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Predictions of when international flights may resume/bans lifted

CaptJCool

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Not actually part of the ACT and we would need to drive through NSW to get there so not quite the same as visiting provincial areas.:)

Set aside so Canberra had direct access to a sea port. Pity no one told H Holt....

Perhaps they can get a couple of German engineers in to build a wall along the road corridor from Canberra to the ocean....
They’ve got some experience of corridors beteeen west & east haha
 

MEL_Traveller

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And this is of benefit to me. Seems many Aussies don't like holidaying at home, so it leaves many beautiful areas untouched by hoards of tourists, which I like :D

It is expensive to holiday around Australia, but it's expensive to holiday around any wealthy first world nation. I was in Japan last year and it cost a fortune, but I loved every minute of it.
Unfortunately it needs to be seen as a benefit by the masses if the Aussie tourism industry thinks opening borders will save their businesses. If we don't get value, we might as well stay at home. (As for FNQ... if i believe the media I can't go swimming anywhere up there 'cause of sharks!!)
 

drron

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Well firstly in FNQ it is crocodiles and stingers you should be worrying about.
But pubs,clubs and restaurants are not just part of the tourist industry but an industry of their own and definitely in strife.
Then on the Sunshine and Gold Coasts some of the tourist operators have up to 80% of their business from domestic tourism.Closed borders are definitely a major problem for them.
 

PineappleSkip

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And dengue!


And ACT residents don’t really have a provincial part of our state to visit. Don’t lump us with NSW.:)
[Jervis Bay] Not actually part of the ACT...
Ah, the Jervis Bay Territory, the Commonwealth's Kaliningrad! ACT law, NSW firetrucks and Shoalhaven Shire Council wheelie bins. Yeah but travelling through NSW would be a problem unless some obscure exception was provided for access.

You could always visit, um, Tharwa or, um, Corin Forest?
 
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VulpesVulpes

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This is getting totally ridiculous, peak nanny state. It amazes me the government will act with such disdain towards citizens living overseas.

I'm amazed that after the devastating impact COVID has had here in the UK the government here is enacting policy in a far more sensible way than Australia.

I'm off to Greece next week (in a covid safe way!) yet I would be considered a near criminal for heading for Australia, if I could get a seat.
 

Pushka

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Qatar is resuming flights direct into Adelaide this week, twice a week. I understand @VulpesVulpes that it seems like that but if there was a release then people would travel overseas on holidays and the Govt cant cope with those returning having to do the 2 weeks stint. Had Victoria situation not occurred I would have expected things would be much better now.

Assuming we can get Victoria operational again, i think the situation will change, still with the 2 weeks iso on arrival (and UK does that for all Aussies because there are so few flights we can catch that dont transit in a banned place but at least in home) then I'm hoping for some kind of uodate around Christmas.
 

Gremlin

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ScoMo interviewed over the weekend confirmed that the biggest issue for reopening borders continues to be capacity on the quarantine arrangements around the country and that will remain in position for many months.
 
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Hey I'm in FNQ at the moment - got out of Sydney before the Queensland border closed (again). It's great - sunny and warm - perfect. The odd thing is hotels and restaurants (the ones which are open) seem busy but other businesses are really suffering - even the coolest pub (IMO) in Cairns (Hemmingway's) is only open 3 days per week and apparently they may close again due to lack of business. Tours are operating at greatly reduced frequency and then with greatly reduced numbers due to Covid restrictions. All staff we have encountered are really friendly .... some only working a couple of days per week (but I guess JobKeepers is keeping them afloat).

While a little off topic - I have observed that adherence to Covid Safe restrictions seems much better than in Sydney - in hotels, pubs, restaurants, tours, even nature walks, etc
 

love_the_life

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Hey I'm in FNQ at the moment - got out of Sydney before the Queensland border closed (again). It's great - sunny and warm - perfect. The odd thing is hotels and restaurants (the ones which are open) seem busy but other businesses are really suffering - even the coolest pub (IMO) in Cairns (Hemmingway's) is only open 3 days per week and apparently they may close again due to lack of business. Tours are operating at greatly reduced frequency and then with greatly reduced numbers due to Covid restrictions. All staff we have encountered are really friendly .... some only working a couple of days per week (but I guess JobKeepers is keeping them afloat).

While a little off topic - I have observed that adherence to Covid Safe restrictions seems much better than in Sydney - in hotels, pubs, restaurants, tours, even nature walks, etc
Oh how I envy you Luxury, Enjoy the warmth. We were hoping for a short getaway to FNQ in the coming weeks. Nada now with ACT being lumped in with NSW for border ban. :(
 

RAM

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ScoMo interviewed over the weekend confirmed that the biggest issue for reopening borders continues to be capacity on the quarantine arrangements around the country and that will remain in position for many months.
Does it strike anyone else as odd that the States & Territories (NT, Qld, SA, WA, Tas and finally after being dragged kicking & screaming NSW) have fewer exemptions for State borders than the Federal Govt has for our international border?

No State allows 'close relatives' to go through the State borders to join their relatives.

Very simple way to treble capacity instantly - stop allowing foreign nationals under the 'close relatives' exemption. Although I suspect that the 'supposed' pay-your-way may deter them - only if the Fed Govt does not 'exempt' them from paying in fear of losing votes....

Set aside so Canberra had direct access to a sea port. Pity no one told H Holt....

Perhaps they can get a couple of German engineers in to build a wall along the road corridor from Canberra to the ocean....
They’ve got some experience of corridors beteeen west & east haha
Also in the late 1960s was to be the site of a nuclear power station & research facility, which after Fukishima, everyone now understands just how much (sea)water they require to keep them 'safe'. Costs of the proposed plant snow-balled (luckily before construction commenced) & stopped. Not that Fed politicians had a NIMBY approach, Lake Burley Griffin not big enough. Project shelved in early 1970s (officially) when Treasury finally did a cost/benefit analysis to find it would many times more expensive than a coal plant, without accounting for the cost of the atomic waste disposal.

The article below is worth reading, have a look at the map for 'associated heavy industry'. Plutonium anyone?

 

Gremlin

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Does it strike anyone else as odd that the States & Territories (NT, Qld, SA, WA, Tas and finally after being dragged kicking & screaming NSW) have fewer exemptions for State borders than the Federal Govt has for our international border?

No State allows 'close relatives' to go through the State borders to join their relatives.

Very simple way to treble capacity instantly - stop allowing foreign nationals under the 'close relatives' exemption. Although I suspect that the 'supposed' pay-your-way may deter them - only if the Fed Govt does not 'exempt' them from paying in fear of losing votes....


Also in the late 1960s was to be the site of a nuclear power station & research facility, which after Fukishima, everyone now understands just how much (sea)water they require to keep them 'safe'. Costs of the proposed plant snow-balled (luckily before construction commenced) & stopped. Not that Fed politicians had a NIMBY approach, Lake Burley Griffin not big enough. Project shelved in early 1970s (officially) when Treasury finally did a cost/benefit analysis to find it would many times more expensive than a coal plant, without accounting for the cost of the atomic waste disposal.

The article below is worth reading, have a look at the map for 'associated heavy industry'. Plutonium anyone?

Do you have any source for your assertion that 60%+ of arrivals are foreign nationals under the 'close relatives' exemption? I've spoken to a number of people who manage various aspects of the quarantine process who all seemed to suggest this wasn't true...
 

jakeseven7

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This is getting totally ridiculous, peak nanny state. It amazes me the government will act with such disdain towards citizens living overseas.

I'm amazed that after the devastating impact COVID has had here in the UK the government here is enacting policy in a far more sensible way than Australia.

I'm off to Greece next week (in a covid safe way!) yet I would be considered a near criminal for heading for Australia, if I could get a seat.
UK looks like it will head back into lockdown with their second/third? wave brewing as cases increase so don't speak too soon!
 
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Pushka

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Do you have any source for your assertion that 60%+ of arrivals are foreign nationals under the 'close relatives' exemption? I've spoken to a number of people who manage various aspects of the quarantine process who all seemed to suggest this wasn't true...
I did read that quoted on online media Sites over the weekend. It surprised me.
 

RAM

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Do you have any source for your assertion that 60%+ of arrivals are foreign nationals under the 'close relatives' exemption? I've spoken to a number of people who manage various aspects of the quarantine process who all seemed to suggest this wasn't true...
Gladys in a press conference some weeks back - let the cat out of the bag' when she announced how many international travellers arrived in the June Qtr after the international border closure, & of those how many were citizens & permanent residents. Of total (from failing memory) 335k arrivals, 130k Aust citizens/permanent residents. She did not mention the balance - but A - B = 205K through to the end of June. Unofficial feedback since then has the proportion arriving from some regions significantly higher.

I've been told by a number of people involved (across Australia) that the numbers reported are a small part of the story, also partially to do with issues with the hotel quarantines due to a good number of these 'close relatives' not speaking English.

Much earlier in this blog (I think it was) I put a link to the Gladys' announcement & used the transparent NZ supplied info which showed that NZ has (had?) a similar exemption & the arrivals came from the sub-continent mostly for a few week period once the CV cases began to spike there. Then NZ saw an increase in US citizens arriving as 'close relatives'.

The difference being that NZ openly displays the info whereas it is hidden in Australia & the media are not interested in reporting the whole story for some reason?

I haven't heard since the 'pay your way' was introduced but just prior to it coming in - it was suggested that 'exemptions' (cost waived) would be very easy to obtain for foreign nationals due to fears that Fed Govt would be portrayed as racist. After all $3k is more than a years' income for 2 large groups who had been arriving in large numbers prior to Melbourne stopping accepting flights.

For example, one NSW based 'university' does a remarkable trade in US citizens studying & going onto Permanent resident status. Seems to have the lionshare (by number) equal to almost the rest of Australian Universities combined.

Just add it onto the 'We don't have the full amount of PPE in the Australian national stock pile so we'll say that the community wearing masks won't make a difference' file. Discussed 2x at National cabinet in at the first few meetings & 2 State Premiers (it is alleged) vehemently disagreed with lying about it, but agreed to hold the line following 'discussions' (threats?). Two guesses which Premiers they were.

Amazing how cost cutting to achieve a Commonwealth Budget Surplus can have fatal real world consequences.

The 'fake' truth does not just happen in Australia though. Just wish more people could spell 'propaganda' so we could use that term instead of 'fake news'! Perhaps one prominent American cannot pronounce it?

Dr Fauci got outed by a disgruntled friend/colleague in June after recording him discussing how he misled the public about masks. The person sent the recording to a journalist who contacted Dr Fauci. After some days of negotiations a deal was done. Fauci would give an exclusive interview and the questions asked were scripted in advance - so Fauci got the opportunity to spin it his way. Question that was NOT to be asked - "Why weren't the public urged to make their own re-usable masks?".

Coincidentally at the time he first said masks served no purpose - Colleges (Universities) across the US put up their own instructions on how to make re-usable masks - eg: MIT, UCLA...

Fauci: why the public wasn't told to wear masks when the ...
thehill.com › changing-america › well-being › prevention-cures › 50...


Jun 16, 2020 - Speaking on TheStreet, Fauci explains how wearing face masks is effective at preventing coronavirus spread. At the onset of the pandemic, ...


The agreed interview with TheStreet on June 12th (above).


In January through March, as the spread of the disease became more and more serious, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention actively discouraged the use of masks among the general public.

Just wish someone told Trump about that early 'white lie'!
 

Gremlin

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but the fly in the ointment that is getting zero mention is that apart from the 2 groups that are being mentioned:

  • Australian citizens
  • Australian permanent residents
There's a 3rd group who have been making up over 60% of arrivals since late April.
  • Foreign nationals who are 'close relatives' of one of the above
This covers a quite large list:
  • mothers & fathers
  • brothers & sisters
  • sons & daughters
  • partners, husbands & wives
  • & other dependents (no idea what this entails but potentially opens the gates even wider)
Three flights into Melb in early June (repatriation flights!) contained 60%+ foreign nationals with one group of 13+ people related to one Australian permanent resident. It took over 90 minutes for a border force official to track them down. The official was certain that at least this group was being run by a people smuggler as only one had the contact details for their 'son', 'brother', 'partner'.

Only one had the phone number on their phone - nobody else. No emails nor social media contacts either for any of them....

Official was over-ruled as it was 'holding up the coach transfer'.
I still don't buy it.

According to Border Force (link below), the 'Close Relatives' criteria is as follows:
  • Spouse (married or de facto)
  • Dependent child/ren
  • Legal guardian (of a child/ren)
It's not the long list that you've asserted. Visas have to be in possession prior to departure.

Otherwise the criteria for foreign nationals to apply for exemptions are as follows:
  • a non-citizen travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a non-citizen with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a non-citizen whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
Travel restrictions | COVID-19 and the border

What I understand is the case is that there are a disproportionately large numbers of families (compared to normal times) returning where one parent is an Australian citizen and the spouse and children may be foreign citizens, all in possession of valid visas for Australia. I don't have a problem with Australia accepting the entire (nuclear) family under such circumstances - they have as much right to be here as any Australian. Still the numbers of such arrivals are nowhere near 60%+ of the quarantine capacity.
 

RAM

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I still don't buy it.

According to Border Force (link below), the 'Close Relatives' criteria is as follows:
  • Spouse (married or de facto)
  • Dependent child/ren
  • Legal guardian (of a child/ren)
It's not the long list that you've asserted. Visas have to be in possession prior to departure.

Otherwise the criteria for foreign nationals to apply for exemptions are as follows:
  • a non-citizen travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a non-citizen with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a non-citizen whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
Travel restrictions | COVID-19 and the border

What I understand is the case is that there are a disproportionately large numbers of families (compared to normal times) returning where one parent is an Australian citizen and the spouse and children may be foreign citizens, all in possession of valid visas for Australia. I don't have a problem with Australia accepting the entire (nuclear) family under such circumstances - they have as much right to be here as any Australian. Still the numbers of such arrivals are nowhere near 60%+ of the quarantine capacity.
Have you seen the 'foreign nationals' number published or mentioned anywhere? I wonder why that could be...

I would like this NOT to be correct. When I looked into it in early July I found no evidence to the contrary.

I got it first hand about the 3 flights into Melb in early June that were called 'repatriation' flights had 60%+ foreign nationals including one group of 13+ as detailed previously. Gladys' numbers also gave a similar relative break up - 130/335 (39%)= Aust citizens/perm residents, 205/335 (61%) foreign nationals.

Search for the articles about Gladys & the numbers.

60%+ refers to people arriving per flight, not quarantine capacity directly but inevitably the two are linked.

Perhaps the 'close relatives' have been changed since I posted about this in early July where I linked the page detailing 'close relatives' - I hope it has.

Main point though is that with total arrivals now rationed - I would prefer that Australian citizens & permanent residents get priority. Not have their tickets cancelled/re-issued for a flight 2 or more weeks later.
 
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Pushka

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All overseas arrivals to Australia in June 2020 (provisional estimates):

• 25,800 estimated trips, 14,100 of these are Australian citizens
• 32.8% increase compared to the previous month and a 98.4% decrease compared to the corresponding month of the previous year
• 10.6% of all arrivals were New Zealand citizens, the largest group apart from Australian citizens returning home
• 8.5% of all arrivals were those arriving on permanent skilled visas.

54% being Australian citizens.
 

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This article talks about a return to "normal" in 2024 :eek:, and highlights just how big the problems are for the travel industry at the moment.
 

RAM

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This article talks about a return to "normal" in 2024 :eek:, and highlights just how big the problems are for the travel industry at the moment.
Heard the interview earlier today, as many others may have, with the industry rep mentioning that TAs get to wait in hold just as long as members of the public these days. Points out that spending several hours on the phone on hold to airlines to get a refund for a customer see the airline also reclaim the commission previously paid to the TAs.

So, TAs are working for free whilst not being able to work for any prospective, if far between, new bookings due to the large number of reasonably aggrieved customers wanting to know why after many weeks they've not been refunded....

Given Q, for example, has nearly all staff being paid $750/wk on JobKeeper - why aren't they being brought in to process the refunds. ACCC are you out there?

Also, since the bulk of refunds ($3bn+) were booked before March, and all international flights had been cancelled through to September for months now - does put 'customer service' enhancements into a whole new universe! Since the bulk of Q's pre-sales are (on a value basis) for international.
 

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