Member since 19 Apr 2012
Total posts 572
There is some debate as to whether the flight restrictions are over the top; the argument being that healthy people don't get very sick from COVID so the lockdown should be restricted. The CDC in the US suggests around 10% of hospitalisations are from people with no underlying conditions, and even those who don't go to hospital end up with a range of chronic conditions. It seems any herd immunity lasts a few months. So I'm all for the restrictions in place until we get more accurate tests and better treatments. As my job depends on international travel I all this is sorted out in the next year or so.
Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards
Member since 05 Sep 2013
Total posts 74
Whist it could be argued that the restriction are over the
top, the government is in a difficult place.
If they did nothing and left the border open and the spread
got out of control: well voters would be like, you should have known better,
why didn't you do anything? If things got very bad, the government might not
get re-elected. Additionally, there is the reputational damage that Australia would
face in the broader international community if things got out of control.
On the flip side, they could have closed the border completely, no one in or out, with no exceptions.
Both options have up sides and down sides.
So we have ended up with a middle ground. It's harsh and
very cautious. Did it stop the spread of the virus? I'd say for the most part,
Yes. Nonetheless, there has most definitely been major costs too including:
damage to the broader economy and to business. Can the economy and business recover?
Most likely. Within 12 months? Probably not, it might take quite a few years
depending on the industry.
In regard to heard immunity: the major problem is that Covid-19
is evolving very quickly and there are multiple strain and/or different generic sequences
of the virus. The Journal of Translational Medicine (April 2020, Pachetti et
al), proposed that “SARS-CoV-2 had picked up specific mutation patterns in
distinct geographical regions.” Some strains are stronger than others, with
others resulting in milder symptoms compared to others. Science is a thing that
evolves and moves, it not a constant and as more research gets published, the
goal posts do change.
I think that the biggest issue with the way that the scientific
information is been described by the media is that Covid-19 is “like the flu” when
it's not. Sure most people get flu like symptom but in a lot of cases that need
hospitalization there are more dangerous consequents. It's a multisystem
disease including blood clotting that can affect kidney, heart, lung, and brain, and
not just a respiratory problem.
When will we be able to travel without restrictions? Its pure
speculation, but I would guess that it won't be until there is a vaccine or another
forms of treatment which can be created, tested and manufactured on a global scale.
Yes, there is hydroxychloroquine (Malaria drug) but it's not a cure, it only a treatment
for some of the symptoms. Typically, a rushed drug/vaccine creation takes 18-24
months to develop, test, manufacture and begin distribution to the world.
However, it can also take a lot longer too (some drugs can take 10+ years in development). The 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, it took about 20 months for a vaccine to be ready for testing in people.
This time fame is probably too long for some people who need
to travel for business purposes this year.
So the only way that we could see more travel return in the
near future is:
1) The Government created a program for business traveller that
lets them exit the country with the knowledge and expectation that they will
need to pay for their quarantine on return into Australia.
2) If people are willing to risk getting the infection overseas,
the Australian government will not be able to help you evacuate back to Australia
for treatment and can only provide the normal consular support that they offer.
3) Travelers will need to get an insurance provider who is
willing to cover them completely. If you get Covid-19, the insurer will then need
to cover all the cost including: any long term health costs, and the costs to
evacuate you back to Australia for treatment, if you can't get treated in country.
To be honest I don't think that many insurers would offer it without exorbitant
premiums, and it might not be offed to every country. But at least this way
some business might be able to start traveling soon.
Member since 01 Mar 2012
Total posts 200
I found this article interesting to understand a bit more as to what is going on with the virus and why government is taking it so seriously:
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
Member since 15 Aug 2017
Total posts 39
Thanks Stu. But the Guardian is the extreme left press certainly not credible to most in the same way the Murdoch press isn't on the other side of the coin. It's no surprise the Guardian would have that view.
PERflyer not sure the Gaurdian is extreme left wing there are a few more further to the left that peddle conspiracy theories as much as Murdoch does. The Gaurdian is consciously left of centre but that said it doesn't lack credibility, or rather can you give examples where they are completely wrong. But in terms of credibility judge what you read not where it is read. David Speers moved from Murdoch to the ABC and his views and analysis stayed the same.
By the way PERflyer on that quoted article it is hard to see where they are incorrect most of it is from published data.
Fair call Patrick! This is quite a good balanced read and more along my stance.
Member since 08 Feb 2018
Total posts 135
a) no it's not over the top. It's a deadly global pandemic. Sit down
b) not sure how a researched article based on facts could be considered extreme left wing. Facts are facts
Member since 13 Jul 2020
Total posts 2
There is absolutely no reason or excuse for the government refusing exit from the country to those of us who are citizens of other countries. We are being held here as prisoners. Yes introduce as many measures for reentering and personal liability as needed but those of us with half of our lives still overseas are being utterly destroyed right now. There are many of us in this position.
The only ‘clear message being sent to everyone around the world' by forcing people to pay for their own hotel Imprisonment is that Western Australia does not care how long would-be travellers have been trying to get home, how stressed they have been when their return flights have been cancelled time after time, the stress and untold dollars this has caused them. Instead we will just choose to see them as the problem and heap yet another expensive punishment on them. $2520 to be Imprisoned in a hotel room for 14 days, no exercise, no fresh air and certainly no ability to use any of the hotel amenities sounds like vindictive meanness from a Government who is not acknowledging that they themselves have a lot to answer for in regards to travellers not being able to get flights home
Member since 21 Dec 2016
More to the point, someone should take the restriction to the High Court: https://www.traveller.com.au/covid19-pandemic-and-border-closures-why-australians-are-banned-from-international-travel-h1pds6
Nyjoe Clive Palmer and the federal government are taking the Queensland restrictions to the high court to test the powers: the judgement will give a good guide on federal powers. I agree citizens of other countries should be allowed to leave as long as they agree to restrictions on returning. That is sole Australian citizens are given priority on the 50 seats available on each flight. Quarantine limits drive that. Whether Australian citizens can leave for short trips (say under three months) is another thing in the health emergency we find ourselves in.
Member since 08 May 2020
the most frustrating part of it all is that we have hundreds of Experts in Australia and thousands around the world.
I have not seen a positive article from any of these Experts to enable a Politician to create a Roadmap of how we can implement a reasonable way of safe travel of arrive and return with minimal risk of attaining the Covid Virus. As I understand Blood test is one of the most certain and quickest test and can be conducted prior check in 2 hours prior or on arrival to a Country prior passport control. The same is a potential road map for when a potential Vaccine is available, what will be the Plan or will the Politicians need 12 months to work out a Plan ??
Pete the issue is that blood tests for antibodies don't pick up infectious people before antibodies appear. Then less importantly after infection has passed the antibodies are still there. So a positive antibody may not tell us much about whether people are infectious even though they are useful for clinical research etc.
Member since 31 Dec 2014
Total posts 3
In the early days when there was minimal community transmission and most cases were from incoming passengers strict quarantine served Australia well. Its benefit outweighed its cost (financial, emotional, psychological, Etc)
However now there is high rates of community transmission (particularly in Victoria) the value of quarantine is reduced somewhat.
The problem is that our decision makers are referring to medical inputs almost exclusively and of course they will say lock them up. But I still find it strange that if a person off the street gets tested and is found positive they are trusted to self isolate but if a returning passenger is tested and is found negative they are locked away even if they arrive from a country with less transmission than Australia.
Surely a more affordable quarantine solution can be found with apps, tracking bracelets, police checks backed by harsh penalties (including hotel quarantine). In this way all flight limitations could be removed thus allowing Australians to return home and some form of trade and tourism to safely return.
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Are the flight restrictions worth it?
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