French Polynesia awaits…
The stunning French Polynesian islands have announced that they will be opening to tourists from May 1. The news comes after a conversation between French President Emmanuel Macron and French Polynesian President Edouard Fritch, in which Fritch elaborated, saying: ”We will detail precisely the health system with the High Commissioner in the coming days.”
The nature of this ‘health system’ is not yet known. It could be that French Polynesia will have certain regulations by which travelers will have to abide upon arrival. However, for now, we’re going to sit back and dream of the beautiful blue waters and soft white sand of these gorgeous islands because we Aussies are still unable to pack our bags and head overseas.
The latest economic report, this one by Deloitte Access Economics’ quarterly business outlook, expects that international borders will reopen gradually over the coming years with pre-pandemic flight levels only returning sometime in 2024. While this isn’t shocking news, Deloitte economist Chris Richardson anticipates that Australia will retain some form of quarantine for incoming travellers.
Currently, quarantine on return in hotels is setting back inbound travellers or Australians returning from overseas anywhere between $3,000-$4,000—depending on the state—as Australia intends to stamp out Covid. That’s a pretty costly addition to any overseas travel plans you might have and enough to stop most people from heading abroad. Furthermore, the cap on international arrivals into Australia does make returning a numbers game.
Nonetheless, Australians do have some short-term options that, hopefully, come to fruition sooner rather than later. The first is our travel bubble with New Zealand, which should open on April 19 if all goes according to plan. Australia is also in talks to open up a second travel bubble but this time with Singapore, most likely for this summer.
Looks like the white sand beaches and crystal clear waters of Tahiti and Bora Bora will have to wait.