October 8, 2021

A 2-Minute Overview of the Current International Travel Status for Australia

Australia’s travel status is a fluid and ever-changing situation at the moment with near-daily updates. At Airfare Geeks, we are eagerly awaiting the opening of the borders and the (re)launch of international travel. Here is an update on the current situation, answering all the important questions.


When will the international border open?

Currently, the international border will open for Australian residents and permanent citizens from as early as November 2021. While the international border opened in November for Australian residents and permanent citizens, new restrictions have come into play with the recent discovery of the Omicron variant.

On 27 November 2021, the Australian Government put in place additional measures for security. Following this, non-citizens are not permitted to enter the country if they have been to Southern Africa in the previous 14 days – namely, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Malawi. Australian residents, permanent citizens and immediate family members are allowed to enter, however, quarantine restrictions have been reinstated, regardless of vaccination status. These will be in place until at least 15 December. Additionally, all direct flights to these countries have been cancelled for 14 days from this date


Who is eligible for international travel?

Once the borders have officially opened, fully vaccinated Australians are eligible for international travel and will not have to apply for any exemptions when leaving the country. This also extends to children under the age of 12 and those who can’t be vaccinated due to medical reasons. Anyone who is unvaccinated and does not fall into these categories will need to apply for an exemption.


Which countries approve of the vaccines distributed by the Australian government?

In order to leave Australia, travellers need to be vaccinated with one of the following: Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, COVID-19 Vaccine Janssen.

The next hurdle is navigating whether the vaccine is also recognised in the country/ies of your travels. So far, Singapore, the United Kingdom and Qatar have confirmed recognition of Australian-approved vaccines. To enter the USA, there are currently no vaccine requirements, however travellers must have received a negative COVID-19 test shortly before leaving the country. Stay tuned for further information and updates.


What steps will I need to take prior to leaving the country?

Some airlines also require that passengers are fully vaccinated in order to board, including Qantas and Air New Zealand. Other airlines do not have the same condition, however all passengers must receive a negative COVID-19 test in the 48-72 hours prior to their flight.

Additionally, travellers will need to be informed on the restrictions and rules of each country around citizenship and visa status, where they have travelled and where they have visited in the previous weeks or months. These factors will also outline whether travellers are required to quarantine upon arrival and on what conditions.


What is the COVID passport?

The COVID passport is a digital record and certificate of vaccination. The passport is linked to myGov and allows holders to add to their digital wallet for ease. This acts as an important reference and document for all travellers, no matter where they are heading.

Qantas CEO, Alan Joyce, has already noted that vaccination passports are crucial for the reopening of travel. An additional proof of vaccination certificate, intended for the purpose of international travel, is currently in the works. This will likely integrate with a QR code to make use as seamless and adaptable as possible.


Will I need to quarantine after returning to Australia?

As mentioned above, stricter measures have returned for those returning from the Southern Africa region. States that had previously lifted quarantine for returning travellers have revised the requirements to reduce the risk of an Omicron outbreak.

Anyone entering NSW, VIC or ACT from all other countries must isolate for 72 hours and undergo PCR testing. Victoria is reportedly considering a 14-day quarantine for all arrivals, however this is yet to be confirmed, while South Australia has immediately put this in place – including for people coming into the state from high-risk locations within Australia. Queensland maintains its 14-day hotel quarantine for all international arrivals.

Keep in mind domestic travel restrictions between the states when returning, as this differs between each.

Those who are not fully vaccinated, or have not received one of the approved and recognised vaccinations, are still required to quarantine for the full 14 days, even when entering NSW.

Keep following our updates as we edge closer to opening international borders and welcome back business travel and overseas holidays. Start planning your round the world trip wish list now, and contact us to assist in this transitional period.


Keep following our updates as we edge closer to opening international borders and welcome back business travel and overseas holidays. Start planning your round the world trip wish list now, and contact us to assist in this transitional period.

Read Also:
How does the Australian vaccine passport impact international travel?
What are Canada’s new entry requirements for international travellers?
Everything you Need to Know About Our Partner Airline Points Schemes

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