Australia Lifts Travel Restrictions

The wait is finally over. Australia has finally announced that it is lifting its international travel restrictions in a matter of weeks. Come November 1st 2021, Australian citizens and residents who are fully vaccinated will be allowed to leave the country without permission for the first time in over 18 months. Whilst tourists are still banned from the country, Australians are free to return to the country, with just a PCR test and no quarantine whatsoever, with a catch. They would have to return to Sydney as it is the only city that has committed to this. Melbourne is widely expected to follow suit very soon, but residents of other states may find themselves in a pickle because crossing borders within the country has been a nightmare and still is for many people!

Come November, it might be easier for someone to travel from Sydney to London than to Brisbane

Qantas has announced that it will be bringing forward its’ flights to London and Los Angeles to November 1st whilst foreign carriers are slated to add capacity to cope with the expected surge in demand to and from Australia in time for the Christmas holidays.

As exciting as all this may sound, travel in 2021 is nothing like 2019. Anyone planning to travel must, let me reiterate again, absolutely MUST, spend several hours studying the requirements before they head to their home city airport. No matter which city one is travelling to, there is bound to be some sort of testing or permit requirement. Some are pretty straightforward whilst others can be mind boggling.

Any Australian travelling to the USA will require a PCR test 72-hours before departing from Australia. This is a pretty simple requirement that will cost $150-200. Likewise on the way home, they will have to book in for another test, which will cost a similar amount in the USA.

PCR Testing

If someone is planning on travelling to London, not only will they have to do that PCR test before leaving home, they will need to fill up a Passenger Locator Form online and book and pay for a PCR test upon (within 2 days of arrival). That arrival test will add another $150 to the overall trip cost and not forgetting the time and effort required attending the test. There is still that test required on the way home.

If your idea of a holiday is basking the sun by a pool in a private villa perched on top of a seaside cliff, Phuket might be a good idea (because that’s where I am headed to!). Whilst I am confident that all the trouble will be worth it, planning a trip there involves not just a few clicks but a flowchart to diligently follow!

The Phuket Sandbox Program

After successfully navigating these requirements, one must never leave home without travel insurance. Many insurers do not cover any claims resulting from a pandemic such as Covid-19 therefore it is just so important to read the policy documents carefully before signing up. Some have limited cover and others are very comprehensive but can also be very expensive. Things to consider when purchasing insurance include costs involved should one be diagnosed with Covid or being put into quarantine due to being considered a close contact whilst overseas.

All in all, I am now counting down the days to being able to get on that long haul flight!

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Andrew is a self-confessed guru when it comes to frequent flyer programmes. He claims that he is more familiar of the terms & conditions than the one who came up with the terms & conditions. His dream is to be able to feast on cookies day and night without getting fat.