Destination / Wish You Were Here

The EU has lifted its travel restrictions for Australians

If you've been doing nothing but day dreaming of balmy nights on the Amalfi Coast or mornings wandering through Provence lavender fields, then we have some good news for you. The European Union has lifted its ban on non-essential travellers from Australia.

All 27 members of the EU have agreed to lift travel bans for a select group of 14 nations - the ones with low numbers coronavirus cases and low transmission rates. The list includes New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Algeria, Serbia, Montenegro, Georgia, Morocco, Rwanda, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

EU borders are expected to open to these countries on July 1.

But before you start packing your swimsuits and booking your flights, there are a few other things to know. The big one is that the Australian Federal Government has an international travel ban in place. So while the shores Cefalu may be calling out to you, our government has put a hard stop on that idea for the time being. If you want to leave Australia, you'll need a special exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

And even if you miraculously get one of these exemptions - which are not granted for recreational travel - you'll probably has a bit of trouble getting to Europe anyway. Yes, Virgin Australia's future seems a little brighter now that it's been bought by a private equity firm, but many key routes are still on hold. And Qantas has said that it has no plans to run any international routes until July 2021.

But this news is certainly a step in the direction of progress. If we continue to work together as a community, maybe we'll be able to get over to Europe sooner than expected. For all of those with family living in Europe (myself included) this is music to our ears. If all goes well, I might even get to eat kanelbullar with my Farmor later this year.

But for the time ahead, we'll need to continue looking to regional travel options. We've put a spotlight on the destinations in NSW and the spots in Western Australia you'll want to add to your list.

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