Predictions of when international flights may resume/bans lifted

Lynda2475

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Like dajop I imagine in the first round of home quarantine would only be an option for Australians who were fully vaccinated in Australia (official Medicare records, not some external certificate that can be faked) before departing Australia.

However with a fully vaccinated NZ airport worker testing positive today, I imagine rhw Australian Government will leverage that as a reason why even with vaccine we cant open up.
 
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drron

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Some places are asking for pre flight antibody tests. But designating where it is done. It will tell if you have been vaccinated or have had Covid. I am not sure how rapidly a result takes
Certainly if only hours it could be done on arrival.
 

MEL_Traveller

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The loophole to travel onwards from NZ has now been picked up by the mainstream media: Loophole means NZ could be Australians’ back door to global travel

Australian Border Force has confirmed the loophole exists, the catch being getting back to Australia with the lack wide availability.

I guess NZ will share numbers with Au if requested.

But it seems farcical that you can travel onwards from NZ but we can't just leave from Au.
 

mviy

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But it seems farcical that you can travel onwards from NZ but we can't just leave from Au.
Indeed. If large numbers use the loophole and book business/first class fares back to Australia it’s going to make it much harder for those stranded who can only afford economy tickets to get back.

Whilst there might not be many using it yet, if the border restrictions haven’t significantly relaxed by later this year I could see this loophole getting exploited a lot more. More and more people will get fed up with not being allowed to travel for reasons they consider essential even once fully vaccinated.
 
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mviy

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Like dajop I imagine in the first round of home quarantine would only be an option for Australians who were fully vaccinated in Australia
That makes sense. I think it would make sense to require people going for e.g. family reunions to put up a bond of say $5-$10k before departure, and to face the possibility of forfeiture of that bond, additional fines, going into hotel quarantine at own expense, loss of passport etc. for breaches of home quarantine.

If they use a loophole to leave then failure to put up the bond should lead to hotel quarantine.

Ankle bracelets or other locator devices could be useful

Most people going overseas to see family for example wouldn’t want to lose their passport for a few years for a serious breach and not be able to go again. Knowing that you will lose money (already paid the bond - there's a big difference between this and fines that may/may not be enforced) if you do the wrong thing would be another potential deterrent.

Whilst saving up for a bond would be hard for some if people need to travel badly enough they could save up for it over time.
 

roogirl

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an an expat Aussie in London ive been reading this thread for ages and finally can’t resist wading in.

In some senses it doesn’t matter how stiff the penalties, home quarantine won’t “work” if your aim is zero transmission. In the U.K. quarantine compliance is woeful - admittedly they don’t try that hard to enforce but I think it is something like 10-15% compliance (yes compliance not avoidance). There’s actually a degree of difficultly in quarantining for 14 days (needing food etc), and you definitely need a certain level of wealth to even contemplate it (ability to order everything you need online, outside space for fresh air etc) which Britain is very sensitive to - it’s not really acceptable here to implement rules that are seen to be accessible only by fhe wealthy.

In contract HK/China literally seal you in your house, track your phone (civil liberties issues but this is much easier than ankle bracelets), have police patrolling regularly, arrange for food deliveries to come and even test your waste water regularly for covid. It is like being under house arrest and I believe it mostly works but still you get cases breaking through.

but the bottom line is that unless you throw a lot of resources at it you have to assume some non compliance, and a portion of that will result in community transmission

My prediction: some form of non hotel
Quarantine for international students feb 2022 (either in halls or purpose built) & reduction of hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated folk (maybe 5 days hotel
Quarantine and 10 days home). Inevitable community transmission results, with subsequent media blow up about SELFISH TRAVELLERS MAKING US ALL UNSAFE followed by heart rending stories of migrants who haven’t seen families for 2.5 years followed by closing the border again until the federal election. After that I don’t know.

in the meantime I will be fully vaxxed by June, hoping to go to US in august, let’s see what happens with continental
Europe but certainly expect to get there early autumn 2021. Holidays & trips and planes - just not to see my ageing parents and newborn niece in Aus, who will be a toddler by the time I meet her and am hoping (but not expecting) both my parents will still be alive & my kids will see them again. And I will be living with a risk of contracting covid , but it is a v small risk of serious illness/death and I run those risks the whole time.

at this point in time, I know where I’d rather be and it (sadly) isn’t fortress Australia.
 

oznflfan

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an an expat Aussie in London ive been reading this thread for ages and finally can’t resist wading in.

In some senses it doesn’t matter how stiff the penalties, home quarantine won’t “work” if your aim is zero transmission. In the U.K. quarantine compliance is woeful - admittedly they don’t try that hard to enforce but I think it is something like 10-15% compliance (yes compliance not avoidance). There’s actually a degree of difficultly in quarantining for 14 days (needing food etc), and you definitely need a certain level of wealth to even contemplate it (ability to order everything you need online, outside space for fresh air etc) which Britain is very sensitive to - it’s not really acceptable here to implement rules that are seen to be accessible only by fhe wealthy.

In contract HK/China literally seal you in your house, track your phone (civil liberties issues but this is much easier than ankle bracelets), have police patrolling regularly, arrange for food deliveries to come and even test your waste water regularly for covid. It is like being under house arrest and I believe it mostly works but still you get cases breaking through.

but the bottom line is that unless you throw a lot of resources at it you have to assume some non compliance, and a portion of that will result in community transmission

My prediction: some form of non hotel
Quarantine for international students feb 2022 (either in halls or purpose built) & reduction of hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated folk (maybe 5 days hotel
Quarantine and 10 days home). Inevitable community transmission results, with subsequent media blow up about SELFISH TRAVELLERS MAKING US ALL UNSAFE followed by heart rending stories of migrants who haven’t seen families for 2.5 years followed by closing the border again until the federal election. After that I don’t know.

in the meantime I will be fully vaxxed by June, hoping to go to US in august, let’s see what happens with continental
Europe but certainly expect to get there early autumn 2021. Holidays & trips and planes - just not to see my ageing parents and newborn niece in Aus, who will be a toddler by the time I meet her and am hoping (but not expecting) both my parents will still be alive & my kids will see them again. And I will be living with a risk of contracting covid , but it is a v small risk of serious illness/death and I run those risks the whole time.

at this point in time, I know where I’d rather be and it (sadly) isn’t fortress Australia.
Seeing Europe and USA partying their t*ts off spring next year, say April/May leading into even bigger partying summer 2022 will surely change attitudes of Australian and New Zealanders on risk. We'll be like the unpopular kid watching from his bedroom window at the rest of the neighbourhood kids playing football and running around the streets.
 

mviy

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In some senses it doesn’t matter how stiff the penalties, home quarantine won’t “work” if your aim is zero transmission.
But if your aim is suppression they will still help.
There’s actually a degree of difficultly in quarantining for 14 days (needing food etc), and you definitely need a certain level of wealth to even contemplate it (ability to order everything you need online, outside space for fresh air etc) which Britain is very sensitive to - it’s not really acceptable here to implement rules that are seen to be accessible only by fhe wealthy.
In Australia we don’t like things being available just to the wealthy. However, in Victoria for example a lot of COVID fines were not enforced. So if the aim is to deter people from doing the wrong thing with home quarantine there needs to be the belief that fines (or other penalties) will be enforced. A bond paid in advance, I think achieves that. If people do the right thing then they would get the bond back.

Putting up a bond you will get back would be a lot cheaper than needing to buy a business class fare for a trip home. It would also help weed out those who only want to travel from those who need to.

If they aren’t willing to enforce penalties then home quarantine will be further off as will permission to travel.

Also a bond scheme could only apply to those who currently can’t get permission to travel (i.e. they could exempt people who need to attend a funeral, for example from having to put up a bond).
 

dajop

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My prediction: some form of non hotel
Quarantine for international students feb 2022 (either in halls or purpose built) & reduction of hotel quarantine for fully vaccinated folk (maybe 5 days hotel
Quarantine and 10 days home). Inevitable community transmission results, with subsequent media blow up about SELFISH TRAVELLERS MAKING US ALL UNSAFE followed by heart rending stories of migrants who haven’t seen families for 2.5 years followed by closing the border again until the federal election. After that I don’t know.

Personally (selfishly), I'd be happy with baby steps, allowing home quarantine from Singapore and Taiwan. 🤣 There is negligible community spread in either location, and there is excellent contract tracing in both countries. If it's good enough for primary contacts and secondary circle contacts of known cases in Australia to do home quarantine, then where is the grave biosecurity risk with those of us coming from known low negligible risk jurisdictions quarantining at home (or paid apartment of choice) with testing and bracelet?

Anyway, I do realise it's way too nuanced to sell this politically.
 

Seat0B

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I like many others am becoming increasingly frustrated with what seems to be the government's plan to keep us locked up in HM Prison Australia. I have no issues with keeping the borders closed or the rules around quarantine if arriving from elsewhere to AU i.e. another country. I also have no issues with the fact/ realisation that I may be subject to similar rules, say if I wanted to go to the UK, US or CA. Choosing to leave AU should be my choice, and my decision and not subject to some online form.
...or a decision by a low-medium level public servant who does not really know or care about your individual circumstances other than what you have managed to get onto that form. So many principles of sound administrative decision making being flouted by this process.

And why should you need any reason at all to leave or return to the country of your citizenship? And before people respond with "health crisis" - that excuse is getting very old given the government's severe inertia in dealing with improvements to quarantine arrangements, vaccine rollout etc that would all assist in managing the health crisis.

I'm right there with you. I am feeling quite angry about living under paternalistic despotism in relation to the border closures.
 

Seat0B

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Not just family, how about partners ? Haven't seen my fiance since Feb 2020 and while video chatting does exist, that doesn't replace the real life thing.
Totally agree with you (although I would call your fiance family ❤️). I am getting very tired of well meaning people telling me that I am lucky to be able to use Zoom etc to "hang out" with my son, but it really is not the same at all. I miss the incidental conversations that just pop up as you cook a meal together, or sharing interesting snippets from the news, and of course, the ability for a long bear hug.

Plus I have the added difficulties of UAE govt restrictions on video chat solutions that I have now mentioned many times, which makes even that a challenge to arrange, and not at all spontaneous.
 

Seat0B

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The fact is Australia has a choice, not now, but probably by Christmas it will have to decide if it wants to be come a hermit nation - forever - or accept a very low level of risk.
It will not surprise me at all, given the statements this week by the PM (I am not going to endanger the way Australians are living to open the borders) and Health Minister (that even after everyone is vaccinated, the borders will be kept closed), if we (and by that I mean they) opt for hermit nation. We can keep company with North Korea.
 

sjk

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So if the aim is to deter people from doing the wrong thing with home quarantine there needs to be the belief that fines (or other penalties) will be enforced.
Not that it might not end up happening, but I find this tolerance of--nay, enthusiasm for--penalties against the general public into the third year of a pandemic more than a little unhinged.

Get the population vaccinated to the point where the occasional cough wreaks only minimal epidemiological havoc, and then pull the frick back out of the people's lives. Join the rest of the world in learning to *live with it*.
 

mviy

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Not that it might not end up happening, but I find this tolerance of--nay, enthusiasm for--penalties against the general public into the third year of a pandemic more than a little unhinged.
Don't get me wrong. I think any Australian who wants to leave or enter the country should be able to do so freely. However, I would find a situation where the government starts home quarantine and closes it off again because people "can't be trusted" and suddenly finding oneself stranded overseas having done nothing wrong equally frustrating. So taking steps to ensure as few people as possible break the rules would be important.

What I'm trying to think of is something that could get approved that would allow international travel restrictions to be significantly eased, not what I think should be done.

I think hotel quarantine should be scaled up over the next month or two to at least 2-3x the capacity that it is now and caps on passengers that can come home per flight significantly increased so many more who can only afford economy seats can get home. However, with the way our leaders carry on I think there's a 0% chance of that happening.
 

Seat0B

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If it's good enough for primary contacts and secondary circle contacts of known cases in Australia to do home quarantine, then where is the grave biosecurity risk with those of us coming from known low negligible risk jurisdictions quarantining at home (or paid apartment of choice) with testing and bracelet?

Anyway, I do realise it's way too nuanced to sell this politically.
Oh I so agree with you - this is a point that I and others have made many, many times since they introduced HQ - so many and for so long that I can't even remember where! Usually people flame me, but the logical inconsistencies of the system are infuriating, and are really a major contributing factor to the stranded Aussies who can't get home because of restrictive HQ caps.

Plus, it's even more ridiculous than you say @dajop. If you actually definitely have COIVD that you caught in Australia, you are trusted to do home quarantine, unless you get sick enough to go to hospital. Yes you read that right - people confirmed to have COVID are in home quarantine. And then as you say, their close contacts are also trusted to quarantine at home. Their casual contacts, including such vague and large groups as "anyone who was in Brisbane between 12-19 March" are also trusted to self-identify to the health authorities, to volunteer to get tested and to abide by confusing rules about how long they have to isolate before and after testing negative eg "isolate at home until you get a negative test" or "isolate at home for 14 days even if you get a negative test". And despite all of these potentially very high risks of transmission, from people who actually have COVID and their close contacts, community transmission here has been incredibly low.

But, if you come in from overseas, even if you repeatedly test negative here (recognising risks of fake certificates bought overseas), and even if you are fully vaccinated, and you clearly do not have COVID, you are still required to stay in HQ for 14 days at a high cost and with no choice of standard of hotel. And increasingly, you might end up catching COVID from positive travellers staying in rooms near you.

This system is totally munted and is in urgent need of a common sense, risk-assessed review.
 

roogirl

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The whole thing is bananas and makes no sense at all. But the thing that enrages me the most is the lack of care. This has been going on for over a year. At no point has anyone in government thought it interesting or important that the third of aussies born overseas or the almost half with a parent born overseas have been almost certainly separated from their families. And have been content to leave an inequitable unfair business class lottery of a system in place without giving a thought to putting in something that can balance the needs of biosecurity and public health with freedom of movement.
 

Pushka

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Totally agree with you (although I would call your fiance family ❤️). I am getting very tired of well meaning people telling me that I am lucky to be able to use Zoom etc to "hang out" with my son, but it really is not the same at all. I miss the incidental conversations that just pop up as you cook a meal together, or sharing interesting snippets from the news, and of course, the ability for a long bear hug.

Plus I have the added difficulties of UAE govt restrictions on video chat solutions that I have now mentioned many times, which makes even that a challenge to arrange, and not at all spontaneous.
I never want to see anything zoom again if that intent is to take the place of an event I would have been present for in normal life. Honestly, I'd rather go without.
 

Seat0B

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I never want to see anything zoom again if that intent is to take the place of an event I would have been present for in normal life. Honestly, I'd rather go without.
That is exactly how I feel. I have asked that my son only calls us once a month because I find it too distressing.
 

Seat0B

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The whole thing is bananas and makes no sense at all. But the thing that enrages me the most is the lack of care. This has been going on for over a year. At no point has anyone in government thought it interesting or important that the third of aussies born overseas or the almost half with a parent born overseas have been almost certainly separated from their families. And have been content to leave an inequitable unfair business class lottery of a system in place without giving a thought to putting in something that can balance the needs of biosecurity and public health with freedom of movement.
...and don't forget the sizeable number of people who were born here, but who have family members who live overseas, either temporarily or permanently. In my family, 3 out of 4 of my sister and my sisters in-laws' families have at least one child living overseas. Also, of my 4 best friends, 3 have at least one child living overseas.

PS welcome to posting on AFF. As you know plenty of opinions here, and also lots of practical and helpful advice.
 

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