Australia is standing by its international border closure and will reopen to the rest of the world only from mid-2022, authorities said on Sunday (16 April), resisting growing pressure to end the closure of international borders.
Already, Qantas has announced pushing back its planned restart of international flights by October to the end of the year, based on a newly revised Covid-19 vaccine rollout timeline from the Australian government.
The carrier now plans to resume international service in late December, when the Australian government anticipates the country's vaccine rollout will have been completed.
"We remain optimistic that additional bubbles will open once Australia's vaccine rollout is complete to countries who, by then, are in a similar position, but it's difficult to predict which ones at this stage," said the airline in a statement.
Qantas' delay in resuming international flights does not affect its service to New Zealand, which is covered under a trans-Tasman travel bubble that will continue to operate despite a recent temporary pause from Sydney.