Australians living in NSW will “more likely” be permitted to jetset to London before being allowed into Queensland, the boss of Flight Centre has said.
Flight Centre chief executive Graham Turner believes the first international travel destination available to Sydneysiders will be London.
These international flights will happen as early as November this year, he told the Daily Telegraph.
Britain categorises countries into ‘red’, ‘amber’ and ‘green’ travel lists. The ‘green’ list , meaning travellers from Down Under won’t have to quarantine upon entering the UK, but do have to take a COVID-19 test before and after arrival.
England is currently counting more than 28,000 new daily cases.
“NSW has nothing to lose,” Turner said. “They’ve got the infection. It doesn’t matter that they bring in more.”
Qantas’ December prediction
Turner also believes international airlines like Emirates will offer global flights before local carriers such as Qantas do.
Meanwhile, flights to Bali and Thailand are expected to commence from April next year.
“The prospect of flying overseas might feel a long way off, especially with New South Wales and Victoria in lockdown, but the current pace of the vaccine rollout means we should have a lot more freedom in a few months’ time,” Joyce said in late August.
“It’s obviously up to [the] Government exactly how and when our international borders reopen, but with Australia on track to meet the 80 per cent trigger agreed by National Cabinet by the end of the year, we need to plan ahead for what is a complex restart process.”
Vaccine passports in the works
Meanwhile, the Federal Government is working on an international vaccine passport which is expected to be rolled out “within weeks”.
The vaccine passports may be issued from as soon as October and will allow for travellers to prove their vaccine status abroad and also upon return.
When international travel is reopened to the vaccinated, home quarantine will replace hotel quarantine for those with both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Meanwhile, Service NSW is working on its own vaccine passports as Australia's most populous state readies to reopen once the 70 per cent vaccination target has been reached.