Australians will be able to head overseas for the first time in more than a year within days.
The long-awaited New Zealand travel bubble will open for reciprocal quarantine-free travel on Monday.
But impatient Australians are already setting their sights further and wondering where they could be headed to next.
Qantas boss Alan Joyce has offered a hint as to where that may well be.
Speaking in Sydney on Thursday, Joyce suggested four countries that could be in line for a travel arrangement.
“It all depends on what level of COVID is in an individual country, and what level of restrictions and testing will be put in place,” he said.
“There are clearly a lot of countries in the region, especially in the Asia-Pacific, that have had a tight control on COVID.
“They give us market opportunities for Singapore, like Japan, markets like Taiwan for us to potentially open up.
“But we’re also actively looking at the Pacific Islands because there are really good opportunities in places like Fiji and the Pacific Islands to open up.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison had also earlier hinted at expanding the travel bubble arrangement.
“These things are regularly assessed by the Chief Medical Officer and we have looked at places like Singapore and Japan and South Korea, and countries like this,” he said.
“But at this stage, we are not in a position to move forward on any of those at this point.”
His Kiwi counterpart Jacinda Ardern also said her government was considering whether the Cook Islands could be incorporated into a travel bubble.
She described the travel bubble announcement as “world-leading” but stressed that it was fragile.
She said there were three responses in place should there be a coronavirus case or outbreak in Australia.
They were to continue, pause or suspend flights.
“For instance, if a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you’ll likely see travel continue in the same way as you could see life continue if that happened here in Australia,” she said.
“If, however, a case was found that was not clearly linked to the border, and a state responded by a short lockdown to identify more information, we’d likely pause flights from that state in the same way we would stop travel into and out of a region in New Zealand as if it were going into a full lockdown.
“And if we saw multiple cases of unknown origin, we would likely suspend flights for a set period of time.”
Source : 7 News.com.au, 14th April, 2021