Travel Restriction Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice
Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for international travellers
Travel restriction extended to 17 September 2021 –
The purpose of this Instrument is to vary the Declaration to extend the human biosecurity emergency period for a further three months until 17 September 2021, unless further extended by the Governor-General.
Emergency periods can only be declared for three months at a time. The Minister for Health is satisfied that COVID-19 is continuing to pose a severe and immediate threat, or is continuing to cause harm, to human health on a nationally significant scale, and the extension is necessary to prevent or control the entry into, or the emergence, establishment or spread of the listed human disease in Australian territory or a part of Australian territory.
The Declaration ensures the Government has the powers to take any necessary measures to prevent and control COVID-19. This extends the four existing emergency determinations including:
- mandatory pre-departure testing and mask wearing for international flights
- restrictions on the entry of cruise vessels within Australian territory
- restrictions on outbound international travel for Australians
- restrictions on trade of retail outlets at international airport
Travel into Australia
Australia’s borders are closed. The only people who can travel to Australia are:
- Australian citizens
- permanent residents
- immediate family members
- travellers who have been in New Zealand for at least the 14 days before the date of departure. This does not include the Realm Countries of the Cook Islands and Niue.
Learn more about who can enter Australia from the Department of Home Affairs.
Australian Border Force liaison officers will work with airlines at overseas airports to identify those who should not board flights to Australia.
Since 27 March 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters (with limited exceptions). The cruise ship ban has been extended to 17 June 2021, but this does not mean the ban will be lifted at that time. The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.
Non-commercial vessels arriving in Australian territory from an overseas location must be aware of their obligations to keep Australia safe from COVID-19, this includes:
- leisure boats
- non-commercial vessels that have been in contact with an international vessel.
People arriving in Australia may be quarantined for 14 days and might have to comply with other state and territory travel restrictions.
Quarantine for incoming travellers
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, travellers arriving in Australia by air or sea may need to go into government approved mandatory quarantine for 14 days from arrival. Exceptions include travellers who are either:
State and territory governments, with support from the Australian Government, manage quarantine arrangements including:
- transport for travellers from their arrival point to their quarantine accommodation
- quarantine arrangements at the accommodation facility
You must quarantine in the city you arrive in for 14 days, even if you plan to travel elsewhere in Australia.
Apply for a quarantine exemption
You won’t be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections until you have completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
If you would like to apply for an exemption based on compassionate or medical grounds, you must apply to the state or territory you will arrive in well before you travel in Australia.
If you are applying for an exemption and are required to travel through more than one state or territory within the 14 day mandatory quarantine period, you must apply for a quarantine exemption from each one you are required to travel through.
If you are granted a mandatory quarantine exemption, you might still have to self-quarantine at home or in other accommodation.
Find out how to apply for an exemption from the state or territory quarantine authority:
Are you required to quarantine upon arrival in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic?
People arriving in Australia may be quarantined for 14 days and might have to comply with other state and territory travel restrictions
Do Australia’s travel restrictions still apply if I have a negative PCR test?
Yes, Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community.
Do I still need to have a pre-departure test if I have had a COVID-19 vaccine?
Yes, you still need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. If you have had a COVID-19 vaccine you should also carry your vaccination certificate with you while travelling.
COVID -19 Disaster Payment – Temporary visa holders
This Instrument establishes the legislative authority for government spending on a one-off and time-limited COVID-19 Disaster Payment. The payment is available to assist Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents and temporary visa holders who have the right to work in Australia, who have had their hours of work and income significantly affected by the restrictions. Further criteria apply
This Instrument amends the requirement to apply for assistance within six months after the start of the period of the restrictions, and clarify that assistance may be provided to eligible persons during or after the period of the restrictions.
COVID vaccinations and essential overseas travel
The Department’s COVID mini-site has been updated with the following information:
Australian citizens and permanent residents under 50 years of age who have an approved outwards travel exemption in an eligible category are now able to access COVID-19 vaccinations.
If you have a travel exemption granted for eligible reasons on or after 20 May 2021, and have not left Australia, you can submit a new travel exemption request. Upload all relevant documents and state that you wish to be eligible for vaccination before travelling.
You will not be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination if your outward travel exemption is granted for ‘compelling reasons for at least 3 months’.
Temporary visa holders under 50 years of age who are currently in Australia and have an approved inwards travel exemption for return travel to Australia are eligible to access COVID-19 vaccinations.
To be eligible, your inward travel exemption must be granted on or after 8 June 2021. If you have an inwards travel exemption to return to Australia granted before 8 June 2021, and have not left Australia, you can submit a new travel exemption request. Upload all relevant documents and state that you wish to be eligible for vaccination before travelling.
COVID-19 vaccines before travel are not mandatory. You should follow expert health advice and access a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as practicable.
For more information on how to make a vaccination appointment visit the Vaccine Eligibility Checker.
PCR TEST AVAILABILITY
PCR testing is available in the country/jurisdiction that I am in and results are usually available within a day. However laboratories are overwhelmed and results are taking a long time. What should I do?
You should contact the local health authority of the country that you are in for information about COVID-19 testing locations for international travel. Some providers may prioritise these requests. Most health authorities advertise COVID-19 testing locations on their websites.
How do I arrange a COVID-19 test?
You should contact the local health authority of the country that you are in for information about COVID-19 testing locations and booking arrangements (if available). Most health authorities advertise COVID-19 testing locations on their websites.
I have had a PCR COVID-19 test and have my result certificate however my flight has been delayed outside of the 72 hour window. What should I do?
If your flight is delayed, you have met the pre-departure testing requirements. You do not need a new test.
However, if your flight has been re-scheduled or cancelled, you will need evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result. This test must have been done no more than 72 hours before the re-scheduled or newly booked flight.
When did the need for a pre-departure test start?
All people travelling to Australia on flights departing on or after 22 January 2021 (local time at departure point) must give proof of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result at the time of check-in.
Do I need to give evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test to the airline when checking in for a domestic flight in Australia?
Currently, people departing on domestic flights in Australia do not need to display evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result. Biosecurity and public health measures help prevent the spread of COVID-19.