The ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) released the fifth edition of Household Impacts of COVID-19 Survey recently. This survey was conducted at the end of May when plans to relax COVID-19 restrictions were implemented in all states and territories. Overall, the survey finds that the level of comfort felt by Australians in returning to their usual activities varied considerably depending on the type of activity. Please find below a summary of key findings.
Three in five Australians were looking forward to larger gatherings of family and friends (62%) and dining in at restaurants or cafes (61%). Notably 58% of Australians were looking forward to travelling domestically.
Comparatively, a larger proportion, three in four felt uncomfortable about attending large public events (76%) or indoor gatherings of over 100 people (66%).
A majority of people were also uncomfortable with returning to flying (63%) or travelling by public transport (59%)
Among those who expressed concern about returning to activities, a majority indicated that the development of a vaccine (64%) and lower daily infection rates (61%) would ease concerns.
While restrictions are gradually easing, social distancing continued to be observed, 95% indicated that they continued to keep their distance from people outside their household, and 79% avoided social gatherings with people who do not live with them.
While, the survey results indicate some discomfort in socialising in large groups, by the end of May, 74% of Australians were avoiding public spaces, this is an improvement compared to early May where 85% of Australians were avoiding public spaces.
Overseas Arrivals and Departures for Australia in April 2020:
The ABS also released the Overseas Arrivals and Departures for April 2020. The figures reveal Australia has recorded its largest ever drop in overseas travel with visitor arrivals falling by 98.1% in April 2020 compared to 12 months earlier. With few Australians leaving the country, these decreases, on the back of record falls in March, continue to show the effects of travel restrictions put in place by the Australian Government in response to COVID-19.
The next release of the ABS Overseas Arrivals and Departures (May 2020) will be interesting, as it will continue to capture the influence of international tourism of COVID-19. This is scheduled for the 13th of July 2020.
April 2020 original estimates for short-term trips:
· Overseas visitor arrivals to Australia decreased by 99.3% since the previous month to 2,200 trips
The three leading source countries for visitor arrivals to Australia in April 2020 were:
New Zealand (370)
Among the top ten source countries, in comparison to the same time last year decreases in the number of visitors were recorded for every single country at essentially 100%:
New Zealand (-99.68%)
Hong Kong (99.81%)
Events, activities as well as airport arrivals and departures are a major source of income for the Taxi industry in Australia and these statistics further show how the reduction in these has drastically impacted the Taxi industry over the past months. However, it is expected that demand for taxis may increase sooner than later. The events, activities and domestic travelling are progressively picking up Australia wide and early signs of revival in demand for taxis could be seen. This revival comes in the backdrop of gradual easing of restrictions by the federal and the state governments and the positive intent of people to get out and about.