along with everyone else thought this was a horrendous idea and they’ve spend the week walking backwards.

    Basically they had one good idea, shutting the borders, and have no route out of it. Not for business travel, not for incoming students, not for immigration (all massively important to our economy) and certainly not for tourism.

    At this stage I’m seriously considering escape via New Zealand to get vaccinated in the UK or US (I’m a citizen of one my wife of the other).

  23. Juan

    It looks like only 2.3 million people in Australia have been vaccinated, but they have a population of 25 million. Reopening their borders now outside of New Zealand could hurt them domestically, but it's up to their government now to get people vaccinated. I know countries like the US and UK have hogged vaccines so far, so hopefully, they can be distributed now to other countries a bit better.

    I think Hawaii has had the...

    It looks like only 2.3 million people in Australia have been vaccinated, but they have a population of 25 million. Reopening their borders now outside of New Zealand could hurt them domestically, but it's up to their government now to get people vaccinated. I know countries like the US and UK have hogged vaccines so far, so hopefully, they can be distributed now to other countries a bit better.

    I think Hawaii has had the best approach in these last few months: get tested 3 days prior to departure and again when you arrive, and both tests must be negative to reduce/eliminate your quarantine. Some still seep through the cracks, but overall it has worked for them.

    I wish governments should work on having verified vaccine passports to allow international travel to resume as well (as the CDC cards can easily be faked). Vaccine certifications are already common place for stuff like yellow fever, so it's not uncommon already.

  24. David

    The policy seems self-contradictory if anything. Assuming the following are true:
    1. Variants make vaccine efficacy uncertain.
    2. Australia wants a zero-tolerance policy.
    Then allowing their own vaccinated citizens to travel abroad and return (without quarantine either!) seems pretty dangerous. They could still be carrying variants, and without the quarantine, they'd be introducing those very same variants to their own community.

    I wonder what most Australians think about this. When zero-tolerance policy...

    The policy seems self-contradictory if anything. Assuming the following are true:
    1. Variants make vaccine efficacy uncertain.
    2. Australia wants a zero-tolerance policy.
    Then allowing their own vaccinated citizens to travel abroad and return (without quarantine either!) seems pretty dangerous. They could still be carrying variants, and without the quarantine, they'd be introducing those very same variants to their own community.

    I wonder what most Australians think about this. When zero-tolerance policy turns into zero-tolerance at any cost policy, does the calculus still make sense for them? Genuinely curious (and not personally vested; not planning on travel to Australia soon, open border or not).

  25. Max

    Australia is just continuing to be what it has been during the British occupation: Prisoner Island!

  26. Ryan

    As an Australian living in California with family in both the US and Australia (including my spouse, whom I don't know when I'll see again), I have a lot of skin in the game.

    At the beginning of the pandemic, Australia wisely chose to "flatten the curve" to not overwhelm the medical system.

    But it's become hysteria with a zero-tolerance policy. A single case can shut down an entire city and close state borders....

    As an Australian living in California with family in both the US and Australia (including my spouse, whom I don't know when I'll see again), I have a lot of skin in the game.

    At the beginning of the pandemic, Australia wisely chose to "flatten the curve" to not overwhelm the medical system.

    But it's become hysteria with a zero-tolerance policy. A single case can shut down an entire city and close state borders. Even with no active cases, authorities check sewage water for traces of COVID and advise to test all residents if anything is found.

    With this mentality, there's no way Australia will open soon. COVID is here to stay. Australia will either be a hermit state separated from the world or will have to open up and there will deaths, among those not vaccinated.

    Personally, I'm glad to be Stateside. Discussions with family in Australia reflects their outright fear of a single case. I'm glad to be here where our numbers are dropping and we are granted more civil freedoms and the world will open up to us sooner.

  27. Will

    Follow the science! But in all reality, Australia is playing a tremendously dangerous game economically and socially. There are Australians still unable to get home, all the while inflation and other macro issues are beginning rear their ugly heads. Absolutely their right to keep the boarder closed, but to think that if its done in perpetuity it won't have major negative effects is absurd. The Aussie government failed miserably with the vaccine or bust plan,...

    Follow the science! But in all reality, Australia is playing a tremendously dangerous game economically and socially. There are Australians still unable to get home, all the while inflation and other macro issues are beginning rear their ugly heads. Absolutely their right to keep the boarder closed, but to think that if its done in perpetuity it won't have major negative effects is absurd. The Aussie government failed miserably with the vaccine or bust plan, delaying and delaying how long it will take for life to return

  28. Alex Z

    I think at this point Australia should stay closed forever and countries should forbid allowing Australians in. If you're going to forbid vaccinated travelers to your country it's only fair that your people be forbidden to visit another country. This is beyond shameful and ridiculous.

  29. JBR

    The Original Donna has a good point regarding reciprocity, because at some point in the future other countries are going to start banning Australians from entering their country if they continue to ban non-citizens from entering their country even after vaccines become widely available to their citizens. Before effective vaccines were available, their quarantine system and limitation of incoming travelers has been the envy of the world and has effectively controlled the spread of Covid...

    The Original Donna has a good point regarding reciprocity, because at some point in the future other countries are going to start banning Australians from entering their country if they continue to ban non-citizens from entering their country even after vaccines become widely available to their citizens. Before effective vaccines were available, their quarantine system and limitation of incoming travelers has been the envy of the world and has effectively controlled the spread of Covid in the country and kept the country safe, allowing Australians to largely live normal lives during the Pandemic. However, there are now very effective vaccines available, and how can their government not be preparing to start the process of opening up their country when the time comes that their citizens are widely vaccinated/vaccines are widely available to all Australians . If they are waiting for Covid to go away worldwide before opening up, then they are going to be closed off for many, many years. At some point in the future, other countries will start banning Australians from entering their countries (aside from government/military officials like diplomats) if they don't adjust their policy and start allowing non-citizens in. And yes, I understand their government keeps most Australians from leaving the country right now, but there are exceptions. I think those travelers with government-approved exceptions will eventually be cut off from traveling to many other countries if their current policy continues for years and years.

  30. Jan

    Australia is still living in March 2020. I believe a week or so ago Perth had one case and they shut down the entire city for 3 days. Meanwhile the rest of the world (those that survived at least) will either be vaccinated or temporarily inmunized by antibodies after catching COVID.
    It is ok, the rest of the world doesn’t need Australia.

  31. Another Lump

    Australia is back to being a prison colony again.

  32. mars

    Australia is becoming a victim of its own success. Just like New Zealand, China, and Taiwan with their successful zero Covid strategy. I can't see we're going to see the pandemic under control anytime soon globally given the variants and slow vaccine rollouts. I'm wondering they'll be forced to open their borders soon after seeing the Americans and Europeans relax international travels this summer. Because of the vaccine hesitancy, it's unlikely we'll be able to...

    Australia is becoming a victim of its own success. Just like New Zealand, China, and Taiwan with their successful zero Covid strategy. I can't see we're going to see the pandemic under control anytime soon globally given the variants and slow vaccine rollouts. I'm wondering they'll be forced to open their borders soon after seeing the Americans and Europeans relax international travels this summer. Because of the vaccine hesitancy, it's unlikely we'll be able to achieve herd immunity in the US, and we're pretty much already choosing to live with Covid.

  33. Pat

    @George not sure who your desperate and depressed "friends" are but far and large coming from someone on the ground here who loves to travel and does usually internationally 2 times (or more) a year, I am largely in support of the current choices made by the Australian gov't. We did not have to lockdown like the US and Europe did
    (except Victoria - sorry) and covid numbers overall have been minimal.

    I imagine...

    @George not sure who your desperate and depressed "friends" are but far and large coming from someone on the ground here who loves to travel and does usually internationally 2 times (or more) a year, I am largely in support of the current choices made by the Australian gov't. We did not have to lockdown like the US and Europe did
    (except Victoria - sorry) and covid numbers overall have been minimal.

    I imagine reality vaccinated citizens will be able to travel along with more vaccinated foreigners being on a safe list. There is already take of re-introducing self isolation vs manadatory hotel quarantine later this year. Time will tell, but either way the current choices by far and large have left us with ability to live a mostly normal life, go to office, pubs and clubs since mid last year.

  34. Franklin

    Agree with Max. Freedom of movement is a right, not a privilege.

  35. JJ

    Typical fear mongering from politicians who have no idea what they're talking about. And why would other countries allow Australians in if their own citizens are banned or a country getting blamed if there's an outbreak due someone travelling outside the country.

    Please stay on your island and let the rest of the World return to a state of normalcy.

  36. JackieChoune

    That's the issue with these "zero-covid" countries: yes they are in a good place right now, and they've handled the pandemic fairly well compared to others, but given they've taken a zero risk tolerance policy, how can they ever reopen borders ? Vaccines are about 70 to 90% effective at preventing infection, which is great (more than most other vaccines, hello flu) but i guess they won't care. The only chance is that the virus...

    That's the issue with these "zero-covid" countries: yes they are in a good place right now, and they've handled the pandemic fairly well compared to others, but given they've taken a zero risk tolerance policy, how can they ever reopen borders ? Vaccines are about 70 to 90% effective at preventing infection, which is great (more than most other vaccines, hello flu) but i guess they won't care. The only chance is that the virus is eliminated globally, which seems at least fairly unlikely, at best a 2/ 3 year objective.

    Are there elections in Australia soon ? i'd be surprised if at some point next year being isolated doesn't start becoming an issue requiring politicians to "adjust" the rules...

  37. AlanT98

    Your article has multiple mistakes cause you are writing as if Australia was going to keep the borders closed even after vaccinating all of their population while that is not the case. Australia wont finish vaccinating until mid 2022, so it makes a lot of sense for them not to open them after they finish with that. I don't understand all this whinery that you and your readers are doing with this.

  38. Kevin

    "We need a lockdown for few weeks to flatten the curve". March 2020 :-)

  39. Joe

    As another Australian living in the USA, I also have skin in the game. I am not rich enough to have both the time OR money to visit my family there, with sky high airfares, two weeks of dead time, and $3000 quarantine fees.

    Australians who think their life has returned to "normal" don't understand the term. Bars? I can too. Restaurants? Sure. Theatre? Soon. What is it that Australia has that is more normal...

    As another Australian living in the USA, I also have skin in the game. I am not rich enough to have both the time OR money to visit my family there, with sky high airfares, two weeks of dead time, and $3000 quarantine fees.

    Australians who think their life has returned to "normal" don't understand the term. Bars? I can too. Restaurants? Sure. Theatre? Soon. What is it that Australia has that is more normal than that?

    Oh, you can't leave. And if you get a permit to leave, you may not be able to come back.

    That's not normal. Nowhere near it.

    Having been through the last 12 months in the hell that was America during peak Covid, I actually DO feel like we're returning to "normal". I plan to celebrate in Europe.

  40. MDA

    So I live in Melbourne. So I am really well qualified to talk about our lockdown and border closure. I would like to point out that I disagree with the Federal (ironically autocorrect changed it to feral) Government's stance.

    Answer me this though - if Australia is such a horrible place to live, why do 9000 Australians in India suddenly want to come back to the Nanny state? Conservatively that is more than 20 A380's....

    So I live in Melbourne. So I am really well qualified to talk about our lockdown and border closure. I would like to point out that I disagree with the Federal (ironically autocorrect changed it to feral) Government's stance.

    Answer me this though - if Australia is such a horrible place to live, why do 9000 Australians in India suddenly want to come back to the Nanny state? Conservatively that is more than 20 A380's. Plus there are many many many people who want to leave the awesome USA or UK or EU? I don't get it? Why come to a locked down country if it is that bad?

    So let me talk about the good thing about Australia. Over the past few days I have seen many posts from my NYC friends about Broadway opening up - in September! Good grief I have been going to packed theatres since last year. If life if so much better and easier - why are you waiting till September? I mean 2 weeks ago I went to a full theatre to see Hamilton. And as for the post on going to Hawaii - I mean that sounded like hard work. A few weeks ago I went swimming with whale sharks at Ningaloo reef. My sole conscension to the pandemic was I had to wear a mask in the airport and on a plane - seriously no bog deal. Oh yeh - the QF business lounge is open. The only difference is they now were you at the buffet (so much more hygenic).

    As for travel, since October last year, I have done an outback road trip, been to Tasmania, been to Noosa, stayed at the Park Hyatt in Sydney multiple times, been to South Western Australia (Esperance, Margaret River, Bremer Bay etc). Next month I am going to Auckland where I can finally stay at the Park Hyatt Auckland (using one of suite upgrades too so it hopefully it will be nice). After Auckland I head to Darwin, Katherine and Bamurru Plains (glamping). After that back to Sydney to the Park Hyatt for Vivid Sydney. Then a quick trip to Port Douglas and back to Sydney again. October is BNE. November and December I have nothing (open to suggestions).

    Travel within Australia is tough. Everything is heavily booked.I am super keen to go to Lord Howe Island. I emailed several resorts and asked them to book me into their next available slot - good news I got in. Bad news is earliest I can go is April NEXT YEAR.

    I am pro-vax and thanks to a pre-existing condition (ironic I know) - Have already had my first shot and will continue to have the next one.

  41. Jane

    Honestly, travel can also be for a number of reasons. And the border closure is separating families and it's truly saddening to be at the other end of it. I haven't seen my fiance in 1.5 years now, he works in Australia, and I was visiting my parents back home, and now I haven't been able to get back. So essential travel has to be allowed, travel being considered a privilege is the problem here...

    Honestly, travel can also be for a number of reasons. And the border closure is separating families and it's truly saddening to be at the other end of it. I haven't seen my fiance in 1.5 years now, he works in Australia, and I was visiting my parents back home, and now I haven't been able to get back. So essential travel has to be allowed, travel being considered a privilege is the problem here actually, because not everyone is thinking of a vacation when they think of travel. Some of us travel to meet our parents, get back to Brisbane to be back home with my fiance. It's affecting lives and families, and they need to understand that! I fully support their decision to protect the country, with it being largely normal as of now as compared to the rest of the world, but they need to be more inclusive of the people who have made Australia their home, and find solutions for us.

  42. KEVIN

    So glad I had a chance to visit Australia and New Zealand two years ago. It was a great trip and love both countries. With that said, I don't see myself flying over there anytime soon due to long flight time and frankly Qantas F is just ok....

    I'm not surprised that Australia continue to close its border. I'm sure they will open up when majority of their citizens get vaccinated. They are being very...

    So glad I had a chance to visit Australia and New Zealand two years ago. It was a great trip and love both countries. With that said, I don't see myself flying over there anytime soon due to long flight time and frankly Qantas F is just ok....

    I'm not surprised that Australia continue to close its border. I'm sure they will open up when majority of their citizens get vaccinated. They are being very practical saying end of 2022 because given most people are not vaccinated there, why would they flung their door open? Although if I were them, I would open up the door later this year to vaccinated individuals with caveat that all of them will need to be quarantine at government hotels for one week and tested before let out. Currently there is not enough data to support the fact that vaccinated individuals with no Covid symptoms cannot transport covid virus.

    Best of luck to my Aussie friends. It's a big country with lots of things to see. Unless you are about to expire, 1.5 year is not that big of a deal.

  43. KW

    Lucky this is the Australia of 2021. Thank you for calling this out to the rest of the world. We are desperate here for change.

    If you are a politician or billionaire, you are allowed to leave and come back into the country into home quarantine no questions asked. The foreign minister is gallivanting around London at the moment.

    However if you are an Australian trying to get back from India, you will be jailed...

    Lucky this is the Australia of 2021. Thank you for calling this out to the rest of the world. We are desperate here for change.

    If you are a politician or billionaire, you are allowed to leave and come back into the country into home quarantine no questions asked. The foreign minister is gallivanting around London at the moment.

    However if you are an Australian trying to get back from India, you will be jailed for five years. If you want to see family overseas, tough. If you dare question zero
    covid at all costs, you’re slammed as a murderer.

    The zero Covid hysteria here is terrible and has had a significant impact on people’s mental health. However the majority (who are racists) love the closed border policy and do not care about the stress and anxiety it causes for those with families overseas.

  44. Peter

    I'm Australian and a keen international traveller and I'm fed up with the government's constant doomsday international travel forecasts not to mention my own states (Qld) overreaction. The vaccine program is stuffed due to basically relying on 1 vaccine for most population which due to the blood clots issue is now for over 50s only. I was quite willing to get a vaccine asap but now I can't and I don't see the benefit.

    The...

    I'm Australian and a keen international traveller and I'm fed up with the government's constant doomsday international travel forecasts not to mention my own states (Qld) overreaction. The vaccine program is stuffed due to basically relying on 1 vaccine for most population which due to the blood clots issue is now for over 50s only. I was quite willing to get a vaccine asap but now I can't and I don't see the benefit.

    The top country I want to return to is Japan who at this stage don't appear to have any plan for tourism reopened borders either but they'll likely still be far ahead of Australia in that regard.

    I'm feeling increased depression and anger over the travel situation, I don't expect to travel international immediately but was feeling somewhat optimistic of late this year or early next year not any more. I have done some domestic travel and and am hopefully doing some more but it's not as interesting to me as international.

  45. Alex Z

    @ MDA - that is absolutely perfect for you and that's why I mentioned that Australia should close their borders forever. You seem like you are having a grand ol time in Australia and I say good for you. There's no need for us "dirty and sick" vaccinated Americans in Australia or those poor Australians being barred from returning home. I just hope that America and other countries bar vaccinated Australians from travelling until there is some reciprocity

  46. MDA

    @Alex - my first line says I do not agree with the Federal Government. How much clearer can I be? If I clarify it further I am actually appalled.

    I am just saying life is good here right now.

    At no point did I call you dirty and sick. As for vaccination I also made it clear that I too am in the process of being vaccinated.

    I continue to be confused about...

    @Alex - my first line says I do not agree with the Federal Government. How much clearer can I be? If I clarify it further I am actually appalled.

    I am just saying life is good here right now.

    At no point did I call you dirty and sick. As for vaccination I also made it clear that I too am in the process of being vaccinated.

    I continue to be confused about why so many people want to move back here, if it is such a horrible place. I understand expats who assignments have finished but on Aussie expat forums I have seen many who want to come back for a couple of years to see out the pandemic, then go back to EU/Uk/USA again. I really want to understand the logic. Simple as that.

  47. JackieChoune

    @MDA: most of what you described can be done currently in the US, where pretty much everything has opened up (i live in NYC), and travel within states easy. Yeah Broadway is in September, but that's more an outlier, with the concerts and clubs which should follow suit soon.

    But you can also go out of your country with limited hassle, which in my case means I can still see my family which lives...

    @MDA: most of what you described can be done currently in the US, where pretty much everything has opened up (i live in NYC), and travel within states easy. Yeah Broadway is in September, but that's more an outlier, with the concerts and clubs which should follow suit soon.

    But you can also go out of your country with limited hassle, which in my case means I can still see my family which lives in Europe (and thankfully, my youngest son is a US citizen, so no travel ban when I go back to the states... ). It's already sometimes a bit difficult to live far from your close relatives, but if you need to wait 2-3 years to see your family again because you're locked down where you live (even if Australia is a lovely country and huge), I'd say that's a pretty big issue. I'm not talking about tourism here.

    At this point the sensible, "follow the science" thing to do would be just to exempt everyone who is vaccinated from all those border constraints, regardless or their citizenship (because the virus does not care). Plus, that would incentivize people to get vaccinated which overall would help us reach our common goal of putting this pandemic under control

  48. Alex Z

    @ JackieChoune - agree 100%! You said it way better than I did lol

  49. M C

    It's the same story for other Asian countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam) where a few cases will cause a massive shut down and widespread panic mode. There is certainly no best approach to this covid situation but this virus is clearly here to stay. Governments will need to start learning how to manage it accordingly. It's always easier to ban/forbid than to manage complex scenario, isn't that why we need government? But then I realize there...

    It's the same story for other Asian countries (Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam) where a few cases will cause a massive shut down and widespread panic mode. There is certainly no best approach to this covid situation but this virus is clearly here to stay. Governments will need to start learning how to manage it accordingly. It's always easier to ban/forbid than to manage complex scenario, isn't that why we need government? But then I realize there are not many efficient and competent governments out there.

  50. Joe

    @ MDA - All of your points are fair; it's just that, other than Broadway, we're in the same boat, other than that my boat is allowed to move more freely.

    (And I should add that the decision about Broadway was an economic one, not a health one; I am in the theatre community and was very much involved in those discussions - unlike Sydney, we rely heavily on tourism to fill our 41...

    @ MDA - All of your points are fair; it's just that, other than Broadway, we're in the same boat, other than that my boat is allowed to move more freely.

    (And I should add that the decision about Broadway was an economic one, not a health one; I am in the theatre community and was very much involved in those discussions - unlike Sydney, we rely heavily on tourism to fill our 41 theatres, and we have no desire to lose money on weekly basis just to reopen).

    As for your point: "if Australia is such a horrible place to live, why do 9000 Australians in India suddenly want to come back to the Nanny state? Plus there are many many many people who want to leave the awesome USA or UK or EU? I don’t get it? Why come to a locked down country if it is that bad?"

    This is a fairly standard Australian response to criticism, not dissimilar to the American one about immigrants desperate to come in (and there are tens of thousands that still want to come in, despite the US pandemic response).

    The reality is that no one is stupid enough to argue that Australia has not been a better place to be than many places on this planet for much of 2020. But Australians trying to get in are merely trying to exercise their right to return.

    To that end, I still want to go home and see my mum and dad.

    Not sure I want to stay, though. I do value my freedom of mobility more than I value my ticket to HAMILTON. And that's saying something, because my livelihood depends on those tickets.

    Nuance is the key. If I were one of those 9000 in India right now, I'd just want to go somewhere. Australia for Australian Citizens seems like an obvious choice. It should also be legal.

  51. snic

    Now that we know Australia's plans for opening no earlier than mid-2022, I'd like to know New Zealand's plans. Unlike Australia's, their vaccination campaign is actually on track, and it relies exclusively on the Pfizer vaccine. If they remain on track, they would have 8 million New Zealanders vaccinated by the beginning of December (out of a population of 10 million). Assuming they get to that point whereas Australia still has half its citizens (or...

    Now that we know Australia's plans for opening no earlier than mid-2022, I'd like to know New Zealand's plans. Unlike Australia's, their vaccination campaign is actually on track, and it relies exclusively on the Pfizer vaccine. If they remain on track, they would have 8 million New Zealanders vaccinated by the beginning of December (out of a population of 10 million). Assuming they get to that point whereas Australia still has half its citizens (or fewer) vaccinated by then, will NZ say to heck with the Australia travel bubble and open the border to, say, vaccinated travelers from the rest of the world?

  52. Michael

    I live in Sydney. I miss my international travels. However life here is as normal as can be. This topic is also very political and the majority of voters will freely give up their personal liberties for security and the government knows that. The states many had elections and used border closers when there were less than 10 cases. NSW being the exception. Next year is a federal election year so no doubt this will...

    I live in Sydney. I miss my international travels. However life here is as normal as can be. This topic is also very political and the majority of voters will freely give up their personal liberties for security and the government knows that. The states many had elections and used border closers when there were less than 10 cases. NSW being the exception. Next year is a federal election year so no doubt this will play out as a political issue whilst the population are held hostage...

  53. Duncan

    Still the ELEPHANT in the room “ if your vaccinated can you still carry COVID?”. Largest studies so far is the Oxford vaccine 70k+ other manufacturers are just starting so lots of numbers to come. We still don’t know as much as we would like it’s like 15 months old and still growing and evolving. Ih the Oxford study indicates it is “likely” to prevent transmission.

  54. Reaper

    Let's pour one out for all the owners of Australian businesses that depended on international tourism.

    Best of luck in your next endeavor!

  55. JetAway

    @Michael-"...the majority of voters will give up their personal liberties for security." The Chinese Government says the same thing about their citizens.

  56. Fed UP

    Australia, Canada and NZ ... all living in fear, and no one is vaccinated.... they will have zero herd immunity and then they will get hit big time..... they are just delaying the inevitable.. and all 3 love to control their population of sheep.

  57. Jim

    I view this as a shift in the best place to be. Last year, I was envious of those in Australia. They had everything open and had a "free" life all within their country. In America, we had lockdowns and restrictions, and over half a million deaths.

    Now, I'd prefer America where I am. We can freely move around, and vaccines are so widely available that yesterday when I was shopping in Wal-Mart, they announced...

    I view this as a shift in the best place to be. Last year, I was envious of those in Australia. They had everything open and had a "free" life all within their country. In America, we had lockdowns and restrictions, and over half a million deaths.

    Now, I'd prefer America where I am. We can freely move around, and vaccines are so widely available that yesterday when I was shopping in Wal-Mart, they announced over the PA system that anyone who wants a vaccine can get one at the pharmacy section right now. I can gather with my friends at my house or in bars without fear, because all adults I know have been vaccinated. Vaccines for kids 12-18 will likely be approved in a week or two, and for kids 2+ by the fall. Sure, you have to wear masks in America to go shopping and for other events, but there's not much fear when you're vaccinated.

    The US has the same issue right now with domestic tourism. Everything is in high demand; try getting a rental car at a decent rate.

    Australians had a great 2020 compared to other countries, but Americans will have a great 2021 and 2022 compared to Australians.

  58. Mark

    Think 2022 was to make Australians feel good - I'd say 2024 at least before the borders will open. As even interstate borders aren't fully open and before that occurs - international travel isn't going to be an option.

  59. Damo

    I live in NZ and I'm really grateful for what the government did, even though they were slow to react at first, but then we became the toughest in fighting this pandemic. While there has been and still has issues with quarantine facilities leaking out, overall we did very well and has very small number of infection rate while death rate is only a single digit so far. We don't know what the virus can...

    I live in NZ and I'm really grateful for what the government did, even though they were slow to react at first, but then we became the toughest in fighting this pandemic. While there has been and still has issues with quarantine facilities leaking out, overall we did very well and has very small number of infection rate while death rate is only a single digit so far. We don't know what the virus can do to us in the long term so if we can be protected and wait for a vaccine then that's as good of a protection as we can get for now. While places like the US have been having freedom of travel for the majority of the time, they also have a much higher infection and death rate. Vaccine rollout is also an issue since the US has vaccinated a lot more of their citizens than we have, and the ongoing risks of blood clots and death from vaccine is something we have to approach and be cautious of before we inject everyone with it and not knowing what effects it could have. While I would love to go overseas when I have the money, I'm also fine with waiting for a little longer without risking it. We have much more normal days for the majority of the pandemic while many countries were in lockdown for much longer and more frequent because they waited out.

  60. Davistev

    I am an Australian who prior to Covid travelled to the USA monthly to see my children and family. One year without seeing your kids is beyond grief, it is cruel. I see no end to my travel restriction. There is no sympathy for people like myself. All I get is "we're so lucky in Australia". Yet - I must see my children and family. The alternative is too see your family grow older on...

    I am an Australian who prior to Covid travelled to the USA monthly to see my children and family. One year without seeing your kids is beyond grief, it is cruel. I see no end to my travel restriction. There is no sympathy for people like myself. All I get is "we're so lucky in Australia". Yet - I must see my children and family. The alternative is too see your family grow older on Zoom.

    My only pathway is to leave Australia permanently ( I have multiple citizenships) but before I can I must apply for an exit permit (more hurdles here). Yesterday I booked my flight for a December departure. (The earliest I can do while closing down my commitments here). I agree with everything ED said above but just wanted to add another human dimension to it.

    The last straw was when the Australian government said that Australian citizens returning to Australia from India faced 5 years imprisonment was too much of a cruel over-reach for me. Once I leave Australia I will never use that crap passport to travel again.

    Oh - I am fully vaccinated and it means nothing - nada!

    P.S. I love Australians but this is all on the head of the health care administrators who have ended up running this country. If the Titanic was Australian, those Administrators in the life boats would be pushing back other Australians back into the water to save their own skin. Pathethic response.

  61. Philip Elliott

    My partner Hugh and I live in Australia. From the replies here, are we supposed to feel this way or that? How do we feel about closed borders? Why have states voted for politicians promising closed borders?

    Ben, the world has changed. Yes of course covid has been a massive disruption. This region is seeing big defense spending and there is tension in the South China Sea. I'm a bit surprised noone on this...

    My partner Hugh and I live in Australia. From the replies here, are we supposed to feel this way or that? How do we feel about closed borders? Why have states voted for politicians promising closed borders?

    Ben, the world has changed. Yes of course covid has been a massive disruption. This region is seeing big defense spending and there is tension in the South China Sea. I'm a bit surprised noone on this forum has heard about or mentioned about China.

    I ask a simple question .We all seem to want travel to be covid safe.

    China also follows a low covid,high quarantine policy as Australia, New Zealand, Taiwan, Vietnam etc. etc. . Why don't we just open open our borders to covid safe China as an experiment to see what sort of travel would happen?

    For that matter, why doesn't USA, UK and Europe and the rest of Asia open its borders to covid safe China? It would be a perfectly safe travel arrangement, wouldn't it?

    In our day to day existence, Hugh and I are both vaccinated against flu and covid. We go swimming every day, visit friends, have dinner parties. We're off to Sydney soon laden with gifts as there's a new baby in the family. Life goes on and we're doing just fine.

    We'd like to go to Italy, but we can't. We're grown ups, and used of not always being able to do everything we want.

    Anyway, thanks for asking after us, Ben. You'll be able to run the website entirely on stories day to day about Australia if you want.

    Surprising how many stories you've posted about Australia, considering you have "no skin" in the story.

  62. Jono

    It sounds like what the Australian government are trying to figure out is not so much whether the vaccines are effective or not, but rather how do we create a system to ensure we know which Australians have been fully vaccinated (and can therefore travel internationally), and also how do we ensure that those who are visiting Australia are fully vaccinated. If they cannot do this, then they do not want overseas people visiting until...

    It sounds like what the Australian government are trying to figure out is not so much whether the vaccines are effective or not, but rather how do we create a system to ensure we know which Australians have been fully vaccinated (and can therefore travel internationally), and also how do we ensure that those who are visiting Australia are fully vaccinated. If they cannot do this, then they do not want overseas people visiting until the vast majority of the population has been vaccinated.

    Because of the lack of covid in Australia, they want to be absolutely sure that they don't leave any holes in this process so need to create a foolproof way of doing this. It's easier for them to determine who in Australia has been vaccinated, but each country has their own processes for administering the vaccine and recording who has received it and it's a matter of reconciling those and the trustworthiness of any overseas covid vaccine passport (or whatever document that country uses) with who they feel safe letting into the country.

    So it may not be until later in 2022 that they open the borders more generally, but if they develop some agreements with countries which are essentially if you have this type of covid vaccine passport that Australia can verify is valid with that country's government, then you can travel to Australia earlier.

  63. Commenting Commenter

    Umm… travel is a right… within the landmasses over which your country of citizenship (plural) has sovereignty. You do not have a right to travel anywhere else. That's a privilege. No other country has to allow you into their country, and as a matter of fact, you can land there, and they can turn you right back where you came from if they wanted to. And you'd be out of you money without a right to any refund.

  64. Tim

    That's fine stay closed. The rest of the world will open.

  65. Azamaraal

    If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

    Unfortunately it is not all roses in the world of vaccines. Hopefully when more people are vaccinated then the numbers will make travel the same as it used to be.

    The problem is now the emerging variants which, according to the New England Journal of Medicine reporting yesterday, are actually not being well protected against by Pfizer vaccine if you only have 1 dose and not great even...

    If wishes were horses beggars would ride.

    Unfortunately it is not all roses in the world of vaccines. Hopefully when more people are vaccinated then the numbers will make travel the same as it used to be.

    The problem is now the emerging variants which, according to the New England Journal of Medicine reporting yesterday, are actually not being well protected against by Pfizer vaccine if you only have 1 dose and not great even if you have two.

    Effectiveness of the BNT162b2 Covid-19 Vaccine against the B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 Variants

    the B.1.1.7 variant†
    After one dose 29.5 % protection
    ≥14 days after second dose 89.5 % protection

    the B.1.351 variant‡
    After one dose 16.9 % protection
    ≥14 days after second dose 75.0 % protection

    by any SARS-CoV-2
    After one dose 39.4 % protection
    ≥14 days after second dose 97.4 % protection

    Obviously the 90 - 100% range would allow one to travel safely provided they practiced safe precautions

    The 16.9% or 29.5 % or even 39.4% protection for the one dose regimen would not permit anyone to reasonably travel to other countries especially Canada or Australia with low vaccination numbers and very few cases (thus no herd effect).

    If one looks at the wave consuming Alberta Canada where infections are the highest ever by population in the world, and almost all of them variants, a sensible person might want to be very careful about traveling to another country until a month after the second dose.

    Canada and Australia are about the same size and with only the following vaccinations as of May 05 reported by "our world in data"

    Fully Vaccinated
    Canada 3%
    Australia 10%
    USA 32%

    Partial Vaccinated
    Canada 32%
    Australia 17%
    USA 12%

    I desperately miss travel and each year is very significant at my age. But sadly the real numbers do not yet support the world throwing off their masks, dancing in the streets and travelling freely everywhere.

  66. Azamaraal

    OOPS - added Canada to the paragraph as a country with low case numbers which is not the case at all - Australia has low numbers and probably low herd immunity. Canada has high rates of infection and hopefully numbers may start to drop soon.

  67. haz

    I'm Australian and quite happy with the handling. Yes, I do think we overreact with just one case but it's getting better (less overreaction) and yes the rollout of the vax has been terrible however some of the comments above gave me a good laugh...

    Obviously, I miss international travel (including seeing family overseas) however I find it hilarious that people make comments about the rest of the world opening however that's still not the...

    I'm Australian and quite happy with the handling. Yes, I do think we overreact with just one case but it's getting better (less overreaction) and yes the rollout of the vax has been terrible however some of the comments above gave me a good laugh...

    Obviously, I miss international travel (including seeing family overseas) however I find it hilarious that people make comments about the rest of the world opening however that's still not the case as the majority of countries around the world still have entry restrictions.

    Last year I didn't have to wear a mask at all (even on airplanes) although that's now been introduced, I was able to go to full sporting matches and pack into bars with limited distancing without any concern of getting sick or most importantly myself making the people around me sick.

    I don't live in Victoria but I know it's been tough down there. People forget there was a day last year where Victoria and the UK recorded the same number of cases however they both took very different approaches and no one reading this site needs to be reminded of the problems the UK faced over Christmas and New years.

    What I find amusing though is that Australia isn't the only country that's taken this approach, there are a few in Africa, several in Asia, and most of the Pacific who have closed borders and show no signs of opening anytime soon however everyone seems to love talking about Australia.

  68. Philip Elliott

    Hi Ben,
    We are Philip and Hugh, an elderly gay couple in Australia. We're doing OK. Both of us are vaccinated. Just like in the USA, the vaccination clinics for each of us were nearly all Caucasian faces. That's going to be an issue soon in both our countries.

    We're going to Sydney soon because there is a new baby in the family. We have to wear masks in Sydney. It covid erupts...

    Hi Ben,
    We are Philip and Hugh, an elderly gay couple in Australia. We're doing OK. Both of us are vaccinated. Just like in the USA, the vaccination clinics for each of us were nearly all Caucasian faces. That's going to be an issue soon in both our countries.

    We're going to Sydney soon because there is a new baby in the family. We have to wear masks in Sydney. It covid erupts there, then we'd have to quarantine when we arrive back here. That would mean disruption. We're big boys now, so can handle ourselves. There's a covid story happening now in Sydney. We're allowed to cancel the airfare if we want to, but won't. At our age, we do know our future, so best we enjoy happiness that's now.

    It is lovely to read the younger folk from other countries mentioning they will be able to travel internationally soon while Australia has closed borders. No mention of where they will go.... 65 replies to this story so far! Many denouncing Australia.

    It seems that while you say you have"no skin" in the story of Australia, you post frequent stories about this country, and always similar heated replies. Any reason for that?

    There's a huge military buildup happening in the region now. It will be interesting to see how that plays out. I'd expect this to be a generational power grab world event , not only a pandemic , and last longer than 2022.

  69. Joe

    Fascinating. Surreal logic really. I'm looking forward to a great reopening boom in the west post vaccination. It'll be interesting to see how the rest of the world reacts then. Let's go!

  70. DCCS

    I have a god-given right to go anywhere in the world I want. Governments have no right to limit my mobility. Waaaah!

  71. Daniel D

    Dropping off the map in order to get cases to zero is pretty extreme. I agree with the comment about Hawaii's handling and think that would be a more balanced approach while keeping deaths low (I believe Hawaii has barely had deaths above normal for most of the pandemic, despite certainly not having zero cases). It's exceedingly rare when an absolute approach to a problem is the right approach, and I don't think this is...

    Dropping off the map in order to get cases to zero is pretty extreme. I agree with the comment about Hawaii's handling and think that would be a more balanced approach while keeping deaths low (I believe Hawaii has barely had deaths above normal for most of the pandemic, despite certainly not having zero cases). It's exceedingly rare when an absolute approach to a problem is the right approach, and I don't think this is an exception. There are certainly plenty of hidden human costs here that will be revealed over the coming months.

  72. Kevin

    It has been obvious for months that NZ/Australia/others need to *both* 1) vaccinate a huge fraction of their population (a hard ask given low rates of domestic Covid!) and 2) put up with the inevitable spread of covid at modest levels once they "reopen" to the world.

    There is no other option. Covid will not disappear - mankind has eliminated only one infectious disease, smallpox, in our history, and it took many decades of global...

    It has been obvious for months that NZ/Australia/others need to *both* 1) vaccinate a huge fraction of their population (a hard ask given low rates of domestic Covid!) and 2) put up with the inevitable spread of covid at modest levels once they "reopen" to the world.

    There is no other option. Covid will not disappear - mankind has eliminated only one infectious disease, smallpox, in our history, and it took many decades of global effort and a nearly perfect vaccine. This means that when a country is open to abroad, there will be domestic cases.

    So Australia needs to choose an endgame. I have no idea what politics would have them choose, but If I were working there, I would be looking for a job abroad. As people mention above, no country is obligated to let you travel there, but only the most repressive regimes in world history have restricted their own citizens and residents from living. Like the people above, I am an expat (in Canada) who has been unable to see my own family for over a year, and still cannot no matter what our vaccination status except at great expense due to fairly arbitrary government restrictions. Australia was a great place to be in 2020 - maybe the best in the world. But if they literally do not let their own residents see family, travel abroad, and so on, regardless of their vaccination status, for two more years? Totally and completely unacceptable.

  73. Daniel D

    @Azamaraal

    It's good to have both doses no matter what you do. But what do you think the acceptable threshold is for protection? Flu vaccines are not super effective either, but we tolerate infection because bad outcomes are somewhat low (but not as low as people seem to expect for covid-19. 20-40k deaths in the US each year, which comes out to about 150 deaths per day during flu season).

    The question becomes how much...

    @Azamaraal

    It's good to have both doses no matter what you do. But what do you think the acceptable threshold is for protection? Flu vaccines are not super effective either, but we tolerate infection because bad outcomes are somewhat low (but not as low as people seem to expect for covid-19. 20-40k deaths in the US each year, which comes out to about 150 deaths per day during flu season).

    The question becomes how much risk and rate of death is acceptable while not needing to be distant or wear masks (because I think most Americans value openness and connection, not being in their own bubble, at least that's the way for me). There is definitely a values tradeoff when it comes to restrictions. Of course we haven't reached an acceptable point in the US or in many other countries to relax restrictions, but it could happen somewhat soon as more people rapidly get vaccinated or get infected and recover.

    Yes, in the end it's about what we value in life, and preventing all death or stopping all risk has never been and should never be the only thing that matters to people in life, nor should it be all that drives the actions of governments.

  74. Ethan

    @John K:

    "but the benefit to these strict measures is that life here is very much back to normal"

    I have been fully vaccinated for 3 months, and life is very much back to normal here in the US, too. Yes, I still wear a mask, but I have no problem with that, because it's helped to prevent me from getting even a minor cold in the past 15 months.

  75. Tracey

    There is an implied constitutional right to freedom of movement not just within Australia, but outside of it, and this is the basis of the challenge in federal court by those stuck in India right now.

    There are 8 million Australians who were not born in Australia and have ties to other countries, involving friends, family, assets, and businesses. Those people absolutely have a right to leave.

    I would update your article accordingly.

    - 3rd...

    There is an implied constitutional right to freedom of movement not just within Australia, but outside of it, and this is the basis of the challenge in federal court by those stuck in India right now.

    There are 8 million Australians who were not born in Australia and have ties to other countries, involving friends, family, assets, and businesses. Those people absolutely have a right to leave.

    I would update your article accordingly.

    - 3rd year law student in Australia

  76. Vago

    As an Australian citizen who travelled regularly and would like to continue doing so, I am prepared to hold off travelling for the time being, until Covid-19 is under control. And yes, I support the government, as do quite a large majority of my fellow citizens. Has it been perfect? No, I acknowledge there have been mistakes, esp. with our citizens in India, and there has been a large public outcry against the government's heavy...

    As an Australian citizen who travelled regularly and would like to continue doing so, I am prepared to hold off travelling for the time being, until Covid-19 is under control. And yes, I support the government, as do quite a large majority of my fellow citizens. Has it been perfect? No, I acknowledge there have been mistakes, esp. with our citizens in India, and there has been a large public outcry against the government's heavy handediness. The government has relented and will begin repatriationof our citizens shortly. When we have enough of our people vacinated, as does the rest of the world, then we will open our borders, maybe with some small restrictions. We are happy to bide our time, and safely, extend our international bubbles and open our borders.

  77. gabbler

    I and all the fellow Australian's I know are satisfied with the government's handling of Covid and the border closures (though there is disatisfaction with the slowness of vaccinations).

    This is confirmed by the recent state elections from WA and QLD where the strict governments were relected with an increased majority. In addition, NZ had a federal election where their strict Covid government was re-elected by a landslide.

    We find it remarkable that we are...

    I and all the fellow Australian's I know are satisfied with the government's handling of Covid and the border closures (though there is disatisfaction with the slowness of vaccinations).

    This is confirmed by the recent state elections from WA and QLD where the strict governments were relected with an increased majority. In addition, NZ had a federal election where their strict Covid government was re-elected by a landslide.

    We find it remarkable that we are getting told by people from other nations such as the USA that we are paranoid etc. The USA is still having around 700 Covid deaths each day while we go for months without a single death.

    I also feel it's important to point out the reality of the "poor Australian citizens" "stuck" or "barred" from returning "home". Most of these people hold dual residency and had choosen to live in the other country. Others left Australia on work Visa's to chase better prospects in another country.
    The majority of Australians who are in Australia and choose to live in Australia and choose to work in Australia have zero sympathy for those who left and now want to come back.
    It's no surprise that any Australian's in USA or India would want to come to Australia when there are hundreds or thousands dying everyday.

  78. Ajmal

    Ill written opinion when 34% of the countries population is overseas born and it's a right not a privilege because it Australia not Saudi Arabia.

  79. J.

    I'm in Australia but all of my family is in the United States. I am frustrated by the delays in the vaccination program here and I have started to worry our zero tolerance for COVID cases makes it hard to open up. For example, we may have to start wearing masks if visitors arrived, from not having to now. That's tougher to tell people to do. I do not like the idea of borders being...

    I'm in Australia but all of my family is in the United States. I am frustrated by the delays in the vaccination program here and I have started to worry our zero tolerance for COVID cases makes it hard to open up. For example, we may have to start wearing masks if visitors arrived, from not having to now. That's tougher to tell people to do. I do not like the idea of borders being closed for longer but I think if they did allow exits and home quarantine for those that are vaccinated I would be okay with that, even with an ankle bracelet. It would allow me to visit the US and work from home on return. Hotel quarantine is a nightmare that I don't want.

  80. Brother Gus

    You can't understand Australia's strategy. I'll tell you then. It's keeping Australian's safe. We have a blessed lifestyle and don't want it destroyed by opening the borders to COVID infected travellers. ScoMo has done a great job keeping up all safe.

  81. Jacob

    As an Aussie expat living in the US, it’s a little heart breaking hearing these kind of timelines. The PM of Australia has taken a tough stance closing borders from the very beginning of the COVID outbreak which is warranted.
    But, if you take such a tough stance, surely you would have policies and procedures to execute a successful vaccine rollout - this has not happened!
    It’s been an absolute shit show with...

    As an Aussie expat living in the US, it’s a little heart breaking hearing these kind of timelines. The PM of Australia has taken a tough stance closing borders from the very beginning of the COVID outbreak which is warranted.
    But, if you take such a tough stance, surely you would have policies and procedures to execute a successful vaccine rollout - this has not happened!
    It’s been an absolute shit show with snap lockdowns, expensive and ineffective self funded hotel quarantines and no sign of an effective vaccine rollout. We have Australian’s stranded globally (including India) and unable to return (except the famous and wealthy) because of flight caps and exorbitant flight prices due to low supply.
    Surely, Australian citizens have the right to decide their own personal risks regarding travel once the country is sufficiently vaccinated by end of year.
    Wish there was more of an emphasis on the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle and naturally boosting your immune system instead of this crazy isolation lockdown with no real end date!

  82. glenn t

    Firstly, Simon Birmingham is (currently) Finance Minister, not Health Minister. So he's speaking out of line here. His general demeanour is to be a 'doom 'n gloom merchant' no matter what the topic.
    The real reason re-opening is delayed is the totally inept procurement of publically acceptable vaccines and the rollout. The Government had a big bet on the AstraZeneca vaccine (nice 'n easy, cheap, can be made here, their friends have stock in...

    Firstly, Simon Birmingham is (currently) Finance Minister, not Health Minister. So he's speaking out of line here. His general demeanour is to be a 'doom 'n gloom merchant' no matter what the topic.
    The real reason re-opening is delayed is the totally inept procurement of publically acceptable vaccines and the rollout. The Government had a big bet on the AstraZeneca vaccine (nice 'n easy, cheap, can be made here, their friends have stock in CSL the manufacturer~ like, what could go wrong?)
    Well, fatal blood clots, lowish efficacy of up to 73% ~Moderna and Pfizer in mid 90's% for comparison~ , yeah, what could go wrong.....
    With a Federal election due in early 2022 a sour and pissed-off electorate could see them dumped at the wayside. YAY!

  83. glenn t

    @Vago says "We are happy to bide our time, and safely, extend our international bubbles and open our borders."
    Speak for yourself dude, there are many, many who disagree, myself included!
    Your whole post smacks of right-wing political myopia, while conveniently ignoring underlying truths.

  84. Jan

    @gabbler It's your fellow Aussies on this comment thread that are complaining about your government's handling of the situation right now. Maybe they are the minority that just loves to travel and are frustrated (which makes sense if they are on a travel blog). I don't know Australia's actual situation because I don't live there.

    But like I said earlier, if the rest of the world gets vaccinated/immunized from COVID and your country stays...

    @gabbler It's your fellow Aussies on this comment thread that are complaining about your government's handling of the situation right now. Maybe they are the minority that just loves to travel and are frustrated (which makes sense if they are on a travel blog). I don't know Australia's actual situation because I don't live there.

    But like I said earlier, if the rest of the world gets vaccinated/immunized from COVID and your country stays locked up, that's fine too. There are many other beautiful countries in the world that are opening up and accepting vaccinated folks. We really don't need Australia if they decide to shut us out. Sounds like you don't need the rest of the world either (why single out USA though?)

  85. Azamaraal

    @Tracey

    My friends in Australia love to send me pictures of camping, beaching and quiz nights with bevvies. I love the freedoms Australians are enjoying. I so envy them and wish I had been "trapped" in the country. Unfortunately I was in Portugal. The freedoms Australians are enjoying now are because of the absolutely perfect approach your government made to prevent Covid from infecting the country. Being so close to the source it was exactly...

    @Tracey

    My friends in Australia love to send me pictures of camping, beaching and quiz nights with bevvies. I love the freedoms Australians are enjoying. I so envy them and wish I had been "trapped" in the country. Unfortunately I was in Portugal. The freedoms Australians are enjoying now are because of the absolutely perfect approach your government made to prevent Covid from infecting the country. Being so close to the source it was exactly the correct thing to do.

    I support your suggestion that the 8 million "Australians" not born in Australia but now living there who want to go home should be allowed by law to leave. No problem. Just leave your passports and visa/citizenship papers at the door as you leave. Bon Voyage.

    If you emigrate to Australia you are supposed to sign a declaration that this is the country and its society that you wish to become part of. Feel free to leave but don't expect to come back.

  86. RYAN

    @gabbler: I'm an Aussie living in the U.S. and have no interest in going home after this crisis.

    The irony is that I've been here for years and all I've wanted to do is return back to Aus. I even sponsored my American spouse for a partner visa back in 2018.

    But I've been dismayed at the infringement on personal freedoms in a western democracy. Melbourne's lockdown arrested anyone who even suggested organising a protest...

    @gabbler: I'm an Aussie living in the U.S. and have no interest in going home after this crisis.

    The irony is that I've been here for years and all I've wanted to do is return back to Aus. I even sponsored my American spouse for a partner visa back in 2018.

    But I've been dismayed at the infringement on personal freedoms in a western democracy. Melbourne's lockdown arrested anyone who even suggested organising a protest against the government. That is dangerous territory.

    And now, one single case in any of the capital cities and they go into lockdown. The state borders close, sometimes barring residents from the very states they live in. Any case suddenly requires that anyone visiting the same venue be tested AND still be placed in quarantine for two weeks. Even with no active cases, the authorities are actively testing waste water for COVID that results in entire communities being tested. It's outright paranoia and hysteria.

    The US has been far from perfect and the numbers were awful early on. But I've never felt any infringement on my freedoms and have tried to make conscious decisions on my actions so they don't affect those around me. I haven't needed the government to mandate me to do anything with a heavy fist.

    And if I return to Australia, I'm effectively trapped there until who knows when? I felt so strongly on this matter that when my partner did move to Melbourne two months ago, I stayed behind.

    I don't feel like I'm suffering here. I can still shop, go for a run, go to work, and never did I ever get condemned to my neighbourhood or my house for 23 hours a day. I have to continue wearing a mask, but it's worth it.

    Nope, I have no interest in returning to Australia. It'll either become a hermit state, locked away from the world, or they'll have to face the reality that COVID is not going away and the borders will have to open, maybe in stages, but at the expense of a few who refuse to get vaccinated.

  87. 2PAXfly

    OK, Team OMAAT,

    Let's just remember with all this rights and privileges stuff, that mass cheap air travel has only been with us since the Jumbo launched in the 1970's. Until then it was common for people in Australia to make maybe one and usually no trips to the USA or more popularly the UK/Europe. Complete families would go through the cycle of birth and death without physical contact with their relatives overseas. We are...

    OK, Team OMAAT,

    Let's just remember with all this rights and privileges stuff, that mass cheap air travel has only been with us since the Jumbo launched in the 1970's. Until then it was common for people in Australia to make maybe one and usually no trips to the USA or more popularly the UK/Europe. Complete families would go through the cycle of birth and death without physical contact with their relatives overseas. We are a nation of immigrants, and they managed.

    While I will be first in the queue to travel overseas from Australia once it is safe to do so for me and anyone I meet. At the moment we have a disaster of a vaccine rollout. A vaccine that mainly stops you from suffering the worst symptoms of COVID-19, rather than actually catching it or passing it on. We have 'long COVID-19' looking like it has enduring detrimental implications for a whole range of the bodies systems, including brain, heart and lung function. Maybe it's not a bad idea to wait another year before we return to mass tourism.

    Our governments, who are sometimes unable to organise a look out of a window, on the whole, have delivered appropriate aid to affected sectors. They could do more.

    I'm really happy that I can travel domestically, freely, and visit my family and friends across Australia. I can dine at restaurants without masking up. I can visit bars, and theatres, and even go dancing. I'm also happy that my friends with joint residency/citizenship, and sufficient means have been able to come out here from the UK and enjoy the freedom we have, rather than the hideous lockdown and daily death rates they have in the tens of thousands - until recently.

    Would I like to be able to travel internationally - of course. Do I wish that those with close relatives and friends overseas could be re-united - certainly. Am I glad I live in Australia and can essentially live a normal life with virtually no fear of getting COVID-19 - you betcha!

    Until we know how effective the vaccines are in reducing transmission, and until we know how long the vaccine is effective before a booster or further vaccination is required, then, I'm happy to have my international wings clipped.

    I'd far prefer to be able to travel within safe COVID free bubbles as they develop, especially here in the Pacific. Remember Australia is also dealing with a permeable border to our north with Papua New Guinea that looks like it is heading for a pandemic disaster similar to India.

    Call me cautious. I'm happy with that. I don't want to live in a city where I am fearful of going outside my house. I did that for a couple of months, I don't want to do it again.

    Remember - the only virus transmission here in Australia is coming from returning travellers.
    Q. E. D.

  88. vevak

    I’m an Australian living in the USA, and I’ve just received my 2nd Pfizer shot. I would dearly love to travel to Australia and see my parents. In particular my father with late stage Alzheimer’s. I’d also love my children and husband to see him, as well as other family members. I would hope that being a vaccinated Australian citizen, that the 14 day hotel quarantine could be eased to 5 days, or whatever the...

    I’m an Australian living in the USA, and I’ve just received my 2nd Pfizer shot. I would dearly love to travel to Australia and see my parents. In particular my father with late stage Alzheimer’s. I’d also love my children and husband to see him, as well as other family members. I would hope that being a vaccinated Australian citizen, that the 14 day hotel quarantine could be eased to 5 days, or whatever the current CDC recommendations are. I’ve admired how safe they’ve kept their population, but I believe that updating some of their rules and policies would be advantageous. Australians have been very diligent at their own 14 day self quarantine when a local case arises, but maybe even that could be improved once they increase vaccinations. I hope that they can speed up their vaccinations and not get too complacent with their successful yet limiting practices.

  89. Ryan

    Anyone who thinks what Australia is doing is for the gelato of their people watches way too much media.

  90. JB

    (From an Aussie living in QLD) I think you'll find majority of Australians are happy with the current arrangement, things are almost completely normal and have been for close to 12 months now. All we can't do is travel internationally, however it is possible i know maybe people who have made relatively short trips overseas (3-4 weeks) and come back to quarantine, some have done this numerous times, so don't believe the hype that tens...

    (From an Aussie living in QLD) I think you'll find majority of Australians are happy with the current arrangement, things are almost completely normal and have been for close to 12 months now. All we can't do is travel internationally, however it is possible i know maybe people who have made relatively short trips overseas (3-4 weeks) and come back to quarantine, some have done this numerous times, so don't believe the hype that tens of thousands of Aussies are stuck overseas.

  91. Mi

    For Ryan and others that really understand freedom- for the rest I don't bother.
    Only one two countries , North Korea and Australia forbids their citizens to leave!!! . I was born in a communist country and for my desire to travel spoken between my uni colleagues, in a non socialist /communist country I was taken in front of the all uni students and professors to beg for forgiveness because I was a enemy...

    For Ryan and others that really understand freedom- for the rest I don't bother.
    Only one two countries , North Korea and Australia forbids their citizens to leave!!! . I was born in a communist country and for my desire to travel spoken between my uni colleagues, in a non socialist /communist country I was taken in front of the all uni students and professors to beg for forgiveness because I was a enemy of socialist order .Me a sincere fellow, I spoke in front of them the following words; " Dear dean, professors and my colleagues, I personally do not see anything wrong if I want to travel within my vacations to Budapest or Vienna and have a caffe there " Some of my colleagues raised and shouted " Let shoot him comrades, let shoot him " After that I was imprisoned 3 days and nights , and they stepped with the boot on my face!! So that's why I chose the land of freedom Australia - to be free. Well due to our very incompetent liberal gov unfortunately, I am not allowed to go back to see my family in the country of my first citizenship. I am a slave kept against my will!! When I hear that someone is saying that travel is privilege makes me vomit. They go into "delirium tremens" for one or two cases and close everything! It is easy for any less intelligent character to close but it needs someone with intelligence to project, check, and implement a quarantine plan and maintenance but the present team from federal and few lefties from QLD, VIC, WA do not have the minimum !but they enjoy to be gods on taxpayer money. Problem is that some of australians enjoys this status quo and they believe what the government told them instead of doing a bit of research.

  92. MARTIN artenstein

    I'm Australian and love travelling overseas as often as possible- not really feasible now unless for business etc. I sometimes do travel overseas for work but wont until I've had both doses of the vaccine, even if permitted to travel earlier.

    Many of those above are critical of Australia's stance.
    Australians are overwhelmingly supportive of the Government stance in keeping borders closed.
    We feel safe in the ultra low COVID numbers and life...

    I'm Australian and love travelling overseas as often as possible- not really feasible now unless for business etc. I sometimes do travel overseas for work but wont until I've had both doses of the vaccine, even if permitted to travel earlier.

    Many of those above are critical of Australia's stance.
    Australians are overwhelmingly supportive of the Government stance in keeping borders closed.
    We feel safe in the ultra low COVID numbers and life is almost entirely normal here now.
    e.g. I went to a football game at the MCG 2 weeks ago with 78,000 fans

    We are hoping that the NZ bubble will be expanded to the Pacific and parts of Asia (probably Singapore) . Travel to/from the US and Europe will be later for sure, let alone elsewhere

  93. Jo145

    Australia has done a lot right leading to us only having 910 deaths (about 35/million population).

    It's also done a lot wrong - mismanaged hotel quarantine program that caused most of these deaths; appallingly slow rollout of the vaccine; over 30,000 citizens overseas who haven't been able to get back; and worst of all is the ban on people coming home from India.

    I don't have the perfect answer but I do know that...

    Australia has done a lot right leading to us only having 910 deaths (about 35/million population).

    It's also done a lot wrong - mismanaged hotel quarantine program that caused most of these deaths; appallingly slow rollout of the vaccine; over 30,000 citizens overseas who haven't been able to get back; and worst of all is the ban on people coming home from India.

    I don't have the perfect answer but I do know that not being allowed to fly overseas is disappointing but hardly the worst thing that can happen right now.

    One more thing - completely confused by people comparing our PM to Trump - this restriction is the exact opposite of the what the Trumpinator would have done.

  94. gougoul

    I don't understand why there is no reciprocity with that...

    We should accept vaccinated people from countries accepting our vaccinated people...

    Right now everybody seems to encourage their citizens to travel abroad but especially in the (very) great asia, they're less in a hurry to welcome foreigners...

  95. AJJ

    Australia, Canada, Hawaii, New York City made it very clear that tourism is not important, which is their option, but I listen and don't plan to visit any of those places in the future, used to go to NYC and Hawaii every year, never again. SE Asia kind of giving me the same feeling, so I've written off that region (my favorite in the world) for the rest of 2021. Are any of these places...

    Australia, Canada, Hawaii, New York City made it very clear that tourism is not important, which is their option, but I listen and don't plan to visit any of those places in the future, used to go to NYC and Hawaii every year, never again. SE Asia kind of giving me the same feeling, so I've written off that region (my favorite in the world) for the rest of 2021. Are any of these places doing well with their policy? Australia, yeah, I guess, if freedom of movement isn't your thing. I think most of us following a travel blog feel differently. Hawaii was a mess despite restrictions, Canada is a mess, New York's governor is probably responsible for killing more Americans than any other person in history, it's just poor leadership. Lockdowns haven't worked, but governments continue with the willful help of the fear mongering media.

    Now, look at Mexico, the most wide open country for the past year. They've had their scares, increased and decreased restrictions as they've seen fit, but case numbers are dropping dramatically despite a slow vaccine rollout. I know several people who tested positive in Mexico, most felt nothing, and now have immunity. Maybe the answer from day one was to do nothing? Wash your hands more. I know almost no one anywhere else in the world who tested positive with severe restrictions, yet cases climb, even with vaccines. Where were the people being interviewed by the media who said, I had a runny nose for a day? I coughed a bit more than normal? I had a headache, but was fine the next day? Well, that doesn't follow their narrative. People might actually go out and turn off the TV, media certainly doesn't want that. Prisoners are some of the best TV audiences on Earth. Lockdown is a term used in prisons.

    I had such a great time in Mexico for four months at the end of 2020, the country earned so much goodwill with me, it will pay off in the coming years. And maybe, they are the place on Earth that actually got it right? Expose people who are unlikely to get sick and die. Let those at risk take caution. We started that way in the USA until the media took control of the government.

    The past days have shown the Seychelles, with mass vax programs is panicking. Point is, nothing, not one policy anywhere has been the silver bullet. Yet governments continue to experiment despite the people and economy, especially places heavily dependent on tourism. And go back to policies that haven't worked for a year and think now they will? Insanity.

    Maldives took a chance almost a year ago, and sees hotel occupancy rates of 70+ percent despite it being the overall priciest accommodation in the world. Where are the other countries like Mexico and the Maldives?

    I'm in Nepal right now, total lockdown, only food sellers and pharmacies are open. Last week shopping hours were 5am-10am and 5pm-7pm. This week, only 7am-9am. So, they want literally everyone out on the street at the same time, every day? Who decides this stuff? The same kind of people who make decisions in Australia, Canada, NY, Hawaii et al.

    Opening for travel doesn't mean you have to go. People who work in travel businesses can refuse on the basis of safety. But don't penalize the 95 percent of the people who want to go, want to work, understand the risks and want to get on with life.

  96. Ivan

    To reiterate was others have said, my life in Sydney has been pretty normal for almost 12 months now. Yes Australia hasn't got everything right and I don't agree with the restrictions imposed on overseas travel. Having said that I feel that we have been so lucky to live here compared to what people have had to endure in other countries. If the only major restriction on my life is international travel, then I am...

    To reiterate was others have said, my life in Sydney has been pretty normal for almost 12 months now. Yes Australia hasn't got everything right and I don't agree with the restrictions imposed on overseas travel. Having said that I feel that we have been so lucky to live here compared to what people have had to endure in other countries. If the only major restriction on my life is international travel, then I am prepared to accept that, to have a normal existence doing pretty much everything I used to do, pre-covid.

  97. Miso

    Where exactly would Australians want to go?

    Imagine having to wear a mask? Or have to worry about pre flight testing? Or a vaccine passports? Or dining / drinking restrictions?

    Sounds exhausting, you're meant to be on hols.

    Oh right. NZ. I’m off next month.

  98. David

    It's really weird for Americans to talk about immigration reciprocity.

  99. Andy

    On a broader note, it will be interesting to see how the two fundamental approaches will reconcile eventually. Some countries, including Australia, NZ and many South East and East Asian countries have taken a "zero COVID approach", with travel bans and very severe restrictions in case of every single case detected. On the other hand side, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa have taken "protect the vulnerable" approach, allowing the non-vulnerable...

    On a broader note, it will be interesting to see how the two fundamental approaches will reconcile eventually. Some countries, including Australia, NZ and many South East and East Asian countries have taken a "zero COVID approach", with travel bans and very severe restrictions in case of every single case detected. On the other hand side, the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and most of Africa have taken "protect the vulnerable" approach, allowing the non-vulnerable population to get sick. Arguably, both approaches have been implemented more and sometimes also less successfully, but that's not the question, now.

    The question really is, how the two approaches will eventually reconcile? The US and many European countries which are considered doing "rather well" still have around 200 cases per 100k per 14 days (or 100 per 7 days). And they seem to be quite o.k. with that, the hospitals can cope and the vulnerable population is largely vaccinated. But the "zero COVID" countries have may be 1 or 2 cases per 100k per 14 days ...

  100. Florian

    They should at least open their borders to like-minded utopists and let everybody else leave so as to build up their little NoCovid kingdom without disturbance.

  101. Morgan

    As other Aussies have said we love it. I am an Australian living in Perth and it is brilliant. Stadiums at full capacity, can go out and see whoever you want and do what ever you want with no masks and no fear of catching covid-19 or infecting someone else or someone dying.

    To be honest as long as we are still living like this I don't mind, international travel is only one thing we...

    As other Aussies have said we love it. I am an Australian living in Perth and it is brilliant. Stadiums at full capacity, can go out and see whoever you want and do what ever you want with no masks and no fear of catching covid-19 or infecting someone else or someone dying.

    To be honest as long as we are still living like this I don't mind, international travel is only one thing we can do so much more plus bubbles with NZ are good and maybe soon Singapore etc.

    Keep up the good work ScoMo!

  102. Florian

    Heureka! Aussies have finally become immortal.

  103. Mi

    For Morgan,
    Mate I am happy that you are born here and enjoy your life in Perth with all snap lock downs for 1 case. I agree with you that you have this right , but who gives this right to this government to keep me here against my will. Because they got elected using nice wording and empty promises ?I do not live on Government income support or covid aid or any other...

    For Morgan,
    Mate I am happy that you are born here and enjoy your life in Perth with all snap lock downs for 1 case. I agree with you that you have this right , but who gives this right to this government to keep me here against my will. Because they got elected using nice wording and empty promises ?I do not live on Government income support or covid aid or any other support. For everything I paid with my earned money, but your politicians- not mine, on their infinite wisdom and intelligence makes public comments, and as result share market collapses, flights are cancelled, businesses are ruined, for one or two cases which does not require ICU or intubation. I am not saying is not bad this virus but many people died because they could not be treated for other problems because covid paranoia. Ok put this different. Why not this incapable team in government does not make the following plan: 1) who want to go goes but is not asking for help to return. Return will be at their own cost and when eligible place in quarantine exist. 2) Return can be delayed up to an Year or more- so who wants to go can go but only on those conditions. So why their are not facilitating at least those conditions? Because they want total control, because in the name of safety they hide their zero intelligence to make a project to work. In Perth was a snap lock down easier to do, then to have verified filters to air-con and positive pressure on the corridor. Also is easier to snap lock down then to check if the personnel that works within red zone is vaccinated and if not, has the proper protective gear. See my friend, to do checks and implement process and procedure require intelligence, common sense, and willingness to do a proper job but these qualities are absent . Back to my case! The question if I want to leave and maybe not to return,!! why I am keep here against my will by those ...... and they say they are doing for greater good only because they can not implement anything that works properly. I will go in the end and I will live free maybe for ever but I will never be stopped again by those politicians- I did not come hear because I was poor and I needed a better life , - at that time my passport was not good for travel without visas, that is why I came here and now I am not allowed to leave ??? by some crooks they have their privileges from a little portion of my tax - that's why I am kept here! No sir , I prefer my EU citizenship and Canadian permanent residency. I will finally let this one to rest for good.

  104. Marian

    Agghhhh – the vaccine roll-out here has been slow and bungled by the Federal government. I fear that late 2022 is a positive estimate. Everyone who wants a vaccine may only be offered it by April 2023 according to current rates. I managed to get my first Astra Zeneca vaccine this week but my 95 year old father still hadn’t got his. (I made him an appointment for three weeks time.) As a nation, we...

    Agghhhh – the vaccine roll-out here has been slow and bungled by the Federal government. I fear that late 2022 is a positive estimate. Everyone who wants a vaccine may only be offered it by April 2023 according to current rates. I managed to get my first Astra Zeneca vaccine this week but my 95 year old father still hadn’t got his. (I made him an appointment for three weeks time.) As a nation, we love to travel. We are captive to the government’s denial that Covid will inevitably impact on folks here, vaccinated or unvaccinated when compulsory quarantine stops, which it must at some time.

  105. Nick

    Given the vaccine rollout, that kind of seems like a reasonable target here in Australia at the moment. The other thing of course is our federal government here in Australia is thoroughly useless and doesn't really have any idea.

    It's been a rough week for the federal government with their botched ban on Australian Citizens returning. Fear sells in Australian politics ... like really sells. I interpreted those comments as the conservative government trying to...

    Given the vaccine rollout, that kind of seems like a reasonable target here in Australia at the moment. The other thing of course is our federal government here in Australia is thoroughly useless and doesn't really have any idea.

    It's been a rough week for the federal government with their botched ban on Australian Citizens returning. Fear sells in Australian politics ... like really sells. I interpreted those comments as the conservative government trying to shore up support among the base by selling a bit of fear and deflect from the ongoing botched vaccine rollout.

  106. Mi

    Hi Nick,
    Vaccine roll out is missed its targets and from now on lees chance to recuperate. First as I mentioned above in order to make something work needs the know how and willingness to do a good job which from government downwards to the rest of hierarchy I can not see much but only daily tv appearances along supportive affiliated media and only declarations full of false patriotism and how hard they work...

    Hi Nick,
    Vaccine roll out is missed its targets and from now on lees chance to recuperate. First as I mentioned above in order to make something work needs the know how and willingness to do a good job which from government downwards to the rest of hierarchy I can not see much but only daily tv appearances along supportive affiliated media and only declarations full of false patriotism and how hard they work for the Aussies.Second thing because closing the border and snap lock down - the easy thing to do , and also the scare campaign at the begining with prediction from our politically chosen chief medical officers that the virus will kill in millions in Australia , people got scared and kept masks on , and main thing distancing. So, there is not much virus and being not much, then people are not very willing to go to get the vaccine, and this is another factor which slows down. No mention, how late the vaccine has been procured, how little and so few options- anyway I do not expect everything to be perfect but the way how those good for nothing politicians which they take advice from very " skilled " government medical advisers which they do not advice on the statistics or research but by avoiding responsibility of anything that needs to be done , also comments like " - Greg Hunt - Even if all the Australians are vaccinated the international border will not open... " effect ; -market collapse on travel shares ... Another thing - Ruby Princess arrives in Sydney and with all the international advice that people are sick with the virus on board , the chief medical officer in charge and the rest , permitted to all to disembark and then with not much knowledge about the virus, it spread, then they open an enquiry which did not put anybody in prison for the deaths occurred by their incompetence paid with huge salary and benefits, from productive taxpayers , not the ones that are government employees, then 13 months have passed and they still get into advance paranoia for 1 or 2 cases.
    The attitude has to be that Australians and all the world will have to learn how to live with the virus because now I will see the result of zero turism - even inside Aus , people are afraid to book in QLD, VIC, or WA - why because snap lock downs , quarantine . Economy will go to the drain- forget the market bubble which is over inflated inside share market but when the results will come from zero turism from overseas and very little from inside then the real collapse. What the politicians do ? promises and talk shows.... over and over. I am sorry that many people don't do their own research and then compare from multiple sources.

  107. snic

    This has been a very interesting and useful comments section! I've learned a lot about the differing opinions of Aussies re the closed border. Kudos to all the Aussies on here who seem to be able to have a discussion about a contentious issue with well-worded posts that convey the poster's strong opinion without too much acrimony.

  108. KEVIN

    It’s interesting that Australian government is this strict with their citizens. I heard that in Taiwan, people can still travel in and out of the country but if you leave and come back, you are required to quarantine in government hotel for two weeks which seems fair to me. I wonder why Australian government does not implement similar strategy? As for those Australians trap in India, why not repatriate them back and quarantine them in...

    It’s interesting that Australian government is this strict with their citizens. I heard that in Taiwan, people can still travel in and out of the country but if you leave and come back, you are required to quarantine in government hotel for two weeks which seems fair to me. I wonder why Australian government does not implement similar strategy? As for those Australians trap in India, why not repatriate them back and quarantine them in hotels for three weeks. My understanding is that quarantine for two weeks, sometimes people who originally tested negative on day one becomes positive by day fourteen but I have yet to hear cases where people quarantine for three weeks and tested positive after that.

  109. Esquiar

    One of my good friends is Aussie living in USA. He hasn’t seen his parents or high school friends for 17 months and counting because he can’t afford the extortionate fares Qantas is charging, aided by the low travel caps

  110. G

    There's been a lot of negative comments about AZ vaccination. Real world data from the 30million in UK who have had it, shows a 95%+ drop in hospital admissions, and almost no deaths in those who've had 2 doses plus 2 weeks. Only deaths were in late 80s with multiple co-morbitities. ASTRA Zenica vaccine works

  111. G

    Haven't seen grandchildren in Sydney in two years will be over three at this rate. Travel is not all about holidays.

  112. AW

    @Morgan I can go out and do all those things too. Difference is I'm vaccinated.

  113. Corey Sacken

    Lucky I have to disagree here.

    Australia basically announcing that anti-vaxxers are not allowed in their country makes perfect sense. By the time they open it will literally be available to everyone and it will not impact families.

    Either you can care about your freedom and be an idiot or you can get a vaccine. There's no point in babying or sugarcoating this. Get the damn vaccine needs to be the message to everybody.

  114. Joe

    @ Corey - Australia does not differentiate between arrivals who have been vaccinated or unvaccinated. You must complete 14 days hotel quarantine regardless.

    But before you can do that, you have to get a seat on a flight. Not an easy thing for many people who don't have unlimited funds.

  115. Maccas

    @Ryan there was much public outcry for this... people wanted and are conformable with this because we have proper knowledge of this situation... does this mean we like it more than pre covid... NO.... but we consider the health and safely of our fellow mates a priority.... also Australia is pretty satisfied with little travel bans to and from some countries.... not your country so leave it

  116. Joe

    @ Maccas - At risk of turning these comments into a locals vs expats forum, the fascinating thing to me (a member of the latter group) is that Australians living in Australia are utterly convinced you "have proper knowledge of this situation". As Norman Swan said the other day, there are around six Covid experts in Australia, and none of them are advising the Government.

    And even though Ryan has made the decision to...

    @ Maccas - At risk of turning these comments into a locals vs expats forum, the fascinating thing to me (a member of the latter group) is that Australians living in Australia are utterly convinced you "have proper knowledge of this situation". As Norman Swan said the other day, there are around six Covid experts in Australia, and none of them are advising the Government.

    And even though Ryan has made the decision to live elsewhere, it's still his country. That's the amazing thing about birthright.

  117. Ed

    KEVIN, Australia is a momnumentallly corrupt country so if your rich enough and mates with the liberal party then you are allowed out for ‘important business reasons’, and even allowed to quarantine at home. Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is one such example, he was allowed out to attend to his mining interests; poetic justice though he did manage to catch COVID whilst he was doing it.

    Private jets seem to be more or less exempt....

    KEVIN, Australia is a momnumentallly corrupt country so if your rich enough and mates with the liberal party then you are allowed out for ‘important business reasons’, and even allowed to quarantine at home. Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is one such example, he was allowed out to attend to his mining interests; poetic justice though he did manage to catch COVID whilst he was doing it.

    Private jets seem to be more or less exempt. I’ve seen adverts, in Chinese, for flights to and from Melbourne and cities in China , on this very blog (not from Ben, but in the advertising boxes he presumably rents out to Google or Facebook or whoever to sell ads). I’m sure other private jet companies are making hay with this as well, my search history just makes me more likely to see ads targeted at Chinese speakers.

    As ever, if you have money you get to abide by a different set of rules.

  118. Mi

    Just now on the BBC which I listen in Sydney. Something that Aus government will make even harder to leave the Country because they can and they are doing it. Heard also that UK and Portugal is relaxing restrictions from 17 May - don't remember exactly because my mind is focused on the part that it will be even harder to leave the " Lucky Country " " for some " .
    I discussed...

    Just now on the BBC which I listen in Sydney. Something that Aus government will make even harder to leave the Country because they can and they are doing it. Heard also that UK and Portugal is relaxing restrictions from 17 May - don't remember exactly because my mind is focused on the part that it will be even harder to leave the " Lucky Country " " for some " .
    I discussed with my wife ! The verdict is : selling the house , and renounce to this citizenship and go back in EU.
    I did not suffer 35 Years ago under the communism dictatorship , which forbid me to travel to foreign country only to have this bunch of useless politicians not capable to implement a proper quarantine place in 13 months after the outbreak which started mainly due to their incompetence. 13 months have passed , and what is the result ? snap lock down for 1 or 2 cases. Shifting responsibility from one body to another, only propaganda on asserted media , non stop talk show on Covid channel , Results zero. Incompetence patched with restrictions.
    They should learn how to manage a proper quarantine from other examples. I know in other countries which have got many other critical points to underline but : they did build a covid hospital in 3 weeks or less, they implemented a proper quarantine ( I know from Europeans which were locked inside their homes) , and after 2-3 months they were managing very well the virus for 1.4 billion people where distancing is not that easy. I never heard that they are forbidden to leave the country!? Did they have more know how then ? no but their politicians for this time of crises they made it work by working hard not talk shows and propaganda. At least for me and my wife the solution is to leave Australia and maybe never to return - we can not put mentally anymore with those restrictions ! and future is not certain with the politicians left or right. - and to mention to an above comment , we do not travel mainly for holidays but to be reunited with rest of family and friends scattered around Europe and North America.

  119. Matt

    Such an interesting response from those who aren’t living in Australia.

    On but off topic -

    In NSW (state that contains Sydney) there were two cases this week of local transmission - with my point of origin for the original case (second was the gentlemen’s wife). This lead to mask wearing on public transport, having to sit when drinking in pubs etc for three days. Aside from not being able to have a...

    Such an interesting response from those who aren’t living in Australia.

    On but off topic -

    In NSW (state that contains Sydney) there were two cases this week of local transmission - with my point of origin for the original case (second was the gentlemen’s wife). This lead to mask wearing on public transport, having to sit when drinking in pubs etc for three days. Aside from not being able to have a big night out nothing really changed.

    In WA - a single case meant a three day lockdown.

    It depends which state you are in as to the response.

    As widely shared, lives mostly carry on as normal but with precautions.

    As to international travel, while annoying - the vaccine rollout is incredibly slow with stuff up after stuff up. The federal government shouldn’t be left to organise a chook raffle let alone something of this magnitude.

    It’s to the point that the states are offering assistance such as a mass vaccination centre in Sydney - seems like the blatantly obvious approach. Instead GP’s (local doctors) are being sent small shipments (some only 50 a week or less or not showing up at all).

    Finally the issue on getting expat Australians home - another messy subject. The idiocy of using hotels in our capital cities right in the CBD districts cannot be more idiotic. Initially it seems like it was a great use due to being able to support those businesses, close to major hospitals etc if anything went wrong.

    The best example has been the use of outdoor single residence mining camp accomodation in the Norther Territory (Howard Springs). This camp is currently expanding to be able to accept 2,000 returnees a fortnight. All states should adopt this style of quarantine accomodation to be able to quickly scale up and get people home, while remaining away from the population centres.

    The last thing on my mind is leisure travel. We need to get quarantine right (cannot believe I’m having to say that still, it’s been over a year), and speed the vaccine rollout the f up.

  120. Ed

    It’s incredibly frustrating that several states (WA, QLD and VIC) have all put up proposals for howard springs style facilities and all been knocked back by the feds, there’s some shady politics at play here despite some bug liberal donors being involved in the proposals.

    The medical experts consistently say these cabin style accommodations are better at preventing transmission and it looks like we’ll need quarantine for another year or two at least.

    ...

    It’s incredibly frustrating that several states (WA, QLD and VIC) have all put up proposals for howard springs style facilities and all been knocked back by the feds, there’s some shady politics at play here despite some bug liberal donors being involved in the proposals.

    The medical experts consistently say these cabin style accommodations are better at preventing transmission and it looks like we’ll need quarantine for another year or two at least.

    So more mining camps, or nationalise all the big 4 holiday parks, the wiggles themed entertainment should put anyone off travel.

    I can’t help thinking that if Dan Andrew’s hadn’t drunkenly broke his spine at Lindsey Fox’s holiday house we’d have have a shiny quarantine camp at Avalon. If we’re going to have colossal rorts, and we are always going to have colossal rorts in Australia, at least we might as well get something useful once in a while.

  121. speedbird

    100% on board with your take Lucky. Australia and New Zealand have lost their minds.

  122. glenn t

    @Jo145
    You're getting way ahead of yourself as to Australia's population: it's a tad over 25million, not 35million.
    As far as comparing our PM to Trump is concerned, they both share fascist tendencies, neither are especially bright, both have no empathy, neither care for the rule of law, and both have over-inflated opinions of themselves.
    Alarmingly, they differ in that PM Morrison has said he is doing God's work, whereas Trump has...

    @Jo145
    You're getting way ahead of yourself as to Australia's population: it's a tad over 25million, not 35million.
    As far as comparing our PM to Trump is concerned, they both share fascist tendencies, neither are especially bright, both have no empathy, neither care for the rule of law, and both have over-inflated opinions of themselves.
    Alarmingly, they differ in that PM Morrison has said he is doing God's work, whereas Trump has really shown no indication he believes in any god other than Mammon.

  123. glenn t

    @G
    The AstraZeneca vaccine is, well, better than nothing if you're living in a Covid-out-of-control-country. There, second-rate does the job.
    You are plainly happy to overlook its unimpressive, recently pumped up maximum 73% efficacy, and the pesky multiple blood clots recipients are reportedly suffering.
    Serendipity favours Americans, who have access to the excellent Pfizer, Moderna, and more recently J&J. Such choice! What luxury! No such luck in Australia. You have what the...

    @G
    The AstraZeneca vaccine is, well, better than nothing if you're living in a Covid-out-of-control-country. There, second-rate does the job.
    You are plainly happy to overlook its unimpressive, recently pumped up maximum 73% efficacy, and the pesky multiple blood clots recipients are reportedly suffering.
    Serendipity favours Americans, who have access to the excellent Pfizer, Moderna, and more recently J&J. Such choice! What luxury! No such luck in Australia. You have what the Government tells you to get; don't bother arguing!
    Reminiscent of the Seinfeld SoupNazi episode , "No soup for you!!".

  124. Martin

    As an Australian, I can bring some light.

    Just as Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria went to their state elections on a zero tolerance, pro lockdown approach, and were rewarded with significant electoral wins, the Federal Government is holding out for the federal election due late 2021 or early 2022.

    And when the election is over, just like Western Australia and Queensland in particular, that advocated for border closures for weeks at a time over...

    As an Australian, I can bring some light.

    Just as Western Australia, Queensland, and Victoria went to their state elections on a zero tolerance, pro lockdown approach, and were rewarded with significant electoral wins, the Federal Government is holding out for the federal election due late 2021 or early 2022.

    And when the election is over, just like Western Australia and Queensland in particular, that advocated for border closures for weeks at a time over a single case before the elections, both states now have moderated their approach post election towards remaining open with snap lockdowns for very short periods of time.

    Mark my words, as soon as the federal election is over, we will see a subtle language change in the government moving from “CovidSafe policies” towards being “CovidAware” and we will all get back to normal with an increase in political scriptwriters using the lines of “proportionate and reasonable” replacing the overused “quick and decisive action” when describing political strategy to the citizens on the channel 7 news.

  125. Paul in Oz

    I'm an American-Australian dual citizen, and am really upset/depressed by what's going on here. There is zero tolerance for any risk of any cases and absolutely no long-term strategy for moving forward. People seem to have largely accepted the "new normal", which is closed borders, checking in with a QR code everywhere you go, and immediate lockdowns every time a case leaks from quarantine. They are just grateful to the government for "keeping them safe"....

    I'm an American-Australian dual citizen, and am really upset/depressed by what's going on here. There is zero tolerance for any risk of any cases and absolutely no long-term strategy for moving forward. People seem to have largely accepted the "new normal", which is closed borders, checking in with a QR code everywhere you go, and immediate lockdowns every time a case leaks from quarantine. They are just grateful to the government for "keeping them safe". The state governments (with the exception of New South Wales) have been even worse than the federal government, trying to outdo each other with populist rhetoric and slamming the borders shut to each other every two weeks - this has led to some landslide reelections. While I understand that people are rightfully happy to have avoided the loss of life experienced in the US and elsewhere, there are now safe ane effective vaccines, and the public attitude towards risk seems absolutely crazy to me. While watching the US get back to normal, it's hard to feel much hope here.

  126. Jane Doe

    I'm Australian living in Melbourne. I work as an immigration lawyer so I hear the first hand accounts of how border closures impact on people and businesses every single day. I feel very lucky overall in how well our country has weathered covid 19. However, the current hard border closures are not sustainable. I completely agree with your comment about the vaccine and giving people confidence in it as the solution. I'm hoping the late...

    I'm Australian living in Melbourne. I work as an immigration lawyer so I hear the first hand accounts of how border closures impact on people and businesses every single day. I feel very lucky overall in how well our country has weathered covid 19. However, the current hard border closures are not sustainable. I completely agree with your comment about the vaccine and giving people confidence in it as the solution. I'm hoping the late 2022 date is the government trying to set expectations low and that we can take steps away from a hard border closure well before this date.

  127. Marcus

    As an Australian living in Melbourne, i am very angry and disgusted with the current border closures and this zero case mentality. (NZ is just as bad but at least their own citizens can leave their own country) I really hope the current federal government gets voted out. And i so jealous of Americans, Brits , Europeans being able to leave and re enter their countries without any problems.

  128. Rabs

    @Joe there's a division that I've here seen in Australia... a lot of people feel the way @Maccas feels... some are very against it however however... I work at a large tech company in melbs... you can definitely say very social, young and high income people are the people that generally support this and lower income and older not so much which is kinda of unexpected.

    That being said there's 2 sides of it and...

    @Joe there's a division that I've here seen in Australia... a lot of people feel the way @Maccas feels... some are very against it however however... I work at a large tech company in melbs... you can definitely say very social, young and high income people are the people that generally support this and lower income and older not so much which is kinda of unexpected.

    That being said there's 2 sides of it and those who support NZ and Australia governments and those would don't... most people in the cities prefer this over being.... its also easy to get to and from Australia just some people dont actually know anything... like ive gone from china, Japan, Korea, HK, canada, uk, and California in the last several months was not difficult getting in at all... similar to Canada

  129. S

    We aren't talking about vacations here! People saying things like why do we need to get out for a holiday when we have wear masks and follow protocols. It's about seeing family you haven't seen in 2 years, meeting my fiance who I haven't seen in 2 years, going back home to Australia, which I'm unable to do. Travel needs to allowed for people who understand the risk but still want to go ahead and take it.

  130. Wanna Travel

    First of all, Ben thank you for continuing to blog about the plight of Aussies who are trapped in a gilded cage. Yes our country is beautiful, has lovely beaches, amazing landscapes and nightlife. Pubs and clubs are open. But not everyone is interested in these things. We have loved ones who may or may not be related to us in the traditional family sense. We have been a global community for years and are...

    First of all, Ben thank you for continuing to blog about the plight of Aussies who are trapped in a gilded cage. Yes our country is beautiful, has lovely beaches, amazing landscapes and nightlife. Pubs and clubs are open. But not everyone is interested in these things. We have loved ones who may or may not be related to us in the traditional family sense. We have been a global community for years and are used to treating the world as a backyard.

    The govt here is so incompetent it is ridiculous! They can't control the virus so they take advantage of being an island to keep most people out. And those who try to come back have been forced into expensive hotel quarantine whether or not they have Covid. Here is "guilty until proven innocent". Many healthy people went into hotel quarantine and contracted Covid there. I envy the countries who at least trust their citizens to quarantine at home. I think most Aussies would comply with the rules. But because of the few who would not, ALL incoming travelers are punished by hotel quarantine. Whatever happened to setting huge penalties for lawbreakers and letting law abiding people go about their business? Why not fine those who break the home quarantine with a huge fine, $20,000 at least and loss of passport? That would deter most. And give a reward to neighbors who report the law breakers?

    The whole system here is stuffed. And the news media makes it worse by brainwashing most people (sheeple) into panicking when ONE case gets out. People aren't so afraid to get the virus anymore. They are afraid the snap lockdowns will ruin their domestic travel plans. I still can't get over that there is so little backlash on this. At the very least, we should be folllowing the example of USA and UK in setting a plan in motion to allow overseas travel. Traffic light system or whatever. No we have no hope whatsoever and yes I am one of the depressed, despondant Aussies refered to above.

    And the vaccine rollout is a disaster. We have Pfizer and Astrazeneca. The latter is less effective, especially on variants. But because the govt backed the wrong horse, they are trying to railroad anyone over 50 to get AZ and save Pfizer for under 50's. Age discrimination at its finest. How about letting everyone choose? Or offer AZ for free and Pfizer at a small premium?

    We are being controlled by fear which is more deadly than the virus in the long term. People are getting more and more xenophobic as the premiers preach about how "safe" everyone is. And those who want to be free and treated as adults able to decide for themselves are getting squashed by this "majority" who want to be nannied for the rest of their lives.

  131. Jamie

    As a dual citizen of uk - au I’m fully immunised and would love to return without quarantine. Let’s see how this rolls out........

  132. AB

    Ben Schlappig,

    I don't know what planet you are from but any government preventing its citizens to move freely in and out of their country break a lot of Human Rights agreements.

    Unfortunate for Australian citizens, this right doesn't exist in Australian constitution which makes it impossible to drag Australian Government by the collar in front of International Court of Justice.

  133. Mi

    news.com.au " Scott Morrison says Australia will remain shut off to the world indefinitely "
    How dare he says that ?

  134. Paolo

    The tide is turning against restrictions for Australians leaving the country , but there is still strong public support for tight controls on arrivals. The public has become mightily pissed off to see just who has been getting exemptions for travel ( in and out): mostly (faux) celebrities, sports people, entertainers, millionaires, mates and cronies of the national government. Totally corrupt.
    The Australian economy has done reasonably well recently; it is not dependent on...

    The tide is turning against restrictions for Australians leaving the country , but there is still strong public support for tight controls on arrivals. The public has become mightily pissed off to see just who has been getting exemptions for travel ( in and out): mostly (faux) celebrities, sports people, entertainers, millionaires, mates and cronies of the national government. Totally corrupt.
    The Australian economy has done reasonably well recently; it is not dependent on tourism ( in fact it's a net gain, as Australians spend x3 on overseas travel than inbound receipts).
    The state governments have been central to the COVID response, and have done well. The Federal Government ( dominated by creepy Trumpists) has been hopeless; it will be kicked out at the forthcoming election.
    The unspoken issue ( ...politically incorrect) is that it has been extremely challenging to get some ethnicities in the community to abide by social distancing, mask wearing, hygiene measures ( including in food, hospitality and security services), in addition to the right wing nutcase ‘freedom’ freaks.

  135. glenn t

    For context for American readers here, reading news.com.au is akin to consuming garbage from Fox News (same ownership unsurprisingly) and Newsmax. So @Mi, no cause for alarm.
    And Morrison (a.k.a. #ScottyfromMarketing) complete with outsized megaphone, ever careless with the truth, is not to be taken seriously.

  136. Mi

    Dear Glenn, weather is Fox news, Sky news and others are garbage this is irrelevant!!! This character Morrison is Prime Minister. Already his team has collapsed the market ( travel shares ) few times with declarations that " even all Australians get vaccinated the borders will not open!!!!) , now he is the highest authority at present and confirms this.
    I just wrote to his office this morning that I will go out even...

    Dear Glenn, weather is Fox news, Sky news and others are garbage this is irrelevant!!! This character Morrison is Prime Minister. Already his team has collapsed the market ( travel shares ) few times with declarations that " even all Australians get vaccinated the borders will not open!!!!) , now he is the highest authority at present and confirms this.
    I just wrote to his office this morning that I will go out even if I have to renounce to Australian Citizenship!! He can keep it mine as well. I did not suffer under communism 35 Years ago , being beaten up and political security officer stepped with the boots on my mouth because I dared to speak in public, that I do not see anything wrong if I travel within my Uni vacation to Budapest or Wien and have a coffee there.Only for that - I was not a dissident against socialist order - I only wanted to be free to go where I could go on my own resources. This incompetent government had 13 months to prepare but no, easy to close borders - which I understand up to a point. Myself, my wife we want to go and not to return in short time but more then a Year or two maybe never. We can live happily as EU citizen in Europe ! and if we die of covid is our choice- we do not need any assistance from Australian Gov. Even here we pay for what we consume and we pay from our own resources not from the handovers...
    I remember before I was taken 3 days and 3 nights and beaten because I wanted to drink a coffee in Budapest, when I was taken in front of all Uni Students at the faculty to do a self criticism of my anti socialist order , some of my colleagues raised the hand up similar to a fascist salute and shouted " Let shoot him Comrades, let shoot him " !!! This was the reason I came here in Australia, legally not by boat ! I came to be free- and now to be told that I am again a political prisoner by an incompetent un elected person! No Sirs, if I have to renounce to Aus, ok , so be it ! but I will be free inside EU.

  137. Brother Gus

    @ wanna Travel
    If you don't like what ScoMo is doing to keep us all safe I suggest you apply for an exemption and move out. ScoMo is doing a great job keeping the borders closed and us all safe.

  138. KW

    Lucky the situation has now changed. The government are using the population as political prisoners saying the border will remain closed indefinitely. Those of us who have lived under communist and totalitarian regimes know how this ends.

    Please update the article and keep up the reporting of this overseas. And thank you for doing so. mAustralia is becoming more of a prison every single day. No one can enter and no one can leave unless...

    Lucky the situation has now changed. The government are using the population as political prisoners saying the border will remain closed indefinitely. Those of us who have lived under communist and totalitarian regimes know how this ends.

    Please update the article and keep up the reporting of this overseas. And thank you for doing so. mAustralia is becoming more of a prison every single day. No one can enter and no one can leave unless you are connected to the political elite (politicians, tennis players etc.).

    Might not be the majority of people but so many are desperate and tired, and suffering from an extreme mental health toll. Seeing empathy from friends like you abroad is humbling, so thank you.

  139. Frequent Flyer

    Australia is a huge country, sixth largest in the world interms of land mass but only 25 million or so inhabitants. By and large, it's a darn good lifestyle there and along with New Zealand it's probably/possibly the safest place on earth to be, for right now. No wonder so many people are annoyed they can no longer go there. The Australian Goverment has elected to close it's borders and adopt a zero covid policy...

    Australia is a huge country, sixth largest in the world interms of land mass but only 25 million or so inhabitants. By and large, it's a darn good lifestyle there and along with New Zealand it's probably/possibly the safest place on earth to be, for right now. No wonder so many people are annoyed they can no longer go there. The Australian Goverment has elected to close it's borders and adopt a zero covid policy now. It has every right to do so just like any other Country has. One thing Australia is well known for is shutting the gate to those who have no right to enter the Country and and locking people up who want to go up against the immigration system there and enter illegally. Australians are pretty much on-side with that policy and being essentially a huge island surrounded by water, they can do it without too much of a problem. Australians are pretty much going about their business in Australia with little or no impediments whatsoever from covid apart from no international outgoing travel. Most Australians are happy with that since life there is virtually uninterupted by covid. No wonder people have criticisms of the policy there, covid hardly exists there and their Goverment plans to keep it that way. Their economy there is not affected by lost incoming tourism dollars, most Australians travel out-bound so no loss there for the Goverment. Australia sells meat, coal and iron ore, it is a primary producer on a huge scale. Covid has not affected those exports. They do sell education though students contribute nothing to the economy there. So the Goverment there could not care less about loss of overseas students. Covid has affected that export but its expendable like inbound tourists at the risk of covid entering the Country. Australia will do as it pleases and frankly right now, it's probably the safest place on earth to be, with a high living standard and judging by the recent decisions to close its borders indefinately while covid is out of control, if it's not, it soon will be. Australia is called The Lucky Country and right now, it's looking very much that way. Just saying.

  140. Eedee

    I am an Australian and was once very proud to say that. Now I'm not proud and I'm ashamed of my fellow aussies content to keep us locked up like Prisoners indefinantly. We are the only western country and only one of two that forbids and threatens jail time for citizens who wish to leave. But we can't get an exemption anyway unless we are rich, privledged, a celebrity, sport, or business person. There are...

    I am an Australian and was once very proud to say that. Now I'm not proud and I'm ashamed of my fellow aussies content to keep us locked up like Prisoners indefinantly. We are the only western country and only one of two that forbids and threatens jail time for citizens who wish to leave. But we can't get an exemption anyway unless we are rich, privledged, a celebrity, sport, or business person. There are families seperated, hurting, love, marriage families on hold because the Australian Government treats anyone not in the privilege list as prisoners. So to those traveling around our 'wonderful' country, laughing and sitting pretty you are obviously not impacted by Australias draconian stance. We are not asking for borders to be thrown open tomorrow but to recognise not all travel is tourism, to allow citizens to return, allow families, fiances, parents to be reunited or let those citizens leave to be with their loved ones. That covid from people entering is because government handed over a federal responsibility (going back decades) of quaratine to the states, don't blame the people, blame the government. I'm really frightened that Aussies are fine even applaud a government that thinks its ok to keep loved ones seperated but allows big business and the privileged rich to come and go. What they have money, oh then they don't have covid then. What you haven't seen the birth of your child, but not privileged you must have covid you can't come in or your partner leave. Its frightening, please people wake up, research ask questions. Im not here to get angry, I understand people are ignorant on different matters (me included) when something doesn't impact our general day to day lived. Those that applaud Australias stance are ignorant to the reality, I don't ask you to walk a mile in the shoes of people who have been seperated by Australians draconian and illegal rules, but to stop and listen to their journeys, the limbo they live in every day. Understand that people are suffering not being able to touch their partner's, have some empathy for those that aren't surrounded by family in this 'wonderful' country of ours. Also understand NZ has controlled the virus but still allows its citizens to leave. So please don't use the virus as an excuse of how well we're 'managing' the pandemic. I will finish with Love is not Tourism! Please look that term up and read the heart breaking stories of those seperated and frightened by Australians reactive not proactive management of the pandemic.

  141. SteveFromMelbourne

    ''I had a lot of respect for how Australia initially handled coronavirus,'' Initially the PM Scott Morrison took the Trump/Bolsinaro/Boris Johnson approach. He was gung ho and convinced of Australians inbuilt natural superiority and had almost no interest in the quickly emerging pandemic. The individual state premiers were the first to act. I was in Melbourne when they stopped the Grand prix at the last minute and it turned out that a couple of crew...

    ''I had a lot of respect for how Australia initially handled coronavirus,'' Initially the PM Scott Morrison took the Trump/Bolsinaro/Boris Johnson approach. He was gung ho and convinced of Australians inbuilt natural superiority and had almost no interest in the quickly emerging pandemic. The individual state premiers were the first to act. I was in Melbourne when they stopped the Grand prix at the last minute and it turned out that a couple of crew members from Italy had the virus. Morrison eventually panicked when he could see his already poor reputation for human concern was going to bite him again after his failures with the bush fires the preceding summer.
    The reason Morrison is delaying reopening, regardless of a vaccinated population until well into 2022 is because that is when the next full election is, any time before September 2022. He is already on a thin edge with voters but if he lets a handful of infected people into the country he will definitely not win the election. After that he wont care about the virus or how many people catch it because at heart he is a psychopath.
    I am currently in the UK and my family are in Australia, my father is on his last legs and sister who looks after him is chronically ill. To get back this year would cost me something like £10,000 GBP and I would have to go on a waiting list to even do that as they are only letting a few in at a time and the few airlines flying are pretty much only taking first and business class passengers with full undiscounted tickets.
    To prove what a cold soulless person the PM and government is/are is easy. For eg they let in major tennis players early this year who jumped the queue for quarantine places. They are letting in thousands of workers from poorer countries on special flights to pick crops for farmers who don't want to pay proper wages to Australians.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jan/22/victoria-and-tasmania-strike-deal-to-bring-in-1500-pacific-island-farm-workers
    They have publicly stated that they will let in new immigrants before letting stranded Australians back in, in order to keep their donors and big business who are hungry for cheaper workers on side.
    The Australian government and much of the population who opinions are formed mostly on account of the Murdoch press which predominates in Australian media, and much of it is not very worldly or decent to humanity.

  142. TG

    Its important to take context here. As many commentators on here are from USA (and as it seems to be the benchmark for COVID handling comparisons) i'll use that.

    If you take COVID fatalities in US against total population and apply to Australia's population, over 40,000 people could have died in Australia had a similar approach in handling the situation been applied.
    So far in Australia only 910 people have died.

    Reverse...

    Its important to take context here. As many commentators on here are from USA (and as it seems to be the benchmark for COVID handling comparisons) i'll use that.

    If you take COVID fatalities in US against total population and apply to Australia's population, over 40,000 people could have died in Australia had a similar approach in handling the situation been applied.
    So far in Australia only 910 people have died.

    Reverse that and with Australia's approach in the US, as low as 12,000 people could have died instead of the 580k deaths.

    Perhaps we should ask the families of the other 568,000 Covid victims in the US what approach to handing the virus they would prefer... I'm sure the 39,000 Australian's still alive today because of the "harsh/restrictive" approach would have a similar view.

  143. Eedee

    @TG while I agree with your comment whole heartedly these are not our only two choices, in the early days yes as we established systems and quarantine. Australia should have kept quarantine a federal responsibility then we would not be in the postion we are now more than a year down the track, bannning citizens from leaving, keeping couples, family seperated and in agony wondering when they can reunite. Capping arrivals unless they are a...

    @TG while I agree with your comment whole heartedly these are not our only two choices, in the early days yes as we established systems and quarantine. Australia should have kept quarantine a federal responsibility then we would not be in the postion we are now more than a year down the track, bannning citizens from leaving, keeping couples, family seperated and in agony wondering when they can reunite. Capping arrivals unless they are a celebrity, rich or an Olympiad. Messed up vaccine roll out. No solid road map out. But yes your comment is valid but we can't keep being reactive not pro active, get our poop in a group like NZ has. They don't ban or threaten their citizens with hefty fines and prison time for leaving they just need to quarantine on return and they have a good handle on the virus.

  144. SteveFromMelbourne

    With Morrison there are usually ulterior motives. If he leaves responsibility with the states, he cant take the blame and in fact makes a lot of mileage out of Victoria's state lead but privatised outsourcing of quarantining. Also more importantly, he has an election any time before Sep 22 and his reasoning is that if we keep the borders tight shut, no or hardly any virus gets in and he will be praised for it...

    With Morrison there are usually ulterior motives. If he leaves responsibility with the states, he cant take the blame and in fact makes a lot of mileage out of Victoria's state lead but privatised outsourcing of quarantining. Also more importantly, he has an election any time before Sep 22 and his reasoning is that if we keep the borders tight shut, no or hardly any virus gets in and he will be praised for it but if he opens up and a bit more virus gets in he will be blamed. The fact that everyone will be immunised by the end of this year but still not opening up to other immunised people is the clue to the political side of the decision. I may well never see what is left of my family.

  145. SteveFromMelbourne

    TG
    However I believe most people are talking about post vaccination, both for Australians and returning Australians, visitors etc Alongside testing of course, now usually at both ends of a flight. Keeping borders closed, unless say there is a particular variant resistant to vaccine is purely a political move, keeping Morrison safe until the election in 2022.

  146. Eedee

    @SteveFromMelbourne
    Spot on, Morrison is playing a political game. It's easy to keep a virus off an island state by closing borders. Waiting for the right time to call an election that will favour him, the hero that lead us out of this pandemic woohoo. He has been very reactive and not proactive moving forward, its over a year and we had all that time to get things right. He is going the easy...

    @SteveFromMelbourne
    Spot on, Morrison is playing a political game. It's easy to keep a virus off an island state by closing borders. Waiting for the right time to call an election that will favour him, the hero that lead us out of this pandemic woohoo. He has been very reactive and not proactive moving forward, its over a year and we had all that time to get things right. He is going the easy vote by controlling our citizens with fear. When someone questions the status quo then "they are being selfish because they might infect their grandmother with corona" we turn on each other. It should not be like that, we could of had a solid road map out, people safely returning or leaving with a well established quarantine system.

  147. Craig

    Scott Morrison is all too aware that it is very popular to keep the border closed. The so called "quiet Australians", who hang on every word of this "leader", would love to keep outsiders out. With an election in the next 12 months, it seems increasingly unlikely we will see the border open before Morrison goes to the poles. It seems like Covid-19 will be with us for years to come. We have to learn...

    Scott Morrison is all too aware that it is very popular to keep the border closed. The so called "quiet Australians", who hang on every word of this "leader", would love to keep outsiders out. With an election in the next 12 months, it seems increasingly unlikely we will see the border open before Morrison goes to the poles. It seems like Covid-19 will be with us for years to come. We have to learn to live with it to minimise the risks. We should not seek to try to eliminate the risks. Vaccinate the vulnerable then open the border. Then there is the tardy vaccination roll out. But that's another issue.

  148. Pearl

    A really minor correction...the 6million Australians living in Victoria endured one of the harshest lockdowns in the world for over 4 months.
    Our lives were far from normal.
    Families have been torn apart with parents and children, spouses etc stuck overseas.
    Our tourism industry (30% of our economy) had collapsed. We cannot travel within Australia as the state borders can snap shut over single cases leaving us stranded or in 2 week...

    A really minor correction...the 6million Australians living in Victoria endured one of the harshest lockdowns in the world for over 4 months.
    Our lives were far from normal.
    Families have been torn apart with parents and children, spouses etc stuck overseas.
    Our tourism industry (30% of our economy) had collapsed. We cannot travel within Australia as the state borders can snap shut over single cases leaving us stranded or in 2 week hotel quarantine! The New Zealand bubble is a joke who can take such a chance when the bubble shuts from state to state from 1-2 positive cases?
    We didn’t have hospital crisis from covid but we had serious mental health hospital crises particularly over Victoria’s lockdown.
    Many restaurants have closed permanently.
    Most universities are still online as there are no foreign students.
    Sure we have largely avoided a serious flu but at what cost?

  149. Chuck

    @Pearl, there was a cost to be paid regardless... either the cost of shutting down, or the cost of staying open and allowing the virus to run wild, or the costs of both in some kind of haphazard hybrid $#itshow like we had in the US. The trick in managing the scenario is to pick the optimum path with the greatest benefit and the lowest cost, and then to communicate to the masses why the decision made was the right one.

  150. Pearl

    @Chuck, quiet right. The cost in Australia and the elimination strategy is too high.
    We cannot leave the country! Now those citizens in India cannot enter!
    What’s our citizenship worth ?

  151. KMan

    Thank you Eedee
    While we are in no way connected to Australia, my partner and I also have been separated for over a year now. We were planning our future together when her country banned all foreigners from coming in, no matter your purpose. Except if you are a highly skilled business person (read, have tons of money to throw at the politicians), you will not be granted an exception to enter.
    Love...

    Thank you Eedee
    While we are in no way connected to Australia, my partner and I also have been separated for over a year now. We were planning our future together when her country banned all foreigners from coming in, no matter your purpose. Except if you are a highly skilled business person (read, have tons of money to throw at the politicians), you will not be granted an exception to enter.
    Love is not Tourism has far too many stories of lives that have been put on hold or even broke down because of these maniacal policies. Not all travel is tourism.

    And while people in Europe are starting to complain because they might not fry in the sun for 2 weeks in a sunny country, more and more people are suffering to unprecedented levels.
    Those who think it's hard not being able to see their friends in a bar for a few months, let them stand in the shoes of the couples being torn apart for over a year!
    There hasn't been nearly enough attention for those folks.
    Opening bars and discussing whether or not festivals with thousands of people can take place, obviously has priority...

  152. Jake McKenzie

    Most Australians are happy to have closed borders and rather have closed borders than have to take the vaccine.

    If you want to know most Australians views on the matter just go to news.com.au and see the comments section.

    There's comments such as "Why would i take a vaccine when closed borders does the same job" etc etc

    Some people even calling for borders to be closed permanently or at least for the next...

    Most Australians are happy to have closed borders and rather have closed borders than have to take the vaccine.

    If you want to know most Australians views on the matter just go to news.com.au and see the comments section.

    There's comments such as "Why would i take a vaccine when closed borders does the same job" etc etc

    Some people even calling for borders to be closed permanently or at least for the next 100 years until Covid is wiped from the globe.

    It is pretty concerning - Australia has lost the plot in some respects.

    The only time it will change its policy is when everyday Aussies start seeing Europeans and Americans go back to normal lifes and travel.

  153. SteveFromAus

    @Chuck. that is not quite the issue. Scott Morrison said we wont be opening up until well into 2022, ie after his election regardless of the fact that a) most Australians will have been vaccinated and I expect they will only letting in virus free, vaccinated people, which is something that should be on the cards from the end of this year. Secondly he abandoned quarantine to the States (just in case something went wrong,...

    @Chuck. that is not quite the issue. Scott Morrison said we wont be opening up until well into 2022, ie after his election regardless of the fact that a) most Australians will have been vaccinated and I expect they will only letting in virus free, vaccinated people, which is something that should be on the cards from the end of this year. Secondly he abandoned quarantine to the States (just in case something went wrong, and it did of course and he could sidestep all blame) . I would have been much more effective to open up an army style camp, even if only at one point of entry and been able to take far more of us back. I have been stuck in the UK for well over a year now with very sick family back in Australia and nobody to deal with it. India with its new runaway variant is a separate issue and could be dealt with via a different channel of quarantined/vaccination and testing. Morrison also said he wanted to open up the immigration of skilled immigrants before letting existing Australians back in, same for cut price farm labourers on half pay.

  154. Bee

    It's a really awful state of affairs. I, like roughly 30% of the country, live in Australia but was born overseas. All my family is in the UK. We don't want to go gallivanting around places with high rates of COVID and take risks, I just want to spend some time with my ageing parents, while they're still alive. So sad, how do you tell your father you won't be there for yet another birthday.

  155. Chuck

    @SteveFromAus, with all due respect, what I wrote is exactly correct. In essentially any situation, there are costs to be paid from action or inaction. The key to making a sound decision is properly assessing those costs, weighing those costs against the relevant points in the value system, and then acting accordingly. You can delve into the details of this specific situation all you want, and you can think that Morrison is great or that...

    @SteveFromAus, with all due respect, what I wrote is exactly correct. In essentially any situation, there are costs to be paid from action or inaction. The key to making a sound decision is properly assessing those costs, weighing those costs against the relevant points in the value system, and then acting accordingly. You can delve into the details of this specific situation all you want, and you can think that Morrison is great or that he is a knuckledragger or somewhere in between, but the economics of decision-making remain. Perhaps Morrison simply didn't care to act in the manner that minimized the cost for the country and the citizens of Australia, because the lofty power-hungry dreams of his value system overrode rational, caring thought in consideration of costs and of people. Or perhaps his calculations of costs to be borne are different than yours would be, and one of your calculations is likely more correct and complete than the other's. Those are different arguments to have.

  156. SteveFromAus

    Chuck
    You are missing my point. Morrison has stated that he will not open borders until probably well into next year even though everyone who is going to get vaccinated will be and anyone returning to Australia will also be vaccinated and tested. That is my issue going forward. However also in the last year they have made it impossible for real people, unlike tennis stars and apparently fruit pickers to find any way...

    Chuck
    You are missing my point. Morrison has stated that he will not open borders until probably well into next year even though everyone who is going to get vaccinated will be and anyone returning to Australia will also be vaccinated and tested. That is my issue going forward. However also in the last year they have made it impossible for real people, unlike tennis stars and apparently fruit pickers to find any way back home this side of nearly $20K and a six month waiting list. Morrison has now gone beyond sound decision making, something he has never been capable of anyway as it took the states to close borders before he made a panic (about his own leadership position) to close borders. Everything he does going forward is based on his personal position re the upcoming election, not medical or viral science. And nobody is demanding a full open, business as usual border, just common sense post vaccination of the Aus population. .

  157. OZKim

    Thank you @Edee have restored my faith in Australians. As an Australian who has lived in the US the last 3 years, I am filled with despair as my family live in Melbourne and I am struggling to get back to see them. At the start of Covid, I listened to the PM he said, if you are safe, stay where you are. I have a job, a mortgage and an American spouse. We are...

    Thank you @Edee have restored my faith in Australians. As an Australian who has lived in the US the last 3 years, I am filled with despair as my family live in Melbourne and I am struggling to get back to see them. At the start of Covid, I listened to the PM he said, if you are safe, stay where you are. I have a job, a mortgage and an American spouse. We are in the last decade of our working lives and are working hard to nd a return and retirement in Australia. I stayed. We did discuss both or one of us returning, however financially it makes no sense to uproot and start again. Now, I find myself questioning what being Australian means. That is incredibly confronting. I worried for my family during Melbourne's harsh lockdowns and felt very conflicted at the personal freedom of choosing risks that I had by virtue of living in the US on the daily calls I made to my mother who was struggling with the lockdown. The hardest part has been to see the willingness of Australians to barricade themselves and resort to blaming and shaming "the other". I've seen this play out time and time again in Australia yet being on the receiving end has been an eye opener to how truly awful it is and how it says nothing good about our culture. So much for the image of the travelling Aussie or the multicultural country. Being an Australian should not only apply in-country. I also worry at the economic toll this is going to take on my daughter and niece and nephew who will be paying for many years to come. I have had hope that common sense will prevail and travel for reunion of vaccinated family members happen, however I have lost hope and really do not see free travel to and from Australia for many, many years.

  158. Chuck

    @SteveFromAus, I'm not missing your point. You are saying Morrison is a power-hungry schmuck basing decisions less on data and more on his personal whims, yes? Have I said anything to the contrary? My comment to Pearl concerned ever-present costs. I am not arguing with you. You can keep claiming that the Yugo was a piece of crap, but that has nothing to do with my stated preference for strawberries with my vanilla ice cream.

  159. Pearl

    The reason quarantine was handed to the states is simple. Federal legislation allows under bio security for the detention of people who may be a risk . However under that legislation the tab must be picked up by the government. However, there’s no such state legislation so Feds handed it to the states who charge.
    There class action happening around that.
    However, quarantine is the least of our problems. What’s quarantine if you...

    The reason quarantine was handed to the states is simple. Federal legislation allows under bio security for the detention of people who may be a risk . However under that legislation the tab must be picked up by the government. However, there’s no such state legislation so Feds handed it to the states who charge.
    There class action happening around that.
    However, quarantine is the least of our problems. What’s quarantine if you can’t leave and if you do it’s costly and almost impossible to return.

  160. Azamaraal

    @Pearl

    Unfortunately you are looking at the world from within your cocoon. If you were in another country experiencing severe lockdowns with pandemic out of control where even NOW people are being refused health care in hospitals because of lack of space you would have a different perspective.

    People here in Canada have basically been unable to have a normal life for 15 months in a failed lockdown which was not implemented properly. Had all...

    @Pearl

    Unfortunately you are looking at the world from within your cocoon. If you were in another country experiencing severe lockdowns with pandemic out of control where even NOW people are being refused health care in hospitals because of lack of space you would have a different perspective.

    People here in Canada have basically been unable to have a normal life for 15 months in a failed lockdown which was not implemented properly. Had all travel been stopped at the outset we would be enjoying the freedoms the people of Australia are enjoying. Because of the widespread infections of the new variants we are being overwhelmed and cannot even consider visiting friends or family.

    So your claims that the pandemic is a little flu and that your government is causing great harm to the people of Australia is ignorant of the real disaster elsewhere and perhaps a bit self serving.

    And you actually can enter the country. I have friends in Brisbane who were in living in Dubai who returned less than a year ago either from the UK via Dubai or directly. They send pictures of camping, partying, enjoying life that make me so jealous. I don't know what your axe is but you perhaps are grinding it for different or political reasons than the health, safety and mental well being of Australians.

  161. Pearl

    @azamaraal

    First of all I said “bad flu”. That’s what it is statistically. Deny all you want but facts don’t care about your feelings.
    Yes we were also stuck in US and did get home for an astronomical sum since the plane was empty because we had a cap of 4000 citizens coming home weekly. Thankfully we could pay it although it is a crippling sum.
    There’s a cost to living. We don’t...

    @azamaraal

    First of all I said “bad flu”. That’s what it is statistically. Deny all you want but facts don’t care about your feelings.
    Yes we were also stuck in US and did get home for an astronomical sum since the plane was empty because we had a cap of 4000 citizens coming home weekly. Thankfully we could pay it although it is a crippling sum.
    There’s a cost to living. We don’t drop the speed limit to 30km/h even though it would undoubtedly save lives. In hospitals they make the call wether it’s “worth” saving an older persons life every single day.
    The average age of death from covid in US is 82.5 years whereas the average lifespan is 81! Sure there have been many deaths particularly for the elderly and vulnerable and those are the people who should be taking precautions and locking down.
    You bring Brisbane as an example. Yes they have had it good unlike Melbourne but again what is the cost? Their tourism is more that 30%. This has decimated not only international but also local tourism for Brisbane and the whole state. The repercussions will take a decade to fix. People who have lost their businesses and homes because of this are the real casualties that no one is crying over. People on anti depressants, those who lost everything they worked their lives for. Those whose families have fallen apart due to the financial and emotional burden.
    You really think it’s moral or justified to stop your citizens leaving or coming home? To keep families apart?
    Since when is a virus a government problem? Adults can make adult decisions about their health and what is right for them in their situation together with their doctor. The government should worry about national security and a functioning economy.
    With all due respect to Canada you do not have a health system like Australia.
    Your system is terrible in the best of times precisely because it’s almost entirely government run.

  162. mi

    What this impostor , this non-elected cue lieder , this piece of .... what wants more - some of us are Politically prisoners in Australia !!!
    "Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s national security committee will meet today to consider tightening the exemption process to limit the numbers leaving the country.
    "
    What next - to be put in prison because some of us protest ??
    I wish him be in the same position with his love ones as some of us are now.

  163. Pearl

    @mi

    I’m so sorry. I hear your pain and those of millions of others.
    They already threaten citizens with jail time and huge fines for trying to get home from India.
    The callousness of fellow Aussie’s who support this is sick.
    This has brought out the worst in our happy go lucky society and I fear that it will never go back to the country which once was.

  164. Rob Jones

    Good, keep them on the prison island for as long as possible, a few less Australians infesting your local bar and spouting off about "God's Country" and "it's just so much better at home" won't be a bad thing.

  165. Mike

    People who think the debate between Australians here is representative of the broader public need to keep in mind that people here are likely keen international travellers. They are going to skew more towards travel.

    My wife’s entire side of the family lives in the US — her dad is in his late 70s.

    We’re perfectly thrilled for the borders to stay closed.

    Also, to the people who think it’s their “right” to travel...

    People who think the debate between Australians here is representative of the broader public need to keep in mind that people here are likely keen international travellers. They are going to skew more towards travel.

    My wife’s entire side of the family lives in the US — her dad is in his late 70s.

    We’re perfectly thrilled for the borders to stay closed.

    Also, to the people who think it’s their “right” to travel outside Australia. Sure — but what about my right not to risk you bringing the virus back into our country?

  166. Azamaraal

    @Mike

    Totally agree with you. Well spoken. We all wish the same thing.

  167. Mike

    Furthermore,

    I've lost track of the number of times I've read from US sources or posters about how devastated the Australian economy is/will be, or how we "are having to live with constant lockdowns". My father in law in the US has to keep hearing the explanation that our economy, especially here in WA, is doing well, and actually our lives haven't been impacted that much other than a couple of bonus part-weeks off work...

    Furthermore,

    I've lost track of the number of times I've read from US sources or posters about how devastated the Australian economy is/will be, or how we "are having to live with constant lockdowns". My father in law in the US has to keep hearing the explanation that our economy, especially here in WA, is doing well, and actually our lives haven't been impacted that much other than a couple of bonus part-weeks off work during our very brief lockdowns.

    It all reminds me a bit about the information gap Americans that I speak to seem to have when discussing the relative benefits of the Australian health care system. Everything is related to the out-of-context "how it is in the US".

    To the people "pouring one out" for Australian tourism businesses -- you do understand that Australians are one of the most internationally travelled peoples their is, right? Where do you think those travellers who can't go overseas are spending their money now?

    To give you a bit of perspective about how "decimated" our tourism industry is right now, the wife and I have recently booked a two-right stay on Rottnest Island. This is a vacation island just off the coast of our main state capital. Americans can think of a flat Catalina without cars, bison, or any permanent residents, but with adorable mini-kangaroos called quokkas instead. This is in a glamping tent, so it's nice, but hardly palacial. It's also in mid-June in the dead of winter.

    After our 20% "low season" discount, the two night stay (breakfast included) is costing me $1070 ($831USD). We had to struggle to find a two-day period where everything wasn't booked solid. I reckon the industry can survive.

    To fellow-families with an ex-pat member -- I feel you. I understand that you want to see your family -- but I have to consider the people who will never see particular loved ones again if this gets back out.

    Australia and New Zealand would be foolish to not use our status as island nations to protect ourselves.

  168. Mike

    Their=there. Damn my inability to edit posts.

  169. SteveFromAus

    It is a pity though that the PM Morrison is not promoting the take up of vaccination after himself saying Aus cannot open back up (even with a lot of care) until mid 22. Currently available vaccines are going wasted for two reasons, firstly people say 'I wont be taking it until we are about to open up again' and others are 'The vaccine kills you' ie it is all being considered at a very...

    It is a pity though that the PM Morrison is not promoting the take up of vaccination after himself saying Aus cannot open back up (even with a lot of care) until mid 22. Currently available vaccines are going wasted for two reasons, firstly people say 'I wont be taking it until we are about to open up again' and others are 'The vaccine kills you' ie it is all being considered at a very low level of intellect. Morrison and chums know what they are up to and it has nothing to do with the health of Australians and everything to do with garnering votes from the D-head class which seems to have expanded enormously in the last few decades. Murdoch of course having a lot to do with it on to of a more recent RWNJ government and a PM doing 'gods work' as he believes himself to be.

  170. Mike

    I'm fairly politically non-partisan in Australia. I prefer the Libs on (most) matters financial, and the ALP on (most) matters social. Some social concerns will trump some fiscal views and vice versa.

    That said, I've been pretty happy (minus the odd stuff up) with how governments of all flavours have been handling this in Australia.

    It would be nice if we hadn't backed Astrazeneca (efficacy against variants rather than blood clot concerns is my beef...

    I'm fairly politically non-partisan in Australia. I prefer the Libs on (most) matters financial, and the ALP on (most) matters social. Some social concerns will trump some fiscal views and vice versa.

    That said, I've been pretty happy (minus the odd stuff up) with how governments of all flavours have been handling this in Australia.

    It would be nice if we hadn't backed Astrazeneca (efficacy against variants rather than blood clot concerns is my beef with it). This is where I disagree with you -- I feel like the government is STRONGLY backing vaccination, even to the point where they're doing everything they can to promote and spin the obviously flawed Astrazeneca vaccine because in the long run it's better for the country to have us "mostly" protected rather than not protected at all. I'm strongly pro-vax, but I want Pfizer. Thankfully I qualify due to being 48; however, my wife is just the other side of the river.

  171. Pavel

    To travel is a right not a privilege. Have experienced travel ban in my home communist country and it was one of the reasons I left. Morrison is playing God and that is dangerous...And non vaccinated morons should stay at home.

  172. Chuck

    @Pavel, do you have the right to walk into my house, or do you have the privilege of entering my house if and only if I invite you? Travel is not the right you believe it is.

  173. Pavel

    OK Chuck, I am citizen/resident of Australia and the travel out should not be prohibited. Travel in should be based on vaccination. Comparison to your house does not fit.

  174. Pearl

    Your house is your private domain you’re it’s citizen & you decide who’s granted citizenship. Your home is also not a democracy.
    Not allowing your citizens to leave or return is a violation of human rights. Some international courts have ruled as such. In Australia that ruling is still lagging.
    We have no international students, no international workers.
    Our air & sea shipment have more than doubled in price causing shortages &...

    Your house is your private domain you’re it’s citizen & you decide who’s granted citizenship. Your home is also not a democracy.
    Not allowing your citizens to leave or return is a violation of human rights. Some international courts have ruled as such. In Australia that ruling is still lagging.
    We have no international students, no international workers.
    Our air & sea shipment have more than doubled in price causing shortages & price hikes. Casual labor shortages will cause further inflation.
    State of Victoria has released a budget with several tax increases and this is just the beginning. Expect GST to increase to 15% next post election budget to pay for the covid spending policies.
    There’s a huge cost to elimination which in any case isn’t possible. The Australian medical association said zero cases elimination would mean Australia being locked up for decades.
    We must learn to live with a level of Covid and the stupid states who lockdown over single cases should be stripped of federal funding.
    It’s not a sustainable policy but a political move since the average Australian is happy with social security handouts & lockdowns - for now. By the time people start feeling the real effects (think a rise in basic prescription medications from overseas) and basic necessities that have inflated like crazy it will be too late to reverse the damage.
    The federal government is well aware of this but will never risk opening border prior to elections.

  175. Chuck

    The concept of analogy is lost on some of this crowd, I see. I have sole control over the rights of entry to my house. Beyond the border of my house, my rights are diminished. Plain and simple.

  176. SteveInMelbourne

    If Australia is the 'house' you are talking about then it is my house and I am not allowed back into it. Not even after vaccination and testing. The rest is rationed by finances, ie circa 8 to 10x the normal cost, a 6 month waiting list with an unnamed date and 2 weeks in a covid ridden hotel, eating unhealthy (for me) food and paying far more than I would chose normally to do...

    If Australia is the 'house' you are talking about then it is my house and I am not allowed back into it. Not even after vaccination and testing. The rest is rationed by finances, ie circa 8 to 10x the normal cost, a 6 month waiting list with an unnamed date and 2 weeks in a covid ridden hotel, eating unhealthy (for me) food and paying far more than I would chose normally to do on a non business trip. It not all as simple of people running off on overseas holidays and enjoying themselves at everyone else's expense (as it is presumed to be by many)

  177. Chuck

    You are the government of Australia? Fascinating.

  178. SteveInMelbourne

    Pavel
    Morrison absolutely believes that he is doing gods work, something to do with the cult he belongs to. Everything he does is through the filter of the next election. If he thought it would win him the election he would open the border today with no checks on anyone coming or going, (remember he did nothing at the beginning of the pandemic, just like Trump, B Johonson and Bolsinaro, the states took control)....

    Pavel
    Morrison absolutely believes that he is doing gods work, something to do with the cult he belongs to. Everything he does is through the filter of the next election. If he thought it would win him the election he would open the border today with no checks on anyone coming or going, (remember he did nothing at the beginning of the pandemic, just like Trump, B Johonson and Bolsinaro, the states took control). His judgement and abilities are not to be trusted. Australia will be the last western country to be vaccinated and that is intentional for whatever reason SM has in his distorted mind.

  179. Douglas T Currie

    So, I am a fully vacconated American citizen. I have plans to fly into Sydney on December 30, 2021 to see New Years Eve at the Harbour Bridge.
    I'd like to hear from some Aussies who can give me a percent chance of that happening.
    Thanks, mates!!

  180. Stevie

    I'm American and traveled to Australia in late January 2020. My return flight was canceled in March and I spent 16 months in the Melbourne metro area, with 27 weeks in very restricted lockdown. From the beginning Scot Morrison repeatedly stated that the government was aggressively supporting vaccination development and planned to rollout delivery as quickly as it was determined that they were safe and effective. When I left three weeks ago (in violation of...

    I'm American and traveled to Australia in late January 2020. My return flight was canceled in March and I spent 16 months in the Melbourne metro area, with 27 weeks in very restricted lockdown. From the beginning Scot Morrison repeatedly stated that the government was aggressively supporting vaccination development and planned to rollout delivery as quickly as it was determined that they were safe and effective. When I left three weeks ago (in violation of my bridge visa conditions) I had been on the registry for weeks and they were supposedly vaccinating my group. But there was very little vaccine available and sites were few and far between. The very last report I saw on the day I left said that only 5% of Australians had received at least 1 dose and that 70% could expect to have the opportunity for vaccination within the next year! This from the same guy that said the government had secured 3 X as much vaccine as they needed four months ago.

    When I got back to New Mexico I was able to get my first dose almost immediately. I'm convinced there's a political agenda at play in Australia and I think it has far more to do with forcing white Australians to holiday in country in hopes of keeping Asian and Indian visitors out long term. And Americans too for that matter. I did not find it a welcoming place.

  181. Gary McDonald

    The problem in Australia is in 2021 we have seen 3 people die from Shark attacks, 1 person die from or with Covid and now over 200 shortly after vaccination against Covid. in a population of 25,300,000 and 30,100 infected there is over 99.98% not infected and if the State of Victoria is excluded over 99.99% of the population not infected. The vaccines are killing more people here than the virus to continue would be...

    The problem in Australia is in 2021 we have seen 3 people die from Shark attacks, 1 person die from or with Covid and now over 200 shortly after vaccination against Covid. in a population of 25,300,000 and 30,100 infected there is over 99.98% not infected and if the State of Victoria is excluded over 99.99% of the population not infected. The vaccines are killing more people here than the virus to continue would be insane. https://www.tga.gov.au/periodic/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-safety-report-27-05-2021?fbclid=IwAR3tPfTucLTe_LlojJSEfh1fYZA33WLpNLzGFNFBQwUCP6yu-a4soL-nt5s

  182. Bim

    I'm in Australia (Melbourne, where we just had another outbreak and lockdown) and am one of many, many people who want a vaccine but are not yet eligible for it. I see the extended border closures as acknowledgment by the federal govt that they can't open the borders while so many citizens are unvaccinated - not really because they care about our health, but they care about their political survival. They've messed up the vaccine...

    I'm in Australia (Melbourne, where we just had another outbreak and lockdown) and am one of many, many people who want a vaccine but are not yet eligible for it. I see the extended border closures as acknowledgment by the federal govt that they can't open the borders while so many citizens are unvaccinated - not really because they care about our health, but they care about their political survival. They've messed up the vaccine rollout big time and announcements like vaccinated people being able to travel is just a distraction from the reality that they promised we'd all be vaccinated by October, and now they can't even say when that will happen.
    I miss international travel dearly but with no idea when I'll get vaccinated, I can't see it happening for a while. My industry has been completely decimated by the border closures. As a former expat, I cannot believe how difficult it is for Australian citizens to return home and am disgusted. Having just had our 4th lockdown, I'm tired of hotel quarantine leaks and wish the federal government would have stepped up and built more purpose-built quarantine facilities earlier, to allow more Australians to return home and stop using hotels in the middle of big cities; after all, quarantine is a federal responsibility under the constitution. I hope my fellow Australians will vote this useless federal government out at the next election. All talk, no action.

  183. Patrick pickett

    I'm an Australian and am anxiously waiting for the border to reopen. I'm 1/3 through my PhD and accessing my field sites out of Australia is dependent on the boarders being opening or at least being granted a travel exemption to conduct the travel. My whole education including plus learning a foreign language has led up to this point in my life. I've sacrificed a lot to get to where i am including friends, family,...

    I'm an Australian and am anxiously waiting for the border to reopen. I'm 1/3 through my PhD and accessing my field sites out of Australia is dependent on the boarders being opening or at least being granted a travel exemption to conduct the travel. My whole education including plus learning a foreign language has led up to this point in my life. I've sacrificed a lot to get to where i am including friends, family, holidays, financial security. All of that now feels pointless in the face of unending travel restrictions. And with no certainty at all offered from our government its hard to keep going on with any hope. But what do you do. If you don't keep the hope alive do you just give up on life?

Featured Comments Load all 184 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Patrick pickett

I'm an Australian and am anxiously waiting for the border to reopen. I'm 1/3 through my PhD and accessing my field sites out of Australia is dependent on the boarders being opening or at least being granted a travel exemption to conduct the travel. My whole education including plus learning a foreign language has led up to this point in my life. I've sacrificed a lot to get to where i am including friends, family, holidays, financial security. All of that now feels pointless in the face of unending travel restrictions. And with no certainty at all offered from our government its hard to keep going on with any hope. But what do you do. If you don't keep the hope alive do you just give up on life?

Bim

I'm in Australia (Melbourne, where we just had another outbreak and lockdown) and am one of many, many people who want a vaccine but are not yet eligible for it. I see the extended border closures as acknowledgment by the federal govt that they can't open the borders while so many citizens are unvaccinated - not really because they care about our health, but they care about their political survival. They've messed up the vaccine rollout big time and announcements like vaccinated people being able to travel is just a distraction from the reality that they promised we'd all be vaccinated by October, and now they can't even say when that will happen. I miss international travel dearly but with no idea when I'll get vaccinated, I can't see it happening for a while. My industry has been completely decimated by the border closures. As a former expat, I cannot believe how difficult it is for Australian citizens to return home and am disgusted. Having just had our 4th lockdown, I'm tired of hotel quarantine leaks and wish the federal government would have stepped up and built more purpose-built quarantine facilities earlier, to allow more Australians to return home and stop using hotels in the middle of big cities; after all, quarantine is a federal responsibility under the constitution. I hope my fellow Australians will vote this useless federal government out at the next election. All talk, no action.

Gary McDonald

The problem in Australia is in 2021 we have seen 3 people die from Shark attacks, 1 person die from or with Covid and now over 200 shortly after vaccination against Covid. in a population of 25,300,000 and 30,100 infected there is over 99.98% not infected and if the State of Victoria is excluded over 99.99% of the population not infected. The vaccines are killing more people here than the virus to continue would be insane. https://www.tga.gov.au/periodic/covid-19-vaccine-weekly-safety-report-27-05-2021?fbclid=IwAR3tPfTucLTe_LlojJSEfh1fYZA33WLpNLzGFNFBQwUCP6yu-a4soL-nt5s

Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,523,713 Miles Traveled

25,807,500 Words Written

28,675 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT
  • June 14, 2021
  • Ben Schlappig
24
PLAY Reveals Bold Livery, Playful Uniforms
  • May 27, 2021
  • Ben Schlappig