With all international flights grounded and most Aussies unable to move between states, a travel bubble with Hawaii sounds like a dream. One that we hope comes true.
Though it's expected to begin within the next 6 weeks, it will depend on logistical costs and the nation's COVID-19 case numbers.
Hawaii’s plans for a travel bubble are also being negotiated with various countries in the Pacific including Japan.
The island state governor, David Ige has shown full support of kickstarting the tourism industry and reopening the country’s borders to international arrivals.
To date, Hawaii has had relatively low case numbers and death rates of COVID with only 6,577 cases and 46 deaths. However, it remains open to other American states which have record-high cases.
'We are looking at exploring all options to safely bring trans-Pacific travellers to the island,' said Ige in a press conference.
One such option is to create 'geo-fenced' hotels where tourists can move around the resort freely during their 14-day quarantine, though it's unlikely this will appeal to tourists. Ige's has also considered waiving quarantine for anyone who tests negative to the coronavirus within 72 hours of arrival.
Others aren’t so convinced a travel bubble will happen anytime soon. Qantas boss Alan Joyce recently announced the airline’s international flights aren’t likely to resume until July 2021 and hinge entirely on a vaccine.
'The US, with the level of (coronavirus) prevalence there, it is probably going to take some time. There will probably need to be a vaccine before we could see (flights) happening,' Mr Joyce said.
Aviation expert Neil Hansford told Daily Mail that he expects New Zealand to be the first country to open to Australia. A trans-Tasman travel bubble has been in negotiations with New Zealand for months, however recent outbreaks in Melbourne and Auckland have set it back.
The likelihood of other countries re-opening this year to Australians without a vaccine is said to be low. Hansford expects borders to open first to the Pacific Islands, Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, and Cambodia, before US and Europe.
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