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Australian international travel ban probably won’t lift this year

The man who urged the PM to close Australia’s borders to international travellers has made another grim prediction: that overseas travel won’t be able to happen until NEXT YEAR. 

If you were hoping to sneak in an overseas holiday this year, I’m afraid we have some bad news for you.

Australia’s top health chief, the same who urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison to close the borders last year due to coronavirus, predicts they’ll stay closed until 2022.

“I think that that is a big question. I think that the answer is probably no,” Health Department chief Brendan Murphy told the ABC in response to whether overseas travel will be able to resume despite worldwide vaccinations already beginning.

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“I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions – even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus,” he said.

He also said that hotel quarantining will probably remain in place for a while yet: “It’s likely that quarantine will continue for some time. One of the things about this virus is that the rule book has been made up as we go.”

It comes after QANTAS announced their international schedule would resume across its entire network from July 1, but Professor Murphy says it’s premature.

“I was very careful early on and I remember saying this to the Prime Minister – I don’t want to predict more than two or three months ahead. The world is changing. So I think at the moment, we’ve got this light at the end of the tunnel – the vaccine,” he said.

“So we’re going to go as safely and as fast as we can to get our population vaccinated and then we’ll look at what happens.”