Over the weekend I explained why it will take some time before international travel comes back in more than a limited way. Countries won’t open their borders all at once, and may impose quarantines or restrictions on entry with greater health checks initially when they do. More onerous procedures will mean less travel overall and fewer flights.
Already we’re getting some window into what this might look like. Australia, for instance, may not even loosen travel restrictions between its domestic states for some time and ban most international travel through the end of the year.
The federal government has banned Australians from flying overseas in most circumstances and ordered anybody coming into the country to go into quarantine for 14 days, usually at hotels supervised by the Australian Defence Force.
…With no certainty about containing the virus, the federal message is for Australians to plan for limited holidays within their own state if and when current restrictions are eased. Only later would travel between states become possible.
Asked whether the international bans would stay for this calendar year or beyond, Senator Birmingham said: “It’s very difficult to predict and nobody should be getting ahead of themselves at the present.”
Travel restrictions may remain in place for visiting Europe, as well. France’s President is talking about closure of borders of the 26 Schengen Area countries until September. No decision has been made yet, but this timeline is what’s under consideration.
During a videoconference last Friday with trade unions, Macron said the idea is being considered by Schengen members, according to French media reports. The reason he gave was the fact that the pandemic is evolving at a different pace around the world, and “did not affect all countries at the same time” BFMTV reported.
So the implication is that Europe needs to protect itself from the threat posed by travelers coming from high-risk countries. According to the TV station, “Emmanuel Macron notably cited the example of the United States, where the coronavirus crisis is delayed by several weeks and which will therefore reach its peak later. But also that of Africa, where the situation is developing differently. In Asia, a second peak may occur.”
Once things do open up, expect procedures to be more cumbersome than they have been in the past with more visas and more health checks and fewer travel options for some time.