The vaccine passports are almost ready and the international border is expected to open from November. Qantas and Fiji Airlines say they’re ready to fly as soon as they get the green light. But where can Australians actually go?
First a warning: Anyone planning to grab their passport and book the first flight out of Australia will need to check the rules with the airline and the nation they plan to vist.
Many nations and airlines will require proof of vaccination and multiple PCR tests. Passengers on the Singapore Airlines vaccination flight between Germany had to take a COVID-19 test 48 hours before their flight, on arrival, on day three and on day seven of their stay.
Notably, children under 12 were banned, due to the fact they can not be vaccinated for COVID-19. But each airline and nation has different rules so you will need to check with them BEFORE you book.
The good news for anyone desperate for international travel from Australia to start is that we CAN tell you the countries most likely to open up first.
These are the places you’re most likely to go
Yes, obvious. More than 80% of Singapore’s population is fully vaccinated. It has had a recent increase in Delta cases, but the country is planning to roll out booster shots in the next few weeks.
Singapore has already started vaccination flights with Germany and Brunei. Qantas plans daily flights – mostly on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from December 20 and the airline has said that it will reopen its Singapore Lounge.
Canada threw open the doors to fully vaccinated foreign nationals on September 7. The North American nation now has 70 per cent of its population fully vaccinated.
To get to Canada, Australians will need to prove their vaccination status and undertake a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 72 hours before their scheduled flight. Canada will select travellers for random COVID-19 screening on arrival.
We do not know whether children under 12, who can not be vaccinated will be allowed an exemption.
Fiji Airways said it would restart flights from Australia in December. The island nation is on track to have the entire working population fully vaccinated by November.
That means every person you will come in contact with on your dream Fiji holiday will have had two doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Fiji has not yet confirmed the rules for flying or entry to the island. So you will have to watch this space if you’re keen for an island break.
Japan is seeing a spike in COVID-19 infections and the State of Emergency is in place until September 12.
Foreign nationals are currently banned from Japan. You can travel to Japan from Australia with a valid Japanese residency but you will need to must submit a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test result taken within 72 hours of departure. You will also need the test result certificate signed by a doctor and, you will need to undergo a COVID-19 test on arrival and self-isolate/quarantine for 14 days.
However, this may change. Qantas plans to restart flights to Tokyo on December 20 with four flights each week. Here’s hoping that we may actually be able to ski early next year.
Japan has currently vaccinated 53 per cent of the population.
New Caledonia’s border will remain shut until December 31. The French Pacific nation has only had 134 cases of COVID in total.
The good news is that Qantas plans to fly from Brisbane to Noumea once a week from January 8.
The bad news is that New Caledonia has only vaccinated 25 per cent of the population. So this one may not happen.
Qantas flights to Singapore starting on December 20 will continue on to London daily.
England has currently vaccinated 65.3 per cent of the population and COVID-19 cases are high but stable.
Despite the fact the USA still has crazy levels of COVID-19, it is on the list of nations that Australia plans to open up to.
Qantas has flights to Los Angeles and Hawaii ready to go on December 20. It plans to start flying to Dallas Texas on February 14, 2022 and San Francisco on February 16.
Few US states have hit the 70 per cent double dose mark despite having the greatest access to vaccinations in the world. The USA does not currently require proof of vaccination to travel. However, you will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before your flight.
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