Australian Borders Could Stay Closed Through Most Of 2022

Australia has done a great job keeping Covid-19 out. When there’s been an outbreak – for instance the one last summer that started after a guard slept with a woman coming home to the country who had the virus, and then brought it out into the community – they’ve stamped it out quickly.

This has come at a cost: Australians cannot leave the country. For much of the last year many haven’t even been able to travel domestically across state lines.

And though the country has managed the virus well, it’s flubbed its vaccine rollout. They expect to make vaccination progress late in 2021 but may not re-open their borders at all until late in 2022, according to their Minister of Finance.

Australians hoping international travel will return to normal next year have been dealt a blow, as the Federal Government warns borders are unlikely to reopen until the end of 2022 at least.

Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said despite the rollout of the vaccine, global outbreaks and new mutant strains, such as those in India, left the world facing as much uncertainty as ever.

He said this meant Australia’s international borders – which have largely locked Australians in since March 2020 – would likely remain shut well into next year.

The nation’s Prime Minister, though, is “pushing for a plan to allow vaccinated Australians to travel overseas and avoid mandatory quarantine on their return.” He “urgently asked medical experts to determine how it could be done.” And they’re working towards allowing travel between Australia and Singapore.

I’ve been unable to visit my family in Australia, and I have two new members of the family I’ve been unable to meet. In my family there’s a new grandmother who hasn’t been able to see her daughter in over a year or meet her granddaughter.

A cousin considered using Australia’s travel bubble with New Zealand to fly onward and meet up with his wife’s mother, so they could be reunited, even knowing it would mean state quarantine on return. However the Australian government has threatened to prosecute citizens who try this.

Australia won the first round of the pandemic, but appears to be losing overall.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. omg. How bad can Australia handle this?

    I have friends in Australia, who are just suffering immensely .
    Mental health episodes, depression. Can’t see family. Can’t leave.

    It’s unreal that all the politicians in Australia haven’t been kicked out of office by now.
    It’s inhuman.

  2. Australia’s states of Western Australia and Queensland have the world’s Number 1 and Number 3 economies.

    We have seen places like Texas and Florida with similar populations suffer both mass deaths and economic underperformance due to prematurely opening up.

    Whereas in Australia, life is practically normal, with full stadia, restaurants and theatres.

    In a country of 25 million, just 1 person has died of Covid in the last 6 months – and he caught it in the Philippines.

    We live normal lives apart from the border being closed. And almost nobody wants people from high-risk countries like the US, UK or India to be allowed in.

    Yes, we wish the government had made better vaccination choices rather than expecting the flawed AstraZeneca jab to be universally used.

    But the longer we can keep the borders closed, the better. The rapid development of new variants shows that this Pandemic is far from over.

  3. In the first part of the pandemic I would have been glad to be in Australia. Now that vaccinations are readily available in the U.S., reducing my risk of severe COVID to the level of drowning in my bathtub, I am very glad to be here. Australia’s total failure in getting its people vaccinated is a national disaster, and the politicians should be held responsible. I’m hoping we’re getting close to the day when most of the world will be open to vaccinated people, and the day when anyone, anywhere can get their chance.

  4. @George, I’m a specialist psychiatrist here in Australia.

    I can assure you that we have world-leading mental health indicators currently because we have kept the pandemic out. There is no threat of death or disability because there is zero risk of infection.

    As for governments, the left-wing governments of Western Australia and Queensland recently won re-election by a landslide by keeping the population safe from Covid, with consequent world-beating economic success.

    In a Pandemic almost all of us are happy to sacrifice overseas travel in exchange for a normal life and Covid eradication.

    We look at our dear friends in the US and UK whose refusal to follow safe guidelines in a Pandemic brought them both mass deaths and economic catastrophe. And we pity our friends, and think “we don’t want to be like the US or UK”.

  5. @DaveS
    Our government’s only misstep here in Australia is with the vaccination program.

    But this coronavirus mutates faster than any other coronavirus in history, and the South African variant is already beyond almost every vaccine.

    This Pandemic is probably around 20% of the way through its course. We will have wave after wave due to new vaccine-resistant variants.

    Those countries which rely too heavily on vaccination and which cease social distancing and border controls almost certainly will face further waves of death and economic destruction.

    This Pandemic is a Marathon, and we can’t just let down our guard because we want it to go away.

  6. Everyone understands the need to be safe, but Australia(and NZ I assume) seems to want complete eradication of a flu virus. A very stubborn flu virus. That’s noble. And unrealistic. It will never happen.
    But if the majority of citizens are in favor of it then knock yourselves out. See ya never.

  7. Amusing that those complaining the most about Australia are those that don’t live there. They have handled things well except for the vaccinations. As usual most Americans are very short sighted and already think the virus is old news and once vaccinated there will be no problems going forward. We’ll see.

    If Gary’s biggest problem is that he can’t see relatives, he should be thankful those relatives are still alive. Many in the US are not.

  8. The only rational reason Australia would be doing this is to keep out Chinese and other non western immigrants instead of publicly saying the Immigration situation is turning Australia into a wasteland. We don’t want Australia to turn into another Hong Kong. Even with the ridiculous exaggeration about a mild virus, I can’t see how they would tolerate keeping the country shut down from travel for most of 2022 unless there was an ulterior motive, which in this case is helpful to the western world and western man.

  9. At David F, this statement: “and the South African variant is already beyond almost every vaccine” is totally and completely false. The vaccines are somewhat less effective at preventing infection against the South African variant (less effective is NOT ineffective); and most of them still are quite good at preventing severe COVID disease. AZ has the most questions. But its completely false that the South African variant is beyond all vaccines.

    See references here: https://twitter.com/EricTopol/status/1390048876065792001

    Relative to the thread at hand: COVID-zero in perpetuity is not a sustainable strategy.

  10. @DavidF: “We live normal lives apart from the border being closed.”

    LMFAO! Well I guess Australians have a history of being are used to being a penal colony where you can’t escape. In today’s world, that’s North Korea-level control to not even let citizens depart the country if they so choose. Amazing to see how cucked Australians have become – I always thought they were a tougher lot.

    I could see a draconian border lockdown if it went hand-in-hand with an aggressive and proactive vaccine program. What some on here are dismissing as just a minor shortcoming – the government’s failure in the vaccination program – is really the most significant one.

    A similar border lockout was never feasible in countries like the US and much of Europe. For one thing, even though the US can require testing and even quarantine for returning citizens, barring them from leaving is unconstitutional and would never be tolerated, nor should it be by free people.

    But practically speaking, it wouldn’t have worked either. The number of airports with scheduled international service into countries such as the US eclipses Australia by a wide margin. Add in to that private international air and sea travel from the Caribbean, Central America, Canada, and Mexico.

    Could the US have stopped all international air travel except cargo and essential? In theory but there are ramifications to that. Private air and sea travel is harder to police, though not impossible. But we have the lengthy land borders with Canada and Mexico…both of which are still rather porous. Legal cross-border commerce and family connections with Mexico would be hard to forego for more than a short time.

    So even if a theoretical total closure occurred, the odds of actually stopping and catching every single potential COVID vector would be nil. Sooner or later infection would have entered the US outside of controlled quarantine. And then what? Domestic travel is far easier, faster, and more widespread than in Australia. It would not be possible to close state borders or even metropolitan areas. So the virus would continue to spread. Maybe it would have spread more slowly, who knows, but it’s pure fantasy to insist that the US or Europe could have emulated the poor sods down under.

  11. I was in Australia for three months earlier this year. It’s paradise. No question the Federal government had bungled the vaccine roll out, but I think most folks are very happy to forgo international travel for a little longer to continue living in mostly pre-pandemic conditions.

  12. Simple either have people tested 48 hours prior to departure or only allow up to date vaccinated people in. Done. This is just silly now.

  13. It will never again re-open. Covid is never leaving and will constantly mutate. Only way to prevent outbreaks is to stay closed permanently.

  14. Gary, I had no idea so many epidemiologists read your blog!

    “But this coronavirus mutates faster than any other coronavirus in history, and the South African variant is already beyond almost every vaccine.”

    Patiently false on pretty much every point..These vaccines are some of the most incredible ever developed and continue to show strong effectiveness. Israel is the proof. Went from over 8,000 cases per day to about 60 now, and falling.

    The anti-science worrywart fear mongers are really out in force.

  15. @Wesley

    Again, false. The only way to end the epidemic is with the quick use of vaccines. The more people are protected the fewer hosts the virus has and the fewer mutations exist. It’s really the simple. It’s how the world rid itself of smallpox and (largely) polio. But if you prefer to stay huddled in your doomsday vault, nobody’s going to stop you.

  16. I really thought Australians were made of stronger stuff but fear of the “outside” seems to have really taken hold. An island nation with a commodity-export based economy cannot hope to compete long-term while shut off from the rest of the world.

  17. So they want unilateral travel agreements with other countries. Yeah – my guess is that’s not going to happen. If your vaccinated citizens can travel without tests/quarantine than so can vaccinated citizens from other countries. This makes no sense and certainly doesn’t follow the science.

  18. @DavidF “Australia’s states of Western Australia and Queensland have the world’s Number 1 and Number 3 economies.”
    What? Can you elaborate on that? The entire country of Australia isn’t even in the top 10. (#13 on the chart I saw)

  19. @DavidF The problem is that the virus is going to continue to mutate forever. That is what viruses do. You say that it is a marathon, but my issue is that it is the marathon that never ends. Are you saying that Australia should stay closed forever if the virus lasts forever? That is my big issue.

    I greatly miss my Australian friends. They are among my closest friends and my favorite people with whom I travel. Yes, I would rather be with them in Australia now and would have gladly gone through the 2 week hotel quarantine to stay with them for normalcy right now. Unfortunately, for those of us outside of Australia, we are stuck.

  20. I wonder what the end game is for Australia/New Zealand/Taiwan. By January, everyone will be vaccinated there that wants to get the vaccine. If they can’t open up in January, when will they be able to open up? Maybe Covid just goes away, but that seems unlikely, and if it does just go away, how many years from now will that be?

  21. Australia is competing with China, North Korea and New Zealand for the title of “World’s Most Authoritarian Xenophobic Regime”.

  22. @Patrick wrote “@DavidF “Australia’s states of Western Australia and Queensland have the world’s Number 1 and Number 3 economies.”
    What? Can you elaborate on that? The entire country of Australia isn’t even in the top 10. (#13 on the chart I saw)”

    Well, here’s a source for that, which came from the credit agency Standard and Poors:
    https://www.news.com.au/finance/economy/australian-economy/wa-economy-named-best-in-the-world-by-sp-credit-rating-agency/news-story/a62f211be604b3847cdb79933a7c59a0

    The reason why Australia as a whole is not doing as well as Western Australia and Queensland is because the largest state, New South Wales, is under a right-wing government which refuses to lockdown when community transmission occurs – like right now – which keeps leading to economic disaster – their last failure to lockdown saw their Christmas outbreak last almost 2 months and cost $3.2 billion from the economy.

    Australia and New Zealand have shown that the best way to protect your economy during a Pandemic is to close your borders, and to lockdown and eradicate all outbreaks. But we have known that for centuries, back to the Great Plague in Eyam in 1666, Spanish Flu 1918-20 etc etc.

    There are always three groups of people who cause economic disaster and mass deaths during a Pandemic.

    The first group which ruins it are the business people who want to make their company run like normal, whose pressure leads to premature opening and mass deaths and overloading of the health system. This is why Western Samoa did worse than American Samoa with Spanish Flu.

    The second group are people who have promoted a casual economy in less sophisticated countries, whereby people get no income if they don’t go to work, which leads to unnecessary spread of the disease.

    And the third group are selfish people who are bored and want to travel, who seed the virus around.

    Australia has 25 million people, closed borders, a flourishing economy and has had 1 Covid death in 6 months.

    Florida has 21 million people, open borders, a less successful economy, and has had 36,000 Covid deaths. They still have over 70 deaths EVERY DAY.

    This is a fairly easy virus to contain: all the things that have worked since Eyam and Spanish Flu still work.

    If other countries want to make the same mistakes that always lead to disaster, we in Australia can’t stop you. All we can do is stop anyone – including our own citizens – from bringing back the virus from those failed states.

    It saddens us that we have to close our borders even to our friends and allies. But their bad decisions really leave us with no choice.

  23. Life is not “normal” if you can’t leave your state or country, full stop. If you believe otherwise, you’re either stupid or evil.

    I pity the people who’ve been gaslit into accepting the “Zero Covid” fantasy as truth, and condemn the true believers for propagating it. My heart breaks for Aussies legally forbidden from leaving their country, and for foreigners who need to enter the country, but will not be able to do so for months or even years.

    Australia: The once and future penal colony. Weak. Pathetic. Shambolic.

  24. I find it interesting that the commenters who feel this is ridiculous, pathetic, idiotic etc are not the Aussie’s or Kiwis. Does this impact you so negatively because a closed border means YOU are unable to go there?

    My son lives in Auckland, a good friend lives in Sydney. I’m disappointed for sure that I’ve been unable to visit them for more than a year now, but they are pretty content down under living their Covid free lifestyle, and that seems to be the general consensus for most of the population. They are aghast that we (in Canada) are still living with heightened restrictions more than a year into this pandemic.

    As for me…. I’d rather be there than here

  25. @DavidF I like how you say Texas and Florida have suffered economic underperformance. Texas and Florida are absolutely thriving; I would know since I live in Texas and frequently visit FL. I lived in Australia (Brisbane & Sydney) for 17 years and now have lived in Texas for 19 years so I can speak to both experiences. I love Australia but the management now is miserable. Let me preface this with you’re clearly a left wing nut which may make you think you’re better off than the right wing nuts but to us reasonable center minded people, you’re just as bad if not worse. The moment you started spewing your leftist garbage is the moment you lost all credibility. No one cares except those in your echo chamber. Also, the statement “the longer we can keep the borders closed, the better.” is about as far from reasonable and logical as it gets and if you need explaining as to why that is then you’re beyond help, mate. Also, note you are right about one thing, the pandemic is far from over…for Australia. However, for the rest of the developed world, where us fully vaccinated individuals live, it’s in the rear view mirror! Got my flight booked to Spain next month and I’ll have a few Sangrias for you 😉

  26. I, I, I… me, me, me… my, my, my… (selfish)

    a citizen’s duty isn’t just to themselves, it is to their society as well (particularly protecting those at the margins, or “at risk” in general)….

    Us, us, us…. our, our, our…. we, we, we… (selflessness)

    it’s never been truer to say “united we stand, divided we fall”.

  27. @ Tom

    The national government of Australia is right wing, not left wing. It’s the national government, which is fluffing things up – the control of borders and roll out of vaccinations.

    If the national right wing government was serious they would set up efficient flight arrival centers for quarantine at airport facilities away from the major cities. This they have failed to do.

    Similarly, they have totally flubbed ordering appropriate vaccine options, the roll out, in terms of choices, lack of ongoing support for a locally made vaccine, failure to organize vaccination distribution, providing false data.

    Aside from borders and the heavy lifting for controlling COVID has been largely a state responsibility. There has not been a significant difference in the determination by all state governments to use lock downs to manage community transmission. Some are right wing and some are left wing governments.

    Texas has stats of nearly 51,000 deaths and Florida nearly 36,000 out of a US total of nearly 600,000. Fifty times more people have died in the US than Australia per head of population.

    @ Robert Scrader @ Tim Dunn

    America was also a penal colony following the Transportation Act 1717. Estimates of crime transported vary between 53,000 and 120,000.

    Australians are not forbidden from leaving the country – the need to apply for permission to do so.

    Zero COVID is not a fantasy here. It is our reality. Our daily lives are absolutely normal.

    @ Patrick

    Our economy is doing very nicely too. Real national income per head is riding above the ten-year average (at 1.4%). Our national debt is many times less than that of the US.

    @ Brian L.

    These idiots don’t look out of their windows to see a huge pile of 600,000 dead bodies like Americans do. These idiots have compassion and care for their community and concern for the health and wellbeing colleagues, friends and family. It’s called basic humanity.

    @ CericRushmore

    The national government has messed up the vaccination roll out. They are no longer making promises about when vaccinations rates will have made significant progress. They are unlikely to open borders significantly until they have got their act together. In the meantime, we are living entirely normal lives across the whole country with no current community transmission.

    @ Dan and @ Brian L @ Wesley

    Why succumb to the idiocy of such an absurd argument? Border rules will be relaxed when it makes sense to do so.

    If other countries like the USA, UK and Brazil had managed to control COVID the likelihood of mutations would be likewise contained.

    In any case, a significant proportion of Americans (at 40-50% creationists) wouldn’t have a clue about genetic mutation being in denial of evolutionary process.

    Australia has contained the virus, suffered 910 deaths compared with 600,000 in the USA, its economy is steaming ahead, its own population spending on local tourism sufficiently to offset the losses of absent visiting international travellers.

    Restaurants and accommodation in our local area are packed out and local providers tell me that it’s their best season for 5 years.

    @ NoThanks

    Australia is one of the few countries on the planet, which did follow the science sufficiently competently to efficiently control COVID.

    The USA’s efforts have been utterly shameful as attested by the tragically colossal death rates. It’s interesting the number of Americans on this blog that think they have any credentials to spout misinformed nonsense about another country about which they are evidently ignorant.

    Yes, latterly the US handling of the vaccines rollouts have been great, unfortunately, not the national government of Australia’s strong point. This in part reflects where vaccines are being manufactured and limitations of supply.

    @ JetAway

    But Australia’s commodity exports are doing fine, thanks for your misplaced concern. This financial year (end June 2021) will see record iron ore exports valued at an estimated USD 104 billion.

    You can expect the Australian Government to continue to take decisive action to control the spread of COVID. The mix of measures will no doubt shift as the proportion of the Australian population with vaccination increases.

    If you choose to see that as “fear of the “outside”’ you are reflecting your own ignorant and limited understanding. Try focusing on the stuff in your own backyard. Americans murder each over at 5 times the rate of Australians. You don’t have a universal health care system like Australia.

    Americans are so afraid of the outside that they need 390 million firearms to feel safe in their own community and country. That’s well over one gun per person.

    @ Adam L @Josh B

    Thank goodness –some intelligent life on this blog.

    @ Ryan

    Your summary explains why we have 910 dead and the USA has 600,000. In my view of the world your arguments are unacceptable excuses for that mind-blowing number of dead.

    Is that what you call being tough – total absence of compassion? Passing off such a colossal tragedy with such superficial arguments?

    The national and state leadership in Australia exhibited extraordinary strength and toughness in making the hard decisions to keep the nation safe. Seeking to protect the people and succeeding in a way only matched by a few other countries.

    Incidentally, as stated above, USA was also a penal colony, so you just make yourself look foolish by such tiresomely ignorant stereotypes about Australia.

    That said, the national government has flubbed the vaccine roll out. Something the US seems to be getting right at the moment.

    @ Jackson Waterson

    Utter drivel. The Australian economy is driven by population growth derived from inward migration.

    @ rich

    Well said. For some reason Gary seems to think that having a couple of relatives in a country makes him an expert.

    @ Geoff

    It’s incomprehensible that over one year into a pandemic that COVID has killed over ten times the number of people globally than the flu that some folk out there persist in the stupidity of conflating the impact of the two. In other words, what you’re saying is just plain dumb.

    @ DaveS

    Yes, the National Government has so far flubbed the vaccination roll out.

    @ George

    Still spouting trash about Australia, I see, George. There have been several state elections since the onset of the pandemic and in all cases (Queensland, West Australia, Tasmania, Northern Territory) the incumbent governments were returned.

    In the West Australian election the opposing right wing parties were hammered almost into oblivion losing 12 of 18 of their seats and leaving the government with over 90% of the seats 53 of 58 seats.

    @ Gary Leff

    Why do you insist on publishing blatantly factually incorrect materials about Australia, Gary? All you are doing is promoting misinformation amongst the appallingly ignorant rabble of posters herein.

    “ Australians cannot leave the country”.

    This is untrue. Australians can leave the country subject to obtaining an exemption. Overall, tens of thousands of people are moving in and out of the country every month.

    The government website outlines exemption categories
    • your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
    • your travel is for your business/employer
    • you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
    • you are travelling outside Australia for a compelling reason for three months or longer
    • you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds
    • your travel is in the national interest.

  28. @platy I said Texas and Florida are thriving in terms of economics, which is absolutely true…as I live here and can personally attest to — not cases/deaths relative to Australia. Reading comprehension is key. But note that people have died here, and all over the world of various contagious diseases for centuries so my question for you is when you become vaccinated or if already, will you forever be in lockdown? It’s like contagious diseases are something new to you people. Like you didn’t actually know waking up and going out into the world actually held its own risks prior to Covid. I wonder what Australia will do when they figure out tuberculosis is super contagious? Geez.

    Regarding politicizing it as if one political party is to blame is lazy and the easy way out so I get why you do it. The left points to the right and Vice versa — big surprise. I don’t care about that because while you and the right wing idiots blame each other I’ll be busy going about my life. Cheers

  29. @ Tom

    Capacity for logical inference is key. Australia has positive economic data AND protected the community. The methods adopted have been tried and tested against contagious diseases throughout history. The word quarantine itself is said to come from forty day isolation of ships and people in Venice (“quarentina”) during the various plagues – check out the “votive” churches on your Europe trip, including the Salute at the entrance to the Grand Canal across from the St Regis and Gritti Palace hotels – bookable with your Marriott points ;).

    You refer to tuberculosis: the Australian Government medically screens folk applying for various types of visa, generally those for temporary and permanent residency, and x-ray checks for TB are part of that process. People of my generation had BCG vaccinations at school, depending upon country of domicile.

    If you read my post – reading comprehension is key – the state governments of Australia have applied broadly similar anti COVID measures despite being of differing sides of politics. COVID has not been politicised here even remotely closely to the insanity of the US under your former president and certain state governors.

    Where it does become political in Australia is that right wing national governments have trended against science and tech. The position of Science Minister was axed and major cuts made to the CSIRO – our body linking business and universities. The current PM is a hand-on-faith-healing believer and more interest in protecting image rather than getting the job done. Certain MPs belonging to the right wing party have advocated all sorts of conspiracy theories and nonsense. The anti-science brigade is uniquely right wing in Australia.

    Since the start of the pandemic, the Australian people have voted for those incumbent state governments which kept the community safe, regardless of their political persuasion. There is yet to be a national election, although the right wing incumbent government is behind in the polls. Folk can see that they are messing up.

    The roll out of vaccinations in Australia is sitting on just a few percent population. It’s clearly going to be a number of months before the vaccination rates in Australia approach a target, which would change the current policy on border control. Mass vaccination centers are just being set up. Vaccinations become available to the over 50s in GP clinics from 17 May.

    Australians don’t appear to have a problem with that. Just certain folk in other countries, who appear to form prejudiced opinion based on little and inaccurate information. I’m seeing data of around 33% fully vaccinated in the US , but with continuing daily new COVID cases in the 40,000s. The US is far from the end game itself.

    Incidentally, the UK has fully vaccinated over 25% of the population and yet has ongoing strict border control and incoming quarantine. If you wanted to go from the USA (classified as an Amber country by the UK government) you’d need to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival ;).

    Travel safe.

  30. We are victims of our own success here in Australia, with even single cases causing cities to shut down “out of an abundance of caution”. Of course, when zero cases is the only tolerable number then it gets very hard to allow any travel at all (and there are lots of people here who think that even the few thousand allowed in weekly are too many). And that will be true even after vaccination because although the vaccines are very effective, we have set the bar at 100%.
    As a note to anyone who has in mind the stereotype that Australians embrace danger and don’t put up with stifling rules, the opposite is true. Here you can be fined for rising a bicycle without a helmet – because you could hurt yourself – and the amount of health and safety hoops to jump through is insane.

  31. Platy, boo, your lives are not “normal” if you can’t leave your state or country at will—period. I’m sorry you’ve been gaslit into believing otherwise.

  32. @ Robert Schrader

    Try researching some data before making ill-informed statements.

    Australians can seek exemptions from border closures for business travel (see post above).

    Check out the Council of Australian Tour Operators report on International Leisure Travel Trends 2019. Cites 6.3 million leisure trips taken in 2018 representing just 25% of the population.

    The vast majority of Australians either don’t go overseas, or don’t do so on a regular basis.

    I can understand that for travel bloggers, such as yourself and Gary, that travel restrictions might not be good for business. I appreciate the possibility that you like to post goofy stuff to attract attention to yourself to promote traffic and are happy to feed the trolls.

    Your original comments were daft and derogatory. I’m not sure how that helps the credibility of your business or your branding as well travelled person and somebody wise to turn to in time of travel planning needs.

    Nice photos though 😉

  33. @platy

    Freedom of movement should be a fundamental right, the abridgement of which only very dire circumstances might justify. COVID-19 does not qualify as such. The Australian government is capable of setting up border controls that do not amount to creating a no-travel policy akin to that of the Soviet bloc. You state that the vast majority of Australians either don’t go overseas or don’t do so on a regular basis.. An even smaller minority would be at risk of dying from COVID-19 and they could be protected via shielding and eventually vaccination. The world has gone mad with safetyism. The elderly have no choice in becoming old, but the fat (assuming you believe in free will) do have a choice in making themselves so unhealthy that they impose their vulnerabilities on the rest of society.

    I would hardly call the UK border controls strict. I have been able to come and go in the UK as I pleased throughout the pandemic. To compare policies in place in the UK or US versus Australia and think they are similar is ridiculous.

  34. @ cargocult

    “Freedom of movement should be a fundamental right”

    That’s your opinion. But it’s simply not the case. Various governments impose a variety of limits on your travel between countries. That’s the reality in which we live with or without pandemic. You get to go anywhere you want in the world whenever you want to.

    “the abridgement of which only very dire circumstances might justify. COVID-19 does not qualify as such.”

    In your opinion, but understand it comes ata cost. In the case of COVID, 600,000 dead Americans.

    Delusions of freedom are all benign enough until your perception of a right to something injures or kills another human being. This is why we don’t afford folk the freedom to drink and drive.

    In the case of this particular pandemic your insistence on freedom of travel can constitute a death sentence for another one of your fellow countrymen.

    “The Australian government is capable of setting up border controls that do not amount to creating a no-travel policy”

    There is travel in and out of Australia, admittedly restricted. But yes, as argued above, the national government should have set up specialised arrivals centres with decentralised and thorough quarantine facilities. Various state premiers have argued for such.

    “akin to that of the Soviet bloc”

    Such stupid statements only reveal your lingering obsessive paranoia about the presumed evils of communism. It is entirely uninformed on the reality of the Australian political landscape. You just make yourself look daft succumbing to such.

    In any case, a significant proportion of the US community refusing to accept presidential electoral votes is extremely concerning, when observed from another country. Let alone the attack on Congress. It trashes your image as a robust democracy. That such behaviour was condoned by certain politicians was especially dire.

    “You state that the vast majority of Australians either don’t go overseas or don’t do so on a regular basis.”

    I gave you the published figures. Incidentally, I don’t see anyone else on this blog attempting to argue from a position of actual data.

    “An even smaller minority would be at risk of dying from COVID-19 and they could be protected via shielding and eventually vaccination”

    Clearly, Australia (and a few other countries) got it right. We have 910 dead and you have over 600,000, at a death rate 50 times greater than the USA.

    Conflating the number of Australian international travellers with the proportion at risk is an utterly stupid argument. The main reason being that you are relying on mapping the inconvenience of restricted travel with the finality of death.

    Basic risk analysis incorporates two primary factors – the probability of an event and it’s impact. You can’t mount an effective risk management strategy on probability of event alone.

    The government, as repeatedly stated above, will reassess its position in the light of vaccination rates. We are still in the process of vaccinating the elderly, health care and disability care workers. We’ve hardly started – a failing of our national government, in my opinion.

    “The world has gone mad with safetyism.”

    That’s a matter of personal opinion. In some cases I might agree with you and in others I wouldn’t. Having worked in both aviation and mining I can appreciate the importance of a thorough safety culture.

    When it comes to COVID the medical science demands lock downs and travel restrictions if you are serious about controlling COVID. Their effectiveness is proven.

    “The elderly have no choice in becoming old, but the fat (assuming you believe in free will) do have a choice in making themselves so unhealthy that they impose their vulnerabilities on the rest of society”

    Ah the old eugenics argument – it’s somebody else’s fault if they get the virus – we can always find some reason why they died from COVID which we can track back to them and thereby justify our own lack of compassion and humility and unwillingness to adopt simple practices to help protect the community – we can do what we want, right?

    You either see folk as being equal in the eyes of government and society or you don’t. Our universal health care system, Medicare, affords all of us access to medical care regardless of age, body weight, known health conditions, age, smoking habits, drinking habits. Similarly, the UK NHS system which is legally required to afford treatment without discrimination (age, etc).

    Somebody who’s fat is imposing their vulnerabilities on society? Where do you draw the line? A lot of posts herein come across as wantonly stupid. Maybe we should agree to cut loose those people who can’t be bothered to use their critical faculties, who attach to conspiracy and social media memes rather than make the effort to research and inform themselves, etc

    By your position, cue the master race.

    Do you have any idea how you come across in being utterly selfish and lacking in humanity and compassion?

    “I would hardly call the UK border controls strict. I have been able to come and go in the UK as I pleased throughout the pandemic.”

    As I stated, If you to arrive now from USA you’d be expected to quarantine since you’re from an “Amber” classified country.

    “To compare policies in place in the UK or US versus Australia and think they are similar is ridiculous”.

    The point, since you evidently don’t get it, is that Australia is not the only country imposing travel restrictions to control the pandemic. I quoted actual UK policy, which demonstrates my understanding of such.

    The bottom line is that the USA’s national / state government has undeniably failed to protect its own people. Post hoc justifications about freedoms cannot excuse this monumental failure. Thank goodness, the vaccination rates are good in the USA.

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