COVID Travel Updates – Leaving and returning to Australia
Fully vaccinated Australians will soon be eligible for international travel without first seeking an exemption.
The government has announced that Australian citizens or permanent residents aged 12 and over who have received two doses of a recognised vaccine will be able to travel without needing an exemption.
This could start sometime in November but there will be more information provided soon.
Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.
Australian citizens and permanent residents will need to show proof of their vaccination status (International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate issued by MyGov) at airport check-in on departure.
Unvaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents must continue to apply for a travel exemption to leave Australia.
Returning to Australia
Fully vaccinated Australian citizens or permanent residents may be eligible for home quarantine for seven days, instead of completing mandatory fourteen day quarantine in a designated medi-hotel in their port of arrival.
Currently, only two States have been listed as eligible, NSW and SA. NSW will be able to offer this option once vaccination rates have reached 80% and subject to the State’s success of home quarantine trials. Whereas, SA will be able to offer this option once the State’s vaccination rate has reached 80% of people ages 16 and over.
If you are unvaccinated, you will still be required to undergo mandatory quarantine at a designated medi-hotel in your port of arrival for fourteen days.
To be considered as fully vaccinated, Australian citizens or permanent residents must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).
Currently, only Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Janssen vaccine are recognised by the TGA.
The TGA have advised that the Chinese-made Sinovac and the Indian-made Covishield vaccines would also be considered “recognised vaccines” when determining whether an incoming international traveller has been appropriately vaccinated.
Flights & Pre-flight testing
COVID-19 pre-flight testing is still a requirement. All Australian citizens or permanent residents will be required to show evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours or less prior to the scheduled flight. Masks must also be worn during the flights, including in airports.
The Australian Government is in the process of approving the use of the COVID-19 rapid antigen testing to assist with this arrangement.
Further information is available on the Home Affairs COVID website.