Looking forward to an overseas trip after the long coronavirus lockdown? You may as well put your passport back in the drawer, because with the exception of a few countries which have vanquished Covid-19, international travel is likely to be off the cards until next year as Australia's border closure stretches into 2021.
That's the take of Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, who today told Canberra's National Press Club that "open tourist-related travel in or out of Australia... remains quite some distance off."
Asked whether that meant the border would not open until next year, Birmingham responded "I think that is more likely the case".
However, it won't be a blanket ban: discussions between Australia and New Zealand governments on proposals by the joint Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group could see travel between the countries by September without the need for any isolation or quarantine period at either end of the journey, although passengers may need to undergo a COVID-19 test and carry a certificate confirming they are free from the disease.
That 'travel bubble' could extend to other Pacific islands including Fiji, New Caledonia and Vanuatu, while Singapore has raised the possibility of opening its borders to Australia and several other countries by the end of this year.
However, Birmingham suggested that business travel could also see an earlier opening than leisure travel.
"I hope that we can look eventually at some of those countries who have similar successes in suppressing the spread of COVID to Australia and New Zealand, and in working through that with those countries, find safe pathways to deal with essential business travel that helps to contribute to jobs across our economies."
Singapore could also find itself on that list, as the island-nation is currently trialling a 'fast lane' for business travellers which removes the need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.