Qantas is planning to restart its international flights from Australia in October, provided that the country's Covid-19 vaccine roll-out is "effectively complete" by then.

Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce revealed the news this week while giving a speech with updates on the company's financial results for the last six months of 2020.

Addressing the restart of international flights, he said: "Throughout the pandemic, we’ve updated our assumptions on international travel restarting.

"Since the start of this year, we’ve seen a huge surge in COVID cases around the world, new strains emerging and a shift from ‘herd immunity’ as the threshold for opening borders to ‘fully vaccinated’.

"As a result, we’re now planning for international travel to restart at the end of October this year, in-line with the date for Australia’s vaccine rollout to be effectively complete."

A Qantas passenger plane takes off from Sydney International Airport.
A Qantas passenger plane

It's worth noting that these dates are of course subject to change, depending on the Covid-19 situation.

Back in January, Australia's Health Department Secretary, Dr Brendan Murphy, suggested that the country could keep its borders closed to holidaymakers for the rest of 2021 even with the roll-out of a Covid vaccination programme in the country.

When he was asked by local media if he thought that the country's international borders would re-open this year, he replied that the answer was "probably no".

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A Sydney Ferry goes past the Sydney Opera House and the skyline of Sydney. Australia, New South Wales, Sydney
Australia currently has its borders closed to holidaymakers

He told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation : "I think that we'll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions, even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated. We don't know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus."

However, the health official did add that during the pandemic "the rule book has been made up as we go" and that he was reluctant to predict "more than two or three months ahead".

Currently international travel is banned for Brits as part of national lockdowns across the UK (there are a handful of exemptions but leisure travel isn't one of them, and it's illegal to go abroad for a holiday). In England, it's hoped that foreign travel could resume from May 17 as part of the lockdown roadmap.

You can find more updates and information by checking the Foreign Office Australia advice.