Australia in 'travel bubble' discussions with Singapore, Japan

The latest timeline suggests easier travel to New Zealand by December, with some Asian countries opening up in 2021.

By David Flynn, October 12 2020
Australia in 'travel bubble' discussions with Singapore, Japan

Easier travel from Australia to New Zealand could begin by December 2020, with the prospect of 'travel bubbles' to the likes of Singapore, Japan and South Korea under discussion for 2021 – although trips to the USA and Europe are probably off the cards until 2022.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed ongoing discussions with a handful of self-contained Asian countries would likely shape the next stage of Australia's re-opening, following a COVID-safe corridor to New Zealand.

"Further afield, places like South Korea, Singapore and Japan, we have had good discussions with them but I think that is a bit further off," Morrison said on Sunday, although he warned "we have to go cautiously on this, very, very cautiously. Covid-19 hasn’t gone anywhere. It’s still there, and it is no less aggressive today than it was six months ago."

Pacific Island nations including Fiji, Vanuatu and New Caledonia may also find their way onto a shortlist of holiday destinations.

"I have talked to Pacific leaders, they are keen but we also want to ensure that we get no COVID transmission into those Pacific Island communities," Morrison said. "Their health systems are different and we have got to be very careful about the risk and they want us to be careful also."

Australia-New Zealand travel

The weekend also saw Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham suggest that New Zealand would open up to Australian travellers, without hotel quarantine at either end of the journey, before the year is out.

"Work continues on how we can facilitate two-way COVID-safe travel between Australia and New Zealand, and I hope that we can see a reciprocal arrangement of quarantine-free travel with New Zealand by the year's end," Birmingham said.

"Our arrangement with New Zealand will provide a blueprint to prove up the model of how we run safe corridors – green lanes of international visitors coming in and out of Australia – and whether this can be extended to other similarly low risk countries down the track."

New Zealand heads to the polls on October 17 for a national election, which is expected to see the Labor government led by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern returned with a clear majority, with a decision on the 'trans-Tasman bubble' to follow, potentially on a bespoke basis with selected Australian states rather than the country as a whole.

As previously reported, the government considers Australia's international borders will largely remain closed until late 2021 with the exception of those two-way travel bubbles, which would mean that trips to Europe and the UK, North and South America and South Africa, among others, might not begin until 2022 at the earliest.

Read more: Australia's international travel ban likely to remain until late 2021

David

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 122

Fine for different travel bubbles to be adopted (should not open to New Zealand and India in the same phase). 

But the government needs to stop adopting its inhumane fascist approach of banning people from leaving the country at any cost without an exemption. Australia is a democracy not the Soviet Union.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

15 Aug 2017

Total posts 107

This weeks travel bubbles post.....

Tokyo still running at around 150-200 cases per day, why would we want to be in a bubble with them?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

25 Mar 2014

Total posts 221

Exaclty nsw be shut shortly and they have only a few cases

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 122

And significantly fewer deaths per capita than Australia has been having. Using your logic, why would Japan want to open to Australia?

Most rational people realise the sooner you open up and get trade going again in a Covid safe way the better long term outcome. Health and economic outcomes are much broader and complicated than just Covid cases

"And significantly fewer deaths per capita than Australia has been having. Using your logic, why would Japan want to open to Australia?"

I doubt Japan worries that Aussie COVID-19 is somehow deadlier than their own...

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

KW72 the issue is the COVID-19 safe way is through quarantine. People with the bug are showing up on day 10

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

Trump? 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

KW I’m not sure where Australia’s around 30 per day matches Japan’s seven day average of 500 as per capita comparison. I’m not sure what you think Japan’s population is. Korea is also in the three figure territory. I think sco mo is being very selective on who he’s friends with. Those Vietnamese and Chinese ‘commies’ don’t get a look in.

I am being kept a prisoner in my own country against my will. This is what fascist governments not democracies. The economic recession is not caused by the COVID but by the actions of the Federal Government that rather than managing the risks they prefer to shut the country except of course to mates and VIPs. The PM demands the states to open their borders ! What about the international borders!!it’s the biggest political hypocrisy of all! They control the passports, the customs, the visas and all processes to come in/out, so what is the problem to put in place processes that manage visitors entering the country or Australians returning home?! It’s easier to shut it down and forget and then blame it on Covid! Hypocrites ! The recession has been caused by these incompetent politicians that can’t manage a piss up in a brewery! All my family is overseas except my 2 children who live here, I live by myself, have a heart problem and can’t go visit my family !! The unemployment is caused by the politicians that are driving the country bankrupt ! Have they never heard of Risk Management ?!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

Are these fascist governments paying your health care for your heart problem? Since you already have a underlying heart condition if you contracted covid you have more risk to your health. If you were elsewhere in the world you may not have had the same chance that was put to you by the Aus government. 

Three different things: 1) being kept a prisoner in my own country against my will - this is what fascist governments do/did!

2) my heart condition is part of my life. I paid for my health care for at least 4 decades! Besides it’s my life NOT the governments life! Risks are part of life - you can cross the road and be killed by a car!!

3) I don’t manage the international borders, the Feds do! Passport controls, customs, personal data and visas ! They could have a plan at least but their plan is to send airlines, airports and associates services bankrupt with millions of unemployed people - I hope you and I will not be two of them !

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

Fair points - I would like to see it opened up personally and an economy that's restarted and unrestricted. Can't keep this dictating our lives when we don't know when and how long this can keep going on for. Just put in place rules and restrictions for aged care and hospitals which are most vulnerable. But I won't critisice the government for doing a job to protect ALL citizens. It's sucks but that's reality - I am in WA and am affected by Labors hard border policy let alone Federal government. But at the same time I have good health that hasn't been damaged, freedom (90%) to travel anywhere in my own state and within my own city without restrictions like covid doesn't really exist. 

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

Let people manage and pay for their own decisions as long as they behave responsibly. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

P you nailed it with ‘as long as they behave responsibly’ but they don’t as the Ruby Princess taught us.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Who could possibly give a thumbs down to P? What type of person can disagree with his/her statement? Baffling!

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

I've got no problem in letting people leave as long as they are put at the back of the queue when it comes to returning and pay the $3000 for returning hotel quarantine before they depart.

reeves

what quarantine ? From this Friday, no quarantine or restrictions of any kind for kiwis flying to Australia (NSW & SA).

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

reeves35, your thinking is against the wrong people. Do not blame the general public, this is all about Government allowing us to be human. If a tiny minority do not behave, deal with them but let the 99.99% get on with living.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Richard it is a little more than 0.001% that do not behave as you suggest it is for example 1% of returning travellers have the bug, which is enough for the bug to get away. What is happening in Europe also suggests it is more than 0.001% and even that may be enough for it to get away. As someone noted last week the White House had a higher rate of infections than NZ, Taiwan and Vietnam put together.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

patrickk - all this talk about other countries and their infection rates is ineffective to a solution. This virus will be with us forever. No vaccine will ever eliminate it. If every human avoids contact with any other human then it can be controlled. Who wants to live like that? So waiting for infection rates to reduce and/or waiting for a vaccine is a waste of time. We can wait 1 day 1 year or 10 years but as soon as we open, as we should, the virus will be passed around. So staying shut just means that all of our deaths get closer without any of us living our lives. We need to take good simple precautions, open up all borders but ensure tests are mandatory before a flight and after it along with quarantine for countries with higher rates. But stopping movement at all means all our lives waste away. And yes, some people will die. But we will all die anyway, so let’s live with precautions and keep numbers low.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Richard I’m not sure where you are but I can go to most places I want to, Europe and US are far too dangerous to want to visit at the moment, and I don’t avoid contact but I’m cautious, and happy to live that way. Australia as well as East Asia got its infection down so it is possible and a vaccine will certainly help probably enough to open some if not all borders. The issue is not people dying but hospital systems being so overwhelmed that we can’t get treated for COVID or anything else. That is what is happening across Europe right now. For me movement is not stopped, just went to the coast and Tassie in a couple of months. Far more movement than I have 50 years ago. We are living according to your last phrase. It is just we have to limit numbers for quarantine reasons and we can debate what they should be but quarantine for countries with high rates excludes most of the world except for most of east Asia.

14 Oct 2016

Total posts 9

Yes... Risk management by keeping people like you locked down and away from harms way! Wow it has been a while since i have used so many !!!

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

>The economic recession is not caused by the COVID but by the actions of the Federal Government that rather than managing the risks they prefer to shut the country except of course to mates and VIPs.

This is false, Sweden didn't have lockdowns but they suffered an economic downturn as well

>They control the passports, the customs, the visas and all processes to come in/out, so what is the problem to put in place processes that manage visitors entering the country or Australians returning home?!

Because how do we control people who have come in with covid? They could be asymptomatic and spread it around before being found out

> It’s easier to shut it down and forget and then blame it on Covid!

No it's really not, it's much easier to just do nothing

>I am being kept a prisoner in my own country against my will. 

I think you can get an excemption out, it's coming in that's difficult as it should be

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

I note ScoMo doesn’t suggest a travel bubble with China our largest trading partner with negligible cases.

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

I don't think anyone really believes China's statistics.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Reece really they seem fine to me as the whole economy depends on them being healthy, and I  presume you have similar issues with Vietnam (absolutely no friend of China) or Thailand not a ‘commie’ in sight.

Totally agree, China's numbers have been under reported probably by a hundred Fold. Independent verification would be the best way but we know that won't happen. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2020

Total posts 2

If China's numbers were that under-reported wouldn't you be witnessing a healthcare system under strain. Or the building of mass numbers of new hospitals in two weeks (as they did in Wuhan)? 


P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

China has done an outstanding job in managing the pandemic. Its economy has bounced back to pre Covid levels and will grow this year. You need to open your eyes and drop all the prejudices and learn from them. They test entire cities in a matter of days. Australia getting left behind at a rate of knots except for the miners selling dirt to guess where?

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

23 Mar 2015

Total posts 48

I don't think many people believe anything Scomo says, unless he's promoting coal

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

China going to stop buying the dirty black stuff from OZ. Wont be long before you cant give it away. Another industry about to die.

really don't want to wait until end of month (Qld election) before kiwis can come into Qld. If Kiwis can fly into NSW & SA from this Friday, why not Qld ? Dodgy Qld premier playing some sort of weird politics.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Regular the politics aren’t weird I see the opposition leader fully agrees (and sco-mo looks embarrassed) with them and so close to an election makes perfect sense.

The only country that has had ZERO cases for the last FOUR months, Taiwan should also be included. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Asia fully agree Sci-Mo has weird priorities leaving Taiwan, Vietnam and China off the list, not to mention Thailand.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Asia not quite zero cases. There is a steady trickle of cases just none of domestic transmission. There are a few who have tested positive in other countries which raises possible questions.

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

Isn't Taiwan part of China? Surely the numbers are fake and cant be relied on! Its amazing how prejudice people are based on political persuasion. I believe Taiwan numbers are accurate and Vietnam and Thailand and CHINA! More importantly i think all of these countries are doing a much better job in balancing health versus economic consequences than ANZ.

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

Oh no not Japan please, we've seen what Australians can do to Bali and I've seen some more than my fair share of Australians acting with no dignity in Japan. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 191

Dont stress the ones that go to Bali and treat that country and its citizens with no respect can't afford Japan - nor will Japan tolerate it.

12 Dec 2012

Total posts 995

I happened to be in Japan late October last year during some sport world cup thing. One of the places I went was a large shrine in Kyoto.

The loudest, rudest, most obnoxious people there were the tour groups of sports nuts from Australia, New Zealand and England.

P
P

17 Jan 2018

Total posts 80

Yes well no surprises there. Reason being USA dont play Rugby! 

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 122

Not an issue. The Bali types are probably in the shut the borders and keep everyone on Jobkeeper forever brigade. Also Jetstar (owned by Qantas) have all their flights suspended.

07 May 2020

Total posts 62

And yet another "travel bubble" fantasy which will be pricked shortly. Look out for the next episode in the media.

06 Oct 2018

Total posts 14

What about the Tokyo Olympics? 

24 Aug 2011

Total posts 778

At this stage, you'd have to think the chances of the Olympics happening are pretty slim.

reeves, you are so negative

The Tokyo Olympics have to go ahead.

At this stage, you'd have to think the chances of the Olympics happening are 100%.

Could be some restrictions, but doubt it by then.

If airlines aren't flying everywhere by then, there won't be many airlines left.

Hell kiwis can fly to OZ(NSW/SA)  in less than 72 hours time without restriction or stupid quarantine.

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

Although the user pays quarantine on return will pretty much negate that.

I would personally say the Olympics are about a 30% chance of happening.

what quarantine ? We're talking over 9 months away, not today.

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

"Hell kiwis can fly to OZ(NSW/SA)  in less than 72 hours time without restriction or stupid quarantine."

07 May 2020

Total posts 62

THR....when did the federal government change the law?

THR
THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 68

Not sure what you are referring to.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

10 Jun 2020

Total posts 6

What we need is rapid accurate COVID testing at the departure and arrival. that will be the future even with a vaccine. Yes possible issues here but simply put.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Daco you nailed it, the word ‘accurate’ is key (i.e negligible false negatives) and that may be some months if not years away.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Rapid testing is here now! And what do you want, 100% accuracy before it can be used? That is ridiculous. If you are so scared, stay away from other humans for the rest of your life but leave the rest of us to take good simple precautions and live life as it should be lived.

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

'Live life as it should be lived' hahaha our modern world has only existed for a tiny fraction of human history and people talk as if there's some universal correct method of living. I mean just listen to yourself, your life really doesn't mean anything in the grand scheme of things. Also that most people in Australia are probably in the top 10% of richest people in the world who benefits off natural resources, currency and slave labour in China so please cool it with the pretentiousness.  Secondly, I think if we want a high accuracy in testing for coronavirus it may be possible but with a much higher false positive rate. But we've seen just what can happen if a few people with coronavirus don't isolate properly, Victoria reached 700+. Now even if it was 99.9% accurate, that means 1 out of 1000 people will have coronavirus but test negative. Given how many people were flying before hand, that could mean several cases per day. Good luck trying to control that. It took months of lockdown just to get us back to where we started from a few cases let alone cases coming in every day. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Henry423 - you are right that my life and everyone’s life means nothing. So why are we (governments) trying to control it? 1 infection or 700 or 70,000 is only a number. Each number is meaningless, it is just each persons perception of it as to if it is good bad or indifferent. My perception is different to yours. Most people’s perception of life is to do things that give them happiness. You do what you wish but because you think differently from most, it will not stop us wanting to move, mix and mingle. Humans, virus and death will be around long after you and me are not. 

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

First because the governments job is to protect society, so they are literally just doing their job. Second, I didn't mean it in a sense that life is meaningless, I meant each person should stop living like they're the centre of the universe. You wanting to travel puts others in danger and could result in their death. I think you can see the tradeoff isn't very fair. I'm thankful Australia is doing great unlike the UK and the US. 

Most people’s perception of life is to do things that give them happiness.

and most people's happiness is controlled by the media. Why do you think advertisement has become what it is, they tapped into human psychology and tricked them. Besides, it's been proven time and time again those who seek happiness never actually attain it. They're on a constant treadmill and like you, become super agigated when they don't get what they want. I'm just glad that in this pandemic, I'm not starving, I'm not dying and I'm not fearful for my future unlike millions, if not billions out there. Yet most people don't appreciate that, they just have to travel. 

Humans, virus and death will be around long after you and me are not. 

Yes, society is what is important, not my individual 'happiness'. If we're not going to make society better, for god sakes don't make it worse. We will get a vaccine, maybe not this year and maybe not even next year, but that's fine, it will come and life can return to somewhat normal. You're probably not a doctor or a nurse so you don't sound like you care about hospitals becoming infected, as long as you get your precious 'happiness' right? 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

I work in aged care, I am fully familiar with life and the end of lives. I learn a lot from the over 80’s. Almost exclusively they want the younger people to be able to express themselves and not be restricted by the older generation who have had most of their life already. Older people are mostly very generous towards youth.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 1053

Richer I certainly want something better than 60% accuracy. Good simple precautions don't seem to be working in most of Europe at the moment.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Yes agreed. 90+ % is what we need. Simple precautions for a bubble? Very low numbers and good systems in each country, test before boarding a flight, test on arrival and again after maybe 5 days. That should give 99% security. Nothing will be 100%.

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

Again, even at 99% security could mean another massive outbreak. With hundreds or even thousands of people in and out, it's going to spread. Look at how bad Victoria got after the hotel issue and this is just from a few cases let alone cases coming day in and day out. Because some old people are nice you see it as a green light to risk another outbreak? This isn't some war of the worlds scenario where to survive you need to leave certain people behind, it's just stay put while a vaccine is being created or have them with countries with zero cases. We're lucky we haven't had our hospitals at max capacity but as I said, I'm guessing you don't work in them, you put at risk the entire hospital, nurses, doctors, and patients which may not be old. You reduce the hospital capacity meaning those who need surgery have to wait even longer. AND FOR WHAT? SO YOU CAN TRAVEL?! Seriously, get your head out of your ass. I haven't even gotten into the environmental implications of flying let alone in a pandemic. As I mentioned, this travelling business is nothing but airlines, hotels and tourism companies trying to sell you something and it seems they've gotten to you good. I don't know how travelling leads to expressing yourself anyways, you can get much more from books. 

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Henry - wow! We are talking bubbles here. Despite what you think, they are happening. Sorry for you but for the rest of us who enjoy different things, unfortunately you have to put up with us having a different opinion.

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

Yes but there are consequences of enjoying things. You don't know when you will pick up the virus in the country you're travelling and spread it. It's about weight cost and benefits here and sorry, but your enjoyment isn't very important during a pandemic. For example, there's a lot of talk about how Dan Andrews is making people suffer for 'no fault of their own', a very common term I hear a lot and it's true, it really wasn't their fault but they have to suffer the consequences. Similarly, by travelling there is a risk of this all happening again and spreading it to not only our country but maybe even through their country and may even result in death. Likewise, 50 years from now others will have to bear the consequences of climate change through no fault of their own but because the previous generation wanted to live a high lifestyle. Yet the term 'no fault of their own' is aimed to evoke sympathy and compassion for people who suffer consequences due to other people. We need more stringent measures than 90% accuracy. We need cases in other countries to be much, much lower. 

did more people die from flu last year ?

Possibly or at least close in number.

or look at deaths in 2019 for 80yos or older.

You can't have zero cases or wipe out corona.

We've completely over-reacted, killing economy, for what ?

So we can keep opening & closing, opening & closing.

We can't all be public servants. We need real jobs.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Quite right .

12 Oct 2020

Total posts 9

Hi Regular Flyer,

I tried addressing all your points regarding the travel bubble and covid, did you get it?  If I recall, your main issue was death and economy where I sent you several articles and studies that show covid is deadlier than the flu and countries that implement stronger lock downs had better economic outcomes and recovery. Did I change your mind or what did I miss? Happy to further discuss this elsewhere if you are keen.

JKH
JKH

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

23 Sep 2017

Total posts 147

Snap, crackle and pop! All aerated flubber at this stage.

Singapore Airlines - KrisFlyer

12 Apr 2017

Total posts 76

Travel bubbles are great, more and soon please!


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