Living with Covid … what will that mean for nomads?

Published: July 14, 2021

For grey nomads who thought the nightmare of last year’s Covid-inspired travel restrictions were largely a thing of the past, the last month or so has been something of a wake-up call.

The arrival on these shores of the more contagious Delta variant has been labelled a ‘game changer’. In recent weeks, we have seen Perth, Darwin, Brisbane and Sydney locked down, and also the re-emergence of the dreaded hard state borders.

With the Sydney outbreak still very much ongoing, it is suddenly a Big Lap of incredible uncertainty once more. Grey nomads everywhere are having to keep an anxious eye on daily news conferences to be sure the nature of their trip isn’t about to change.

While short-term travel restrictions are an immediate concern for grey nomads, there is also a growing awareness that the virus will change things long-term. National Cabinet has now agreed to a four-phase plan to get Australia back to something resembling our pre-Covid way of life.

And there appears to be a reluctant acceptance that, at some stage, we will have to live with the virus … and that will mean different things for the jabbed and the jabbed-nots. While there is no timeline or specific vaccination target yet attached to the plan, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has indicated that ‘Phase 2’ is likely to kick in some time in the first half of 2022.

That is when, assuming the country has reached vaccination levels of probably around 70-80%, the current priority of suppressing transmission of the virus will give way to a focus on the prevention of serious illness, hospitalisation and deaths.

It is thought that domestic travel restrictions would rarely be needed by then but, importantly, fully vaccinated people will be treated differently than those who are not in the event of any lockdowns or border closures.

The idea of letting virus ‘go’ at some stage in the future is a difficult one for Australians who have become accustomed to days of zero community transmission cases – to get their heads around.

Veteran traveller Jerry Mark is wary of what lies ahead.

“I know England is about to lift all of its Covid restrictions and there are a lot of people who are immunocompromised, or who aren’t vaccinated, or are simply older, who are understandably very anxious about it,” he said. “With the huge exception of Victoria’s second wave, it feels to me like Australia has largely escaped the Covid pandemic and sooner or later that is all going to change … and the Big Lap is going to change with it.”

  • How do you think the Big Lap will change when the authorities stop putting their entire focus on suppressing the virus? Comment below.
  • We now have a Grey Nomads Instagram page. Please click here to follow us.
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Ok, no comments so far that I can find, regarding this topic. Perhaps because it opens up the proverbial ” can O’ worm’s “.
I don’t believe we have escaped the pandemic, albeit the VIC wave was a tragedy…now we are seeing NSW numbers increasing with mostly new variants, and poor insight. Concerning times ahead.
Albeit, not a current Big Lap traveller, am taking baby steps in van journey’s. Sticking to QLD, where I live. Alas, do not feel comfortable to move around interstate. Supression works, however, if this virus & variables continue, we’ll perhaps have to adapt, as this cursed virus does also.
Keep up the recommendations by health officials & above all, use your wisdom & respect others. Afterall, most of us have survived to our respective ages, because we are all survivors. Every day above ground, is a good day.

Ric Moffet
1 year ago

We have ceased travelling, period, and don’t know if and when we will do it again. We are still young enough, but until we are fully vaccinated were are house bound, being very careful. We live in the bush, so it is only a risk going out for appointments and shopping, but even that is a big risk.

Andreas Ohm
1 year ago

At one point you will “meet” the virus. It’s up to you how. I’ll be vaccinated and at some point be able to travel again.
Get vaccinated. Don’t wait.

1 year ago

I was hoping right now to be revisiting places visited in 1st big lap in 70s. I Am autoimmune compromised, but over years of getting caravan and starting renovations l never felt it would be a problem. But between Covid, bushfires and floods it doesn’t seem as inviting even although I’ve has both jabs which will help reduce symptoms but not avoidance. Biggest question is how long before there are outbreaks in country/outback areas. For people travelling alone l think there is even more concern. I’ve waited nearly 45 years to repeat the trip and add new trips like dinosaur remains in Qld so suppose another few months till we see if we can get a proper immunisation system going and people learn to not break the new rules we will live with permanently.

I hope all of you on road now keep safe and not spend too long stuck at borders

1 year ago

We made a conscious decision last year and for 2021 to only travel within our home state WA. It is too risky to cross borders as has happened to a few of our friends locked down in various eastern states and NT unable to move and now trying to get back to WA with the threat of quarantine. We will consider travel again next year to the eastern states once vaccination levels are at about 70% plus of the population. There could still be risks but hopefully the chances of snap border closures and potential lockdowns will reduce dramatically.

1 year ago

We have family in RSA and I know of 3 close family members who got cvd and recovered, all would qualify as grey nomads.
Some countries have the “heard immunity” stance.
My opinion is get the jab, keep your distance as best you can and stop living in fear. Apparently the common flu more unforgiving.

John Tutty
1 year ago

I’m a full time grey nomad stuck in qld for 18 months. Worse places to be stuck, but who wants to be stuck? Wasn’t scared of covid even before being jabbed, only scared of border closures, so thought vaccination the way out. We once had a great commonwealth, now we’re a bunch of self serving states. I’m embarrassed of this scaredee cat/bed wetting country we’ve become. Open up, and let people choose for them selves if they want to live, or stay under the doona.


Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop