Australia can be considered one of the “winners” when it comes to the coronavirus pandemic. Its political leaders and residents took the pandemic seriously and implemented effective responses based on medical advice. Thanks to that good judgement, “the land down under,” with right around 30 million citizens, has had less than a total of 30,000 cases, and less than 1,000 deaths. To put that into perspective, Texas also has about 30 million residents, and has had over 1 million cases and close to 20,000 deaths.
Part of Australia’s method to get their numbers so low was to essentially isolate the states that had more cases until their respective number of people who had the virus went down. This method worked beautifully and even states that previously had high numbers now have very few. In fact, the country as a whole hasn’t had new cases in the triple digits since early September, or more than 20 new cases in weeks.
Australia’s terrific numbers has meant some good news for air travel, as well. New South Wales (which includes Sydney) will reopen its state border with Victoria (which includes Melbourne) later this month, which means the country’s two most heavily populated states will again have access to each other.
With that, Qantas, as well as its low-cost brand, Jetstar, plan to operate ‘thousands of flights’ between the two states.
“Pre-Covid, Melbourne-Sydney was the busiest air route in Australia and the second busiest in the world. On a busy day, Qantas and Jetstar would operate more than 100 flights per day between New South Wales and Victoria. During the lockdown, our schedule was reduced to as low as one flight a day,” said Qantas Domestic & International CEO, Andrew David.
That’s some good news, indeed! But with good news can also come bad news.
Qantas has also recently said that their long haul routes to the U.S. and the U.K. will not restart for at least another year.
“For some of our big destinations like the United States and the UK, it’s going to need a vaccine given the high prevalence of the virus in both of those locations,” Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said at the company’s AGM.
So for now, we still can’t have nice things, because our prevalence of COVID is so high. Hopefully one of these years we’ll have better control on the virus and Australia can one again be someone we can visit.
Feature Photo: PickPik
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary