No US and Europe trips until 2022: Australians face long wait for flights to ...

Australians won't be able to travel to the Unites States or Europe until 2022, Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned.  

It comes as a number of European countries experienced a huge spike in coronavirus cases, dashing hopes of a travel bubble with Australia. 

Last week Germany, France and Spain recorded their highest daily number of COVID-19 cases since widespread testing started.  

Meanwhile, the United States is recording an average of 47,000 new infections a day - up 12 per cent from two weeks ago - with spikes in states across the country. 

It comes after the Federal Budget last Tuesday revealed travel would 'remain low' until 2021 - presumably only for essential journeys, rather than overseas holidays.

The government is predicting Australia's population won't be vaccinated until the end of 2021 - which means overseas travel will 'remain low' until then and social distancing measures will be kept in place.  

But offering a glimmer of hope, Mr Birmingham said Australians could be heading to New Zealand by the end of the year.  

A number of European countries, including the United Kingdom, experience a spike in coronavirus cases last week, dashing hopes of a travel bubble with Australia

A number of European countries, including the United Kingdom, experience a spike in coronavirus cases last week, dashing hopes of a travel bubble with Australia

The first stage of a travel bubble with New Zealand will begin this Friday, when Kiwis will be able to visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory

The first stage of a travel bubble with New Zealand will begin this Friday, when Kiwis will be able to visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory

'We are beginning to open up to New Zealand because of their similarly strong COVID outcomes and it may be possible to do likewise with other low risk nations,' he told The Sydney Morning Herald.

'However, the prospects of opening up widespread travel with higher risk countries will remain very reliant on effective vaccination or other major breakthroughs in the management of COVID.'

Mr Birmingham said international travel to higher risk nations 'can't be done at the expense of our health and economic strength at home'. 

He didn't disclose what other destinations could be added to Australia's travel bubble, however government sources revealed low-risk nations such as Japan, Singapore and Pacific Island countries are in the pipeline.  

The first stage of a travel bubble

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