According to a survey of Australia’s top 31 economists, it is unlikely we will see international travel until 2021 for the very earliest.
The survey, conducted by Australian comparison research website, Finder, found that the vast majority of economists expect the border restrictions to remain in place for another year. Some even expect the travel ban to remain in place until 2022. Four expected the borders to be opened before the end of the year.
The most likely exception to the border restriction will be with New Zealand, with both governments discussing terms and both nations having done well in coronavirus containment efforts.
Blow to the economy
The border closure not only affects Australians seeking to explore other nations, but with $45 billion of the nation’s wealth generated from tourism, the Australian economy is greatly affected by the closure.
“Australia has definitely put health ahead of the economy –- unlike most of the rest of the world [and] there are a number of positives that could come out of this,” Elder home loans head John Rolfe told Business Insider Australia.
“The biggest being that… Australia could be seen by future international travellers as ‘the safest’ destination from a health perspective.”
The prime minister also recently confirmed the economists’ predictions. “I can’t see international travel occurring anytime soon. I can’t see that. The risks there are obvious,” Scott Morrison told the media last week. “The only exception to that, as I have flagged, is potentially with New Zealand, and we have had some good discussions about that. But outside of that, that is unlikely.”