World Situation

Will Australia and New Zealand ever open their borders?


As readers of this blog will know, my wife and I live in Tel Aviv, although we have a home in Sonoma, California, that we usually visit in the summer months. Because of Covid, we have not been there since 2019. Israel is pretty much done with the virus due to a very aggressive vaccination program. If you are fully vaccinated, you can live pretty much as before, seeing friends, going to restaurants and malls, etc. Traveling outside of Israel is a bit complicated if you are an Israeli and very difficult if you are not. Israel will open up to tourist groups in May, and I think to individual travelers by July. There are also travel agreements with some countries like Greece that will accept the Israeli Vaccination Certificate.

We plan to travel to the USA this summer. We usually take a big trip to somewhere warm in the winter months. Last year we hoped to go to Australia and New Zealand where we have good friends. The virus made that impossible. So I am hoping we can go in early 2022. So I started to wonder when that will be possible. Now I am wondering if it will ever be possible.
Both Australia and New Zealand closed their borders tight. Both are Islands, so that was not so difficult. They could get the virus under control and live everyday lives, but no one could leave or get in pretty much. Which means, means individuals do not have much of an incentive to get vaccinated. Right now, very few have been vaccinated, but that is also due to limited availability. But I am wondering how they will get people to get vaccinated when they feel no immediate threat. Without getting about 80% or more vaccinated (they do not have many people that have already been infected), how will they open their borders?

I don’t think it would be wise to open borders if the population is not vaccinated, even if they required visitors to be vaccinated. It only takes one to start the infection cycle. Remember, it all began with one person in China.

Guess we will be going to Thailand instead.

5 thoughts on “Will Australia and New Zealand ever open their borders?

  1. Avram, Thailand may not be a slam dunk as things have gotten a bit wobbly there with talk of a further lockdown. The vaccination efforts are beyond the grasp of many.

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  2. About 7% of employment an Australia and NZ are from foreign tourists, so that is a big incentive to open up Eventually. Alice and I went to Australia about 20 years ago and liked it. We flew to Cairns in the north east from the US. Pronounced Cans, mainly to the Barrier Reef, but a bad storm had churned up everything snd all good tours were canceled. The North East is mildly interesting. When we got there we were greeted “ Welcome to South East Asia”. We flew to Sydney and all round great city. Two years ago we rook a 2 week Cruise on a small very deluxe ship around NZ. We are not really Cruise people but it worked out>. NZ is absolutely beautiful. The main sights are in the southern Island . I told my Great Niece when she told me that she was going to NZ for a year: Get a one-way ticket, If I were starting my adult life again my first choice would be NZ, Second Australia Her were some beach resorts , but I never looked at one.

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  3. Hi, Avram. Mary Cole here in New England where the world is bursting with daffodils and forsythia, so it’s beautiful. This pandemic has been a long haul. My husband and I are both vaccinated with Pfizer. The good news is Thailand is delightful or was. I have fond memories of Bangkok and the beach at Patayya. Stay safe!

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  4. Avram,
    Oz would like to open up and are importing nominal Australians into 14 day quarantine every week with the occasional lockout country such as India. Australia and New Zealand have their own travel bubble already. However our state bureaucrats seem obsessed with hoarding vaccines rather than using them. Even emergency service staff are in a long queue. Some of problem may also be EU also blocking exports and makers struggling to fill demand. By end of year a significant number of us should be vaccinated in theory. However, this assumes a new variant does not arise . You might like the biggest lava tubes on Earth at Undarra, Queensland for unusual geology.

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