The photo that proves Australia really is a hermit nation: Depressing satellite image shows how the rest of the world has opened to international travel
- A flight mapping image shows Australia at a standstill compared with overseas
- Australians won’t be able to travel overseas until at least December this year
- High vaccination rates overseas mean international travel had largely resumed
- Many international travel restrictions end once we reach 80% full vaccination
A satellite image of worldwide flights has indicated just isolated Australia is from the rest of the world as other nations abandon lockdown strategies to combat Covid-19 and allow international travel.
The telling map of international flights from the OpenStreetMap shows thousands of planes once again in the air between North America, Europe and northern Asia, while Australia shows just a smattering of domestic flights.
The head-start on vaccination that many countries overseas had on Australia meant airlines were back online flying international routes a number of months ago.
The satellite image mapping international flights shows Australia had quickly become a ‘hermit nation’, with relatively few flights compared with the rest of the world
Australia’s international travel ban was recently extended by three months until December 17
Under the four-phase plan agreed to by national cabinet, Australians won’t be able to consider international travel until Phase C when 80 percent of the population are double vaccinated – a goal that is unlikely to be reached this year.
At that stage, restrictions on international travel will lift for vaccinated Australians, there will be an extend traveled bubble for travel in and out of new and ‘safe’ candidate countries, including reduced quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated inbound travellers.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt recently extended the international travel ban for Australians by three months until December 17.
A US West Coast city such as Los Angeles is one of the destinations Australians should be able to travel to once the 80 percent full vaccination threshold is reached
Last week Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that dropping restrictions on international travel might not be simultaneous across all states, with those that reach the 80 percent figure able to open up even as other states remain closed.
‘The national plan sets that out very clearly,’ he stated. ‘The national plan was agreed by all states and territories. It’s a plan that is actually going to see Australia open up again and move forward again.’
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has estimated the level will be achieved for her state in late October based upon that current rate of vaccinations, although international experience shows that rate slows markedly as it gets higher.
‘I stress that at 80 per cent double-dose vaccination, we anticipate allowing our citizens to access international travel and also to welcoming home Australians through Sydney Airport,’ she said.
Qantas has started advertising flights home for Christmas amid plans to reschedule flights to London, Los Angeles and Singapore in December
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said he thinks Australians will be able to travel overseas to countries with similar levels of vaccination by the end of this year
One person who believes Australians will be travelling again by December is Qantas boss Alan Joyce.
Qantas has started advertising flights home for Christmas amid plans to reschedule flights to London, Los Angeles and Singapore in December.
The national carrier has lost $2.3billion since the beginning of the pandemic last year but Mr Joyce is confident Australia will begin to re-open by Christmas.
‘We think countries with the same level of vaccination, so that 70-80 percent that Australia will have by the end of the year will be those Tier 1 countries that we could open up to,’ he told the ABC.
‘So Canada, the UK, the west coast of the United States, Singapore, Fiji, New Zealand.’
The other key factor would be quarantine arrangements, with Mr Joyce believing Qantas won’t be able to operate its international business under the current 14-day hotel quarantine arrangements.
‘If it’s home quarantine until you have a negative test, which is the way a lot of other countries are doing it, then you could see international travel really opening up.’