Stab Magazine | So, When Can I Go On That Overseas Surf Trip?

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So, When Can I Go On That Overseas Surf Trip?

Forget 2020 as the year you finally scored pumping Indo.

news // May 6, 2020
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Look, we truly are sorry to be the bearer of my bad news. It’s not like we’re sadists, this hurts us too – so maybe we’re sado-masochists? – but it’s unlikely your overseas surf trip will be happening anytime soon.

As some countries improve their pandemic standing others are plunging deeper into the depths. As some countries are able to safely and slowly re-open, even able to consider allowing domestic travel, others are isuing further enforced lockdowns to contain the spread. One thing that is clear, however, is overseas, non-essential travel won’t be on the agenda for some time. 

Even optimistic estimates from vested interests such as Flight Centre CEO, Graham Turner, claims international travel will not resume before September, and other estimates from researchers such as Helance Becker (who works for Cowen) do not expect international air traffic to approach normal for “two to five years”.

While last year your passport could get you virtually anywhere in the world within 48 hours, it’s looking like late-2021 is the earliest we’ll return to some stage of normalcy; with 2023 being the year which air-traffic is estimated to return to pre-Covid levels according to an article by Executive Traveller.

Not all hope is lost. There is promise that ‘travel bubbles’ will appear across the globe as individual nations get the virus under control. The earliest example so far is Australia and New Zealand—two countries that hope to resume limited leisurely travel between one another by mid-year. With Australia typically recording less than 20 new cases per day over the last two weeks and New Zealand reporting less than 10 new cases per day, there are talks of resuming travel once these approach zero. 

“[B]oth of us have the same goal in mind at the moment: get it under control in our own countries, and then we can talk about together what we’re able to achieve,” Jacinda Ardern said about travel plans with Australia in a recent Forbes article. There are however no plans, beyond theoretical, as to how such travel would work. For instance, if a few transmissions occur between countries would it then be shutdown? Presumably, people’s passports would also need to be checked to ensure they had just not recently returned from a country outside that ‘bubble’.

So, maybe there’s ‘good’ news on the horizon for Australians and New Zealanders wanting to travel between each other’s island homes. 

For Australians and New Zealanders, the prospect of domestic travel re-opening is also not too far away. Currently, border closures are still relatively strict between most states, but gradually territories such as the ACT and Northern Territory are allowing freer travel within their parameters. By the year’s end, assuming infection trends continue toward zero, expect travel to resume between states. This means you can sneak over to Margaret River, head down the South Coast, or battle the Gold Coast points next summer. 

All of this is assuming that there are some airlines still afloat once this is over—Virgin Australia is in ‘administration’ and Qantas is seeking big government bailouts. Otherwise, keep your fingers crossed that oil prices remain low for that cross-country trek. 

Note: I didn’t address the United States here because they clearly have bigger problems on their plate: world’s highest death rate, a pathetic health care system, and ‘people’ protesting in the streets for their rights to infect innocent others as they please. 


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