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Will Australia’s international borders reopen from January 2021?

Will Australia’s international borders reopen from January 2021?

On 23 July 2020 Treasury released modelling that was based on Australia’s international borders reopening from January next year, but how likely is this to actually happen?

The reopening of Australia’s borders is only an assumption underpinning the figures in the federal government’s economic update last week. Josh Frydenberg was keen to point out that it is just that, an assumption, and that any reopening of borders will depend on the coronavirus situation within Australia and internationally.

“Of course, the environment with respect to coronavirus is very fluid. So decisions haven’t been taken about start dates for that. These are Treasury’s forecasts and as you can understand, it’s a very dynamic environment.”, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

While the Government approached the topic of border reopening’s with a clear sense of cautiousness they would no doubt be looking to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

The border closures not only impact those within Australia looking to leave but also those looking to enter Australia for work and while they can’t enter the country misses out on income it would usually receive from migration.

It is estimated that nearly one million temporary visa holders are stuck outside of Australia, unable to enter due to the border closures. This group of people are unable to live and work as they planned to, but they’re also unable to fill skills shortages within Australia or give the country an economic boost it needs right now.

Australia’s net migration intake is expected to fall 85 per cent this financial year as the full impact of the international travel ban is felt. decrease in migration has had, and will continue to have, a serious impact on Australia’s economic situation. Reopening borders to temporary and permanent migrants will provide a boost to Australia’s economy so it’s understandable that the Treasury will look to plan for this as early as they can.

However this doesn’t mean you should start planning travel in or out of Australia just yet. It’s clear the Government won’t be reopening international borders until they feel the health risk is reduced and it’s safe to do so.

What do you do if you need to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic? You’ll need to apply for a travel ban exemption, which you can read all about here.

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