Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that the Australian COVID-19 vaccination rollout could begin weeks ahead of schedule, in mid-to-late February, so long as the first is approved by the end of the month.
Earlier this week we ran a story about how Aussies could be “fully vaccinated” by October this year, ahead of its original completion date of December 2021, but now it seems like that date could be brought forward even more after an announcement that Australian vaccinations will now begin sooner than expected, with the first groups set to receive a jab mid-to-late February.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the groups at the top of the vaccine list are workers dealing with international arrivals and quarantine, frontline health workers, aged care and disability workers and those living in aged care or with a disability.
According to a report by the ABC, he said: “We anticipate, optimistically, that we would hope to start the vaccination with 80,000 people a week”.
The Prime Minister also said the government has a “target” of having four million people vaccinated by the end of March.
The vaccination update came in just a day before the announcement that Greater Brisbane will be entering a strict three-day lockdown (from 6:00pm tonight) after a hotel quarantine cleaner tested positive for the more contagious UK strain of the COVID-19 virus.
What does this mean for travel?
Once vaccinations are rolled out globally, travel should, theoretically, restart safely and efficiently.
Qantas has placed its faith for the restart of international travel in vaccinations and pre-flight testing, with the airline now taking international bookings for travel from July 1, 2021, across its entire overseas network.
This even includes flights to the USA and UK, which were originally pulled from QF’s schedule until at least October.
However, despite the airlines’ optimism for the international reboot, some people remain skeptical about the borders being open safely to the rest of the world by July.
What do you think about the situation? When do you think international travel will restart? Will you be opting to have the vaccine ASAP?
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