Australians will need to holiday in their own backyard for a while longer after the federal government extended its ban on outbound international travel.
Australia is also extending a ban on cruise ships docking Down Under until March 2021. It was originally due to be lifted 17 December.
This latest move under biosecurity regulations will mark a full year since the barricades went up on Australia’s borders in the fight against Covid-19.
“The Australian government is working closely with state and territory agencies and the cruise industry to develop a framework for the staged resumption of cruise ships in a manner that is proportionate to the public health risk,” said federal health minister, Greg Hunt.
Australians can only leave the country with specific exemptions.
There have been more than 95,000 exemptions granted since the declaration was first made in March.
The extension of the travel ban is also challenging international airlines to align their schedules with weak demand.
Thai Airways has suspended flights to Brisbane and Perth until at least 27 March next year and schedules beyond that date are still uncertain.