Predictions of when international flights may resume/bans lifted

hb13

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NSW to phase out quarantine all together next year

Mr Perrottet said hotel quarantine will be replaced by home isolation this year and then removed altogether for the fully vaccinated next year.

'My expectation is that we will get through this trial and if it's successful we will shift from hotel quarantine to home quarantine and the next step after that is just logical,' he said.

If somebody is fully vaccinated, coming from overseas, they shouldn't be treated any differently from people who are vaccinated who are living here. As we rejoin the world, it will make no sense for people [to quarantine].

'And Australians as well, if we're going to be travelling overseas we don't want to do seven days or 14 days quarantine either. That's just not going to work.

I see no reason why this doesn't begin in Jan or Feb 2022. If NSW hits 80% in late October - they can begin taking in overseas arrivals in home quarantine from November and that gives them two months to assess how many fully jabbed arrivals test positive - but if you hit 80 or 85% fully jabbed - then what are you waiting for?
 

Telemachus

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Australian-made vaccines will be accepted in UK-no quarantine and a Day 2 lateral flow test (assuming we stay Green)

This is excellent news. The two most significant changes will work in combination from the point of view of a prospective fully vaccinated Australian traveller:
  • Extension of UK recognition of foreign vaccination programmes, including Australia & NZ. So no quarantine required on arrival, hotel or home, from 4 Oct;
  • Fusion of Amber & Green categories. So we can now fly through transit hubs currently classed as Amber, viz AUH, DXB, DOH, without the current risk of being directed into home quarantine on UK arrival. Now these will all be ‘Rest of World’ (i.e. not Red) and thus in the same category as SIN & HKG. That should also provide more of a level playing field for Australian travellers and for the international carriers looking at scheduling additional services to/from Australia after the end of the outbound ban.
Those of us with UK-bound travel plans can now remove a major outstanding issue from our still quite long list of risks. For people travelling to the UK in the next month or so before the Australian govt’s international vax certificate is available, one hopes the existing domestic certificate will suffice as proof for UK immigration – thinking of you louie-m.

The changes to the testing regime are welcome too. This is the aspect that will attract most attention in the UK since it will allow Brits to exercise their constitutional right to take a cheap Spanish holiday at October half-term and to remedy an appalling injustice where the PCR tests have been costing more than the flight😉. It’s a different world over there.

Edit: I just checked the full official version of HMG's 4 Oct changes. The criteria for validating a foreign vaccination certificate suggest to me that the existing Australian ‘domestic’ MyGov/Medicare certificate that we all have will qualify. See here.
 
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louie-m

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Those of us with UK-bound travel plans can now remove a major outstanding issue from our still quite long list of risks. For people travelling to the UK in the next month or so before the Australian govt’s international vax certificate is available, one hopes the existing domestic certificate will suffice as proof for UK immigration – thinking of you louie-m.
Kind of you to think of me, but last night's announcement has meant several things falling into place so I am full of smiles today. We're now off to Europe before the end of the month and now Turkey is off the UK red list, that means I'll be able to spend a couple of weeks with my sister there (whilst also taking advantage of SQ's cheaper award flight band to IST!). Which in turn means arriving in the UK after 4 October so no home quarantine and two fewer PCR tests (now one before leaving Oz and one shortly after arrival in the UK). So it's all good.
 

Telemachus

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Kind of you to think of me, but last night's announcement has meant several things falling into place so I am full of smiles today. We're now off to Europe before the end of the month and now Turkey is off the UK red list, that means I'll be able to spend a couple of weeks with my sister there (whilst also taking advantage of SQ's cheaper award flight band to IST!). Which in turn means arriving in the UK after 4 October so no home quarantine and two fewer PCR tests (now one before leaving Oz and one shortly after arrival in the UK). So it's all good.
Very pleased that things are lining up so positively for you.
 

Telemachus

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This post is about the inbound international travel dimension to Phase B (70%) of the National Plan. I wonder if the ground is being prepared politically for amendment or delay of what the NP says may happen.

Most of the public conversation in recent weeks has focused on Phase C (80%) for international travel, for understandable reasons, and on Phase B (70%) for restarting on the path to domestic reopening. There has been less attention devoted to these aspects of Phase B (my emphasis of 2 points in bold):
  • International border caps and low-level international arrivals, with safe and proportionate quarantine […].
  • Restore inbound passenger caps at previous levels for unvaccinated returning travellers and larger caps for vaccinated returning travellers.
  • Allow capped entry of student and economic visa holders subject to quarantine arrangements and availability.
  • Introduce new reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated residents’.
The case for sticking to this approach, albeit not long before we reach the Phase C threshold, is that it starts the return of excluded Australians quite soon and before the outbound ban is removed, and it allows use of home quarantine on a larger scale before the system has to cope with unlimited arrivals by vaccinated citizens/residents.

How is this to be effected now that we know the NSW home quarantine trial will not finish until the end of October, by which time both NSW and ACT will have hit 80% and Australia at national level is on track to have just reached the 70% trigger for Phase B? Surely it is not envisaged that hotel quarantine will be expanded to a new peak of capacity for a few weeks from early November, so as to accommodate the larger number of Phase B arrivals into SYD?

I’ve pored over the NC docs from yesterday and some of the media commentary, but can’t yet find relevant discussion. It’s often what isn’t said in official pronouncements that conveys more telling insight than what they do say. We are outside the tent trying to deduce from a limited dataset what is in undisclosed government thinking and planning.

There are at least two ways this could be heading:
  1. Optimistic view: Governments aren’t yet ready to broach this matter with the general public but intend to implement the NP as written, moving rapidly to ramp up home quarantine in Phase B without necessarily waiting for trials to be finished and fully evaluated; or
  2. Pessimistic view: Either we won’t be starting to move from Phase A to B until some time after NSW & Australia reach 70% full vaccination, or governments are toying with dropping/amending the Phase B international changes and delaying any relaxation of international restrictions until Phase C.
Gladys’s most recent references to international travel are all about 80%, and one can appreciate that the latest Doherty inputs could be used to provide some cover for doing nothing on international restrictions until we are past the 80% mark - even though Doherty's latest documents do not explicitly address international arrivals.

This is mostly conjecture and I may well have missed something vital. But if I were a vaccinated Australian overseas, keen to return asap and with an eye on what the NP has said for months, I would feel unhappy about indications that increases in or removal of caps, and substantial introduction of home quarantine, might not now come until December even for jurisdictions achieving 70% of 16+ a lot sooner.
 

burmans

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I don’t have the document in front of me from memory the plan used the word ‘might’ rather than ‘will’ liberally and also didn’t say immediately much.
 

Pom-DownUnder

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I don’t have the document in front of me from memory the plan used the word ‘might’ rather than ‘will’ liberally and also didn’t say immediately much.
the purposefully wooly wording was "may include"

I really think they will look to edge us along, 70% will be a milestone in NSW and everywhere else it'll be muddled along with some watered down nonsense until 80% is reached.

I think they would really like to change them both to 80% and 90% but thankfully that hasnt been mentioned yet. or 80% including 12+ instead of 16.

feels like some rug is going to get pulled somewhere.
 

mviy

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80% including 12+ would probably be a matter of days if it's just the overall figure as the 12-15 population is a fraction of the 16+ population. However if each age group had to hit 80% that would take longer.

Under the existing plan by the time international travel resumes a large percentage of the 12-15 year olds should have had at least one dose. In NSW already 17.36% (more than 1 in 6) have had their first dose. 2.92% of the 12-15 population in NSW had their first dose yesterday alone, so that percentage is climbing rapidly.

Most people when they can leave if they have to quarantine on return are probably going to want to go for at least about a month if they can get the leave which gives time for the vaccination levels to improve further prior to return.

There's no need to shift the goal posts again.
 

Telemachus

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the purposefully wooly wording was "may include"

I really think they will look to edge us along, 70% will be a milestone in NSW and everywhere else it'll be muddled along with some watered down nonsense until 80% is reached.

I think they would really like to change them both to 80% and 90% but thankfully that hasnt been mentioned yet. or 80% including 12+ instead of 16.

feels like some rug is going to get pulled somewhere.
Yes, those points in the National Plan are not set in stone and we all accept that, as the 2nd public iteration of the NP also helpfully adds, ‘The Plan is based on the current situation and is subject to change if required’. Until we are told otherwise, though, the NP as published provides the NC’s statement of intent.

Main driver for my last post was that stranded Australians may be particularly affected: however short the delay turns out to be in waiting until 80% for current caps to change, if that is the decision it's still a blow to people who are in pretty dire straits.

And you’re spot on re 90%. See Aaron Patrick’s article in today’s AFR (‘Is 90% The New 80%?). Impossible to predict with any confidence how far anything or everything in Phases B & C may now move to the right in terms of timing and changed milestones. Once you open up that Plan to amendment at NC the PM’s cat-herding challenge becomes even more daunting.
 

Tiki

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Kind of you to think of me, but last night's announcement has meant several things falling into place so I am full of smiles today. We're now off to Europe before the end of the month and now Turkey is off the UK red list, that means I'll be able to spend a couple of weeks with my sister there (whilst also taking advantage of SQ's cheaper award flight band to IST!). Which in turn means arriving in the UK after 4 October so no home quarantine and two fewer PCR tests (now one before leaving Oz and one shortly after arrival in the UK). So it's all good.
I also want to go to Turkey and happy to see the UK taking a more sensible approach which I hope will rub off on Scomo. Turkey has 84.58% first dose and 67.24% 2nd dose and they are boosting all the elderly who got Sinovac in the early days with Pfizer.
 

ethernet

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Deferred, no-objective policy is just for political gain. You are being played with weasel words.
Surveys have revealed hard core non-vaxxer votes are important, and elected govt shall not offend them with 'Passports' which will lock them out of society and shopping centres. That is why there are no TV ad's with a ticking stopwatch, explaining you will need one to do your Christmas shopping.

Everybody eligible will have had the opportunity to get vaccinated by December 5. (Maybe not WA). Their choices should not affect other peoples freedoms, for one millisecond. Game over.
For fully vaxxed people, who have their own homes, after 80% ,home quarantine for 7D is enough for non red-zone destinations, and if they have say 5K extra in the bank to cover unforseen covid issues.

My bet is politicians hope NSW and VIC will hit 87-90% fully vaccinated mid November, and avoid a nasty Christmas passport needed showdown. Second reason they want to see if Christmas silly season breaks things - overloads hospitals before OS flights allowed. NSW can be the willing Guinea Pig.

I predict moderate but contained Christmas, a spillover to low vax states, and a new wave on Feb 2 just as some want to start up, and a crash shutdown on 'urgent' imported workers for OS start a reseeding.
 

ethernet

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Yes, those points in the National Plan are not set in stone and we all accept that, as the 2nd public iteration of the NP also helpfully adds, ‘The Plan is based on the current situation and is subject to change if required’. Until we are told otherwise, though, the NP as published provides the NC’s statement of intent.

Main driver for my last post was that stranded Australians may be particularly affected: however short the delay turns out to be in waiting until 80% for current caps to change, if that is the decision it's still a blow to people who are in pretty dire straits.

And you’re spot on re 90%. See Aaron Patrick’s article in today’s AFR (‘Is 90% The New 80%?). Impossible to predict with any confidence how far anything or everything in Phases B & C may now move to the right in terms of timing and changed milestones. Once you open up that Plan to amendment at NC the PM’s cat-herding challenge becomes even more daunting.
ACT and Mr Barr have confirmed 80% fully is not enough, and 90 is the new 80.
 

burmans

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ACT and Mr Barr have confirmed 80% fully is not enough, and 90 is the new 80.
How many international flights fly into Canberra though! Not zero but somewhat irrelevant to restarting international travel if NSW starts to allow.
 

mviy

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In the AFF interview with Singapore Airlines their representative said never say never about bringing that flight back, but there's no plans to bring that flight back anytime soon.
 

louie-m

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I also want to go to Turkey and happy to see the UK taking a more sensible approach which I hope will rub off on Scomo. Turkey has 84.58% first dose and 67.24% 2nd dose and they are boosting all the elderly who got Sinovac in the early days with Pfizer.
The thing about Turkey is that it is really several countries in one. If the UK government had been looking at risks sensibly, they would have acknowledged that 95% of visitors from the UK will be going to the Mediterranean or Aegean coastal resorts or to Istanbul. This shows the rates of infection in the coastal areas is about 40 people for 100,000 for the week to 10 September (where 90%+ have had their first doses for months) and about 180 for the Istanbul area. This compares with about 300 people per 100,000 in the UK and 50 in Australia. Yes, there will be a few going to Cappadocia where rates are 10x higher or to Ankara (7x higher) and presumably the origins of the Turkish community in the UK will be spread around the country, but they will be small numbers in comparison to the sun-seeking hordes. This all assumes you can trust the Turkish figures of course... anyway, water under the bridge now it has gone amber.

I do think they have found they backed the wrong horse with Sinovac, given 10% of their jabs given so far have been 3rd doses and they started the 3rd dose regime as long ago as early July.

All a bit off topic, but to bring it slightly back on track, for those that don't already know, Singapore Airlines lump Turkey in with Africa and the Middle East rather than Europe so only 86k miles in business from the east coast or 70.5k from the west, rather than 116k or 106k to Europe. And Istanbul is a fabulous city even if you only have time for a short visit, with cheap onward tickets to the rest of Europe.
 
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flyinpod

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Will be interesting to see what happens. A friend of mine in the UK is in hospital with covid. Has tested negative FOUR times. She was vaccinated 12 months ago with Novovax. The hospital says around 25% are testing negative, makes you think!
 
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