Australia is finally experiencing some travel freedoms after a long period of intermittent lockdowns and border closures. As the country breathes a collective sigh of relief, citizens are embracing the new opportunities with excitement and gratitude. The only challenge left is to navigate the complex and ever-changing world of covid normal travel.
We’ve put together a guide of everything you need to know about travelling to and from Australia in November 2021, making it easier for you to head off on your long-awaited adventure!
The latest updates
While the Australian travel situation continues to change and evolve, here are the latest things you need to know:
- Australian residents and citizens who are fully vaccinated are now able to travel to and from Australia. They don’t even have to apply for a travel exemption! This also applies to children under 12 or people who cannot get vaccinated due to medical reasons.
- Australian residents and citizens who are unvaccinated can only travel overseas with an approved travel exemption. There are strict criteria to qualify for the exemption such as travelling for work or compassionate reasons and you will be required to provide evidence to support your claims.
- As of December 1st, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will now be able to enter Australia without a travel exemption. This is fantastic news and the economy will significantly benefit from the return of overseas students and working holiday-makers.
- Quarantine requirements vary from state to state. If you are travelling to or within Australia, it is essential that you understand the different requirements for the specific state or territory to which you are travelling. Travellers who enter the country through New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory will not have to quarantine and can travel through these three states and territories freely. Other states still have quarantine requirements so if you choose to cross other domestic borders you may be subjected to quarantine periods.
What does this mean for Australians?
International travel is back, baby! After years of being stuck in the country (and for some, in their house), international borders have open and vaccinated Australians can travel relatively freely once again.
There are, however, some caveats.
Firstly, if Australians want to experience quarantine-free travel, then the country being visited must be open to Australian travellers. This won’t be a huge problem as many favourite Australian destinations are currently accepting Australian travellers quarantine-free including the UK, US, Canada, Thailand, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Argentina, Chile and more!
Secondly, there are some countries that Australian travellers can visit, although quarantine periods apply. This applies to Indonesia, which is sad news for all of the desperate Aussies ready to head back to Bali. Australians can enter Indonesia however they will need to quarantine for five days before heading out to enjoy their vacation. There are discussions happening to get this changed soon, so watch this space!
Finally, certain countries are open to Australian travellers provided they adhere to testing procedures. For instance, Fiji will be re-opening to Aussies from December 1st, however, the catch is every traveller will need to have a PCR test when entering and exiting the country. This won’t have a big impact in terms of timing as the test is conveniently done at the airport, however, it will put a bit of a hole in your budget with the cost currently sitting at $225AUD per test.
Is there anything I need to do when I travel?
Travelling in a post-pandemic world is slightly different to what we are accustomed to. Here are the things you need to do when you travel now:
- Provide evidence of your full vaccination. Check the list of approved vaccines to make sure you are eligible to leave Australia, then carry your official proof on you at all times. You must be fully vaccinated for at least 7 days prior to departure.
- Provide evidence of a negative PCR test conducted within the 72 hours before departure. Airlines will check for proof of this at check-in for international flights, regardless of vaccination status.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories