Updated COVID-19 Travel Measures in Effect for Australia

As part of its efforts to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian government has implemented various travel measures, including entry restrictions and quarantine protocols. 

These measures are aimed at safeguarding public health and curbing the spread of the virus.

Entry Ban for Foreign Nationals

Since March 20th, 2020, the Australian government has imposed an entry ban for all foreign nationals. 

Only Australian citizens, permanent residents, and immediate family members are allowed to travel to Australia until further notice. This measure helps control the inflow of potential COVID-19 cases from abroad.

Compulsory 14-Day Quarantine

All travelers allowed entry into Australia, including citizens, residents, and immediate family members, are subject to a compulsory 14-day quarantine. Upon arrival at Australia's borders, passengers will be directed to designated quarantine facilities after passing through immigration, customs, and health checks. 

These facilities are typically located in the city of entry. This quarantine period ensures that any potential COVID-19 cases are identified and isolated to prevent further transmission within the community.

Travel Restrictions for Tasmania

The island state of Tasmania has also implemented stringent measures by closing its borders to all visitors, including domestic travelers from other parts of Australia. 

Even Australian citizens wishing to travel to Tasmania must undergo a mandatory two-week quarantine upon arrival. These measures are in line with Tasmania's efforts to maintain a COVID-safe environment.

Exemptions from the Travel Ban

Certain categories of travelers are exempt from the entry ban for Australia. This includes Australian citizens, Australian permanent residents, immediate family members of citizens or permanent residents, and New Zealand citizens who are usually resident in Australia.

However, immediate family members holding temporary visas for Australia must provide proof of their relationship with the citizen or resident to gain entry at border control points. Moreover, foreign nationals may also be granted an exemption from the COVID-19 travel ban under compassionate or compelling circumstances. They can apply for this exemption through an online form, subject to government approval. Regardless of exemptions, all travelers must still undergo the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

Traveling from Australia - Restrictions and Exemptions

Since March 25th, 2020, Australia has also imposed restrictions on traveling overseas from the country. However, some exceptions apply to this temporary restriction:

  • Individuals who are ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia.
  • Airline and maritime crew and workers.
  • Those involved in outbound and inbound freight or essential work at offshore facilities.
  • Individuals traveling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.
  • Citizens of New Zealand holding a Special Category Australian Visa. However, New Zealand nationals with a permanent Australian visa must apply for a Commissioner's discretion to travel.

Travelers who believe they qualify for an exemption can submit an online application to the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF). It is essential to apply for the exemption at least 12 hours before the intended time of departure. Those granted an exemption must carry evidence of the approval to the airport when boarding their flight.

Staying Updated on Travel Advice

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 is subject to change, foreign citizens intending to travel to Australia are advised to regularly check the visa requirements and travel advisories for Australia to stay informed about the latest updates and regulations.

By implementing these measures and exemptions, Australia aims to strike a balance between safeguarding public health and allowing essential travel when necessary. The government continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and may adjust these travel measures as needed to combat the pandemic effectively.

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