- A new interactive map published by Tourism Australia shows which parts of Australia are open to travellers.
- As Australia gradually reopens, some states and territories appear to be considering setting up their own travel bubbles.
- Tasmania has flagged opening up travel exclusively to South Australia and Western Australia, while Sydneysiders may be able to fly to New Zealand before they can travel to Queensland.
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Australia might be cooling down, but domestic travel is finally heating back up.
As states and territories begin relaxing COVID-19 restrictions, those itching to get out of the house and out and about are in luck.
However, given each region and major capital city has been affected differently, it’s going to be some time before the entire country opens up under the National Cabinet’s three-stage plan.
In time for a last-minute Queen’s Birthday long weekend jaunt, Tourism Australia has published an interactive map indicating which states are closed, which are opened, and who can travel where.
It indicates, for example, which restrictions are in place in each state, which allows interstate visitors, and the rules governing travellers when they arrive. Currently, only New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT are open to interstate travellers.
Tasmania this week indicated the island state, which has recorded no new cases in more than a fortnight, could open up to others in similar positions, namely South Australia and Western Australia.
Premier Peter Gutwien told media on Tuesday he had been in talks with South Australia Premier Steven Marshall on the matter.
“Those discussions [were] about looking at the option of a direct link into Adelaide,” he told media on Tuesday relaxing state restrictions nearly two weeks ahead of schedule. “And there is certainly interest around the country in ensuring when it’s safe to do so, borders can come down, and we can start to travel again.”
“Tasmanians have done a damn good job; they have followed the rules. We’ve got on top of this but it is so important that we step out of this sensibly and cautiously … because this isn’t over yet,” Gutwien said.
Such a plan could see direct flights recommence with Adelaide and possibly Perth, leaving Sydney and Melbourne out in the cold.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison meanwhile has previously flagged the possibility that certain travel bubbles could preclude certain states, including the one to be created with New Zealand.
“We’ll continue to have our discussions about the trans-Tasman safe travel zone, and it may well be that Sydneysiders can fly to Auckland before they can fly to Perth, or even the Gold Coast, for that matter,” he told the National Press Club in an address last week.
Planning a trip in your own backyard has never been this complex.