Home » Australians get ready to travel again but majority want the details on a country’s ‘Covid record’

Australians get ready to travel again but majority want the details on a country’s ‘Covid record’

by Press room

International travel is slowly ramping up in Australia but new research shows a majority of Australians will be influenced by a country’s ‘Covid record’ when choosing a destination.

The survey conducted through YouGov of more than 1,000 Australians found that 92 per cent were wanting to travel overseas in the next two years.

But a huge 89 per cent also said how a country fared during the Covid crisis would impact their decision to travel there. 

In addition, three-quarters of Australians are more concerned about health and safety while travelling compared to before the pandemic, the research by Southern Cross Travel Insurance found.

International travel is slowly ramping up again after Covid but the pandemic will likely affect holidaymakers choices about where to go according to new research (pictured: Perth) 

The insurance firm’s chief executive Jo McCauley said while Covid’s effect on travel decisions was expected, the data revealed just how high a proportion of people were concerned.

‘It’s no surprise that people are more cautious about travel but what is interesting to see is the extent that these concerns are having an effect,’ she said. 

‘Covid has impacted the way we approach travel, including our method of planning our holidays. It has made us more aware now, than ever, of the things that could potentially go wrong.’

Below Daily Mail Australia takes a closer look at how some popular holiday spots fared during the Covid pandemic. 

Fiji

Fully-vaccinated travellers can visit Fiji without prior approval and must-show a negative RAT test from the past day.

The wearing of masks and social distancing requirements have also been scrapped.

The country’s isolation, proximity to Australia and and low Covid case numbers throughout the pandemic will likely make it a popular destination for holidaymakers.

Virgin Australia is offering flights to Nadi from under $500 while Jetstar has them from under $300 – though both airlines won’t ramp up regular flights for at least a couple of months.

Fiji (pictured) had low case numbers throughout 2020 and 2021 and its remote location could make it a popular holiday spot

Fiji (pictured) had low case numbers throughout 2020 and 2021 and its remote location could make it a popular holiday spot

United Arab Emirates

The UAE is among the most Covid-vaccinated countries in the world with every person having had at least one vaccine dose, according to the Financial Times. 

Visitors no longer need a Covid test to travel to the UAE – vaccinated or not – and direct flights on Emirates or Etihad from Australia can be found for under $2,000 return.

The Australian Smartraveller website warns that while drone and missile strikes can occur in the country due to ongoing conflict in the Middle East, large cities such as Dubai and Abu Dhabi are considered safe.

The cities’ impressive skylines, shopping and hotels have made them a popular choice for Australian tourists in recent years.

Dubai (pictured) has grown in popularity for tourists in recent years. The UAE has direct flights from Australia and the country is considered safe due to very high vaccination rates

Dubai (pictured) has grown in popularity for tourists in recent years. The UAE has direct flights from Australia and the country is considered safe due to very high vaccination rates

Italy

One of Europe’s most popular holiday spots thanks to its rich culture and historic landmarks, Italy was the earliest European country to be significantly hit with Covid,

The first cases were detected in January, a state of emergency was declared by the end of that month, and the country entered lockdown on March 8 for more than 60million residents.

At the height of the pandemic Italy had the highest case numbers in the world and in 2020 recorded the highest death toll since 1945 when the country was fighting World War II on its soil. 

The country is still experiencing high case numbers with a 7-day average of about 51,000 but 85.2 per cent of the population have had at least one vaccine dose. 

China

China was the fifth most travelled to destination for Australians in 2019 with 608,000 Aussies hopping a plane, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

But with the country’s extreme ‘dynamic zero Covid’ policy still in place, mass testing requirements and lockdowns can quickly occur and dissuade travellers from travelling there.

Political tensions between China and Australia have also grown since 2020 after Australia demanded an inquiry into the origins of the Covid pandemic, sparking a series of trade sanctions on items such as coal and wine in response. 

‘Direct flights between China and Australia are limited. China has suspended all visas on arrival, including transit visas.’ the Smartraveller website advises.

‘You may be permitted to enter China if you’re a foreign national holding a valid residence permit for work, personal matters or reunion.’

China (pictured) has a 'dynamic Covid-zero' policy which could see large-scale restrictions imposed at short notice

China (pictured) has a ‘dynamic Covid-zero’ policy which could see large-scale restrictions imposed at short notice 

SURVEY ON POST-COVID AUSTRALIAN TRAVEL ATTITUDES

92 per cent of Australians are planning to travel within Australia or overseas over the next two years 

75 per cent of Australians who plan to travel in the next two years will be more concerned about health and safety when travelling now, compared to before the pandemic

89 per cent of Australian travellers claim a destination’s Covid-19 record will impact their decision to travel there 

80 per cent of Australian travellers now consider travel insurance a high priority for international travel and 65 per cent now consider domestic travel insurance a high priority 

36 per cent of 18-24-year-olds do not consider travel insurance a high priority for international travel

Source: YouGov and Southern Cross Travel Insurance. 

India 

After the UK, India had the longest visits on average by Australians at 23 days, according to the ABS.

While more than 426,000 Aussies visited in 2019 that number could drop significantly after the country was slammed by the Covid Delta wave.

The most highly infectious and dangerous variant seen had grown in the ‘petri dish’ of central Indian city Amravati’s underfunded healthcare network, according to Bloomberg. 

Indian authorities have also been criticised for not halting the spread earlier and allowing the variant to become the most dominant Covid strain on the planet in 2021. 

‘The charitable view is they didn’t want to sound the alarm without having more conclusive evidence,’ Ramanan Laxminarayan, director of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy told the publication.

While many Australians have family in India, tourists visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra or the Red Fort in New Delhi might think twice before booking a ticket.

Brazil

The beaches of Rio De Janeiro were a popular spot for holidaymakers pre-Covid but travel could be affected after the country’s disastrous handling of the outbreak.

President Bolsonaro was infamously skeptical of the virus frequently speaking out against lockdowns and masks, and told Brazilians to ‘stop whining’ about Covid.

More than 600,000 of the country’s residents have died with the virus so far.

Rio De Janeiro (pictured)  is a popular destination but Brazil's disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic might affect it as a choice for travellers

Rio De Janeiro (pictured)  is a popular destination but Brazil’s disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic might affect it as a choice for travellers

Brazil is currently listed at ‘reconsider your need for travel’ by Smart Traveller.

‘At Level 3, the Covid risk to you may be higher than at Level 2 destinations and Authorities may implement measures to manage outbreaks which may affect your ability to move freely, including in and out of the country,’ the website advises.

‘Be prepared for an extended stay or disruptions to international travel, including return travel to Australia. The ability to provide consular services may be limited.’

There were emotional reunions at Auckland Airport in April as New Zealand reopened the borders for quarantine-free travel for Australian citizens and returning Kiwis

There were emotional reunions at Auckland Airport in April as New Zealand reopened the borders for quarantine-free travel for Australian citizens and returning Kiwis

New Zealand

The land of the long white cloud was the number one tourist destination for Australians in 2019 and will likely regain that crown when international travel ramps up.

The country’s closeness to Australia and abundance of cheap flights make travel easy. 

On top of this, Covid restrictions across the Tasman are finally being lifted allowing open travel after Jacinda Ardern abandoned her Covid-zero approach.  

Smart Traveller advises case rates are similar to Australia but travellers are warned that a full course of a valid Covid vaccine is needed to get through the airport.

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