Aussie travelers support nixing border restrictions: survey.

1
September 09, 2021
Border
Bring back the good old days, say travelers.

A new survey supporting the push to end Australian border closures suggests four in five travelers want to consign the restrictions to history.

The survey also shows lockdowns have left Australians less confident about traveling outside their region.

The survey of 500 travelers commissioned by the Australian Airports Association, found 44 percent of respondents believed the 80 percent double vaccination rate should end border closures and 35 percent supported a lower trigger.

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Two-thirds also supported the slow opening of international borders once 80 percent of Australians were fully vaccinated.

Airports, like the rest of the aviation industry, have been hard hit by border closures and are keen to see restrictions lifted.

But there is discord between states on domestic borders and the federal government has yet to reveal details of how it plans to address the complex issues involved in lifting international border restrictions.

International airlines have also complained they have not been party to the planning process.

Reports have indicated the government is poised to release a QR -code vaccine certificate for international travel and Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pushing the states on replacing onerous hotel quarantine with home quarantine.

AAA chief executive James Goodwin said the study showed the majority of travelers backed the government’s plan to reopen borders.

“People have been frustrated by the constant lockdowns and state border closures which they’ve been forced to endure for more than a year-and-a-half,’’ he said.

“It’s clear the Delta variant is here and it’s here to stay. Australians need to get on with living their lives and looking at this research, the vast majority want the states and territories to open up so they can start traveling again with the confidence and certainty of a highly vaccinated community.”

The airport lobby group said its survey found that 70 percent of travelers were supportive of home quarantine for fully vaccinated Australians returning from overseas.

It said 68 percent of travelers now said they would head overseas if they were not required to quarantine at both ends of the journey, up from 61 percent when the same question was asked in April.

Backing for an international travel trial remained strong at 78 percent and the survey also recorded a reduction in vaccine hesitancy.

More worrying, however, was a fall in confidence among Australian travelers.

“Only 46 percent say they would leave the region they live in compared to 63% when asked the same question in April,” Goodwin said.

“The high proportion of Australians currently under lockdown or some form of COVID-19 restriction has driven a significant decline in willingness to and confidence in traveling domestically.

“Willingness to travel interstate has also seen a major decline, from 82 percent willing in April to just 59 percent in September.”

Whether people will have the wherewithal to resume traveling is also moot.

The survey found 34 percent said their savings had fallen compared to 22 percent who had seen their savings rise.

But four out of five of those who had seen a windfall planned on using the money to go traveling.