With vaccination rates hitting the critical 70% and 80% milestones in NSW and Victoria and most of the other States not far behind, travel restrictions are changing rapidly.
Almost as quickly Christmas will be upon us.
With this in mind we decided to ask Australians how they would like to spend Christmas this year and, more importantly, given the public health orders ('PHO') in their State, how they expected to spend Christmas.
The figures for their preferred Christmas were almost identical across all the Eastern seaboard States and WA. Nearly 6 in 10 people in NSW, Vic, Qld and WA would like to spend Christmas with family or friends who live locally. About 3 in 10 would like to be with people who live regionally or interstate and around 5% would like to be with family or friends who live overseas.
The numbers are dramatically different in the ACT and SA. In the ACT, 5 in 10 would like to be with people outside the territory whereas in SA the number of people wanting to be with people close by rises to 7 in 10. So it looks like many ACT folk have family and friends elsewhere whereas South Australians don’t venture far from the nest!
Where things get interesting is when you overlay the current PHO and how people are expecting these to affect their Christmas plans.
WA is the most pessimistic with 9 in 10 expecting to be restricted to spending the festivities with people in their State. And almost no one in WA expects to be able to see friends or family who are overseas or interstate. That’s sad when 21% would like to.
In every other jurisdiction, except SA, people think their chances of seeing family and friends who are interstate or overseas are still minimal. Around 85% of people in NSW, Vic and Qld expect to have to spend Christmas with people who live in their state.
Put another way, only half the people who would like to be with friends or family interstate or overseas expect to be able to spend Christmas with them. That’s sad too.
So, despite the announcements of interstate travel from 17 Dec by the Qld Premier and the relaxing of restrictions in NSW and Vic, people either don’t think things will change in time for Christmas or they fear their new freedoms will be rescinded.
It looks like the only people who will have all their Christmas dreams come true are those in SA. What they want to happen and what they expect to happen is almost identical. Merry Christmas Adelaide!
*At the time we ran the latest round of the Omnibus (courtesy Ovation Research) Sydney was open to International arrivals for family members and regional travel was scheduled to open on Nov 1. Qld had announced the Dec 17 change and other roadmaps out of lockdown had been outlined by the other States.