WHEN ARE THE BORDERS GOING TO BE OPEN?

WHEN CAN I TRAVEL?

The most common questions a travel agent used to be asked was “How much is a flight to **insert destination here**? or “Have you got any good deals **don’t insert destination here as apparently the destination is irrelevant when it comes to a “good deal”**?”

Now, the most frequently asked questions are: “When are the borders going to open? And “When can I travel?

Generally, these questions are immediately followed up by a declaration that they have heard about a “travel bubble”.

Their Auntie knows someone in travel who knows someone in the public service whose gardener once cut the lawn of someone who works at the cafeteria at Parliament House and they have all the facts on the mythical travel bubble.

What exactly is a “travel bubble” anyway? All I know is that a bubble is a fragile film of soapy air that that floats around,  or sits there tantalising with a captured rainbow and then pops when you try to capture it.

Is that what you want your travel to be? To me, It does not sound very safe way to travel.

So far this week, I have heard that Australia is said to have set up a “travel bubble” with New Zealand, Greece, Fiji, Bali, Thailand, Vanuatu, and anyone else who wants a piece of our supposed Covid-free air.

Those who claim to know when and where they can travel, with any degree of certainty, has probably consulted the same scientific instruments that every travel agent is using right now…Facebook and a crystal ball.

We haven’t even sorted out our own country yet, so it seems unlikely that other countries will want us until we’ve tidied up our own mess. Our own Premier, Mr Marshall currently sees the map of Australia as such:

I always thought it would be Western Australia who wanted to be cut adrift, but it turns out its Victoria and New South Wales who do not exist in the post-Covid world.  Interesting.

Even Queensland is “on notice” as everyone wants their Premier to open up the floodgates to allow us all to stream across their borders. Its not fair that they should have all that winter warmth to themselves.

But at this stage we still have to wait until July 10th.

Even when the borders do open up, we still need the airlines to put planes in the air so we can get bums on seats. The Australian aviation industry is currently running at 5% of its normal schedule. Qantas has indicated that they will increase this capacity to 15% by mid-July. And Virgin Australia, who knows as they are busy courting new suitors to try and get them out of the financial mess that they have found themselves in.

This means that we may end up with borders open, but very limited opportunities of getting anywhere.

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird. It’s a plane….its a what?

While the skies are quieter, and most of the fleets have been grounded and stored away in the desert, there are some planes flying. Even internationally.

Most of these flights are cargo flights, or “repatriation” flights getting Australians home, or getting international residents back to their own countries.

So it is possible, if you fit the right credentials, to travel overseas. Non-essential international travel restrictions have now been extended until September. Unless you have permission from the government it means that your vacation this year is more than likely going to be a stay-cation.

The Don’t Forget Travel Group is a boutique travel agency that plans and curates custom-made holidays.

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