COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Implemented for Australia

| Post by


As a preventative measure against the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, the Australian government has implemented temporary travel restrictions, including an entry ban for all foreign nationals.

On March 20th, 2020, the government announced that only Australian citizens, residents, and immediate family members can travel to Australia until further notice.

A compulsory 14-day quarantine in the port of arrival applies to all these travelers arriving at Australia’s borders.

Arriving passengers will be directly transported to designated quarantine facilities after passing through immigration, customs, and enhanced health checks. The facilities will ordinarily be located in the city of entry.

The borders of the island state of Tasmania have also been closed to all visitors, including domestic travelers from Australia. Any Australian citizens who do wish to travel to the island are also required to undergo a mandatory 2-week quarantine.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has justified the coronavirus restrictions by stating that “about 80% of the cases we have in Australia are either the result of someone who has contracted the virus overseas or someone who has had direct contact with someone who has returned from overseas.”

Exemptions from the Travel Ban for Australia

Travelers who are either an Australian citizen, an Australian permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia are still able to enter the country.

However, immediate family members in possession of a temporary visa for Australia are required to present immigration officials with proof of relationship to gain entry at border control points.

Some foreign nationals may also be granted exemption from the COVID-19 travel ban if they can prove a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia, by submitting an application to the government through an online form.

All those exempt from the entry ban for Australia are still subject to the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon arrival.

Coronavirus Restrictions for Traveling from Australia

In addition to the entry ban, restrictions for traveling overseas from Australia have also been in place since March 25th, 2020.

However, some exceptions also apply to this temporary restriction:

  • Those ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • Airline and maritime crew and workers
  • Those who work in outbound and inbound freight, or whose travel is associated with 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. Nationals of New Zealand in possession of a permanent Australia visa are required to apply for a Commissioner’s discretion to receive permission to travel

Travelers who believe they meet a travel restriction exemption can submit an online application to the Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF).

It is necessary to apply for the exemption as early as possible before the intended time of departure for Australia, at least 12 hours in advance. Those who are granted an exemption to travel from Australia must bring evidence of the approval with them to the airport in order to board a flight.

As travel advice for Australia is subject to change as the situation surrounding COVID-19 develops, foreign citizens are advised to check visa requirements for Australia regularly for updates.

Related News

  • The European Commission has revealed its plan to digitalize the Schengen visa. This will replace the mostly paper-based application system to obtain a visa for EU and Schengen countries currently in place. This means the Schengen visa will soon be available through a simplified online application process, similar to the European Travel Information and Authorization

    Read More
  • New Zealand has reopened its borders to international visitors from over 60 visa waiver countries. Arrivals must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and meet all other entry requirements. The move is step 4 of New Zealand’s 5-stage reopening plan. The policy aims to fully reopen the country’s borders by late 2022, after more than 2

    Read More
  • Hong Kong is set to reopen its borders to international visitors. The new entry rules will come into effect from May 1, 2022. Overseas travelers have been completely banned from Hong Kong for the last 2 years, with only Hong Kong citizens and residents able to enter. The Hong Kong government announced the easing of

    Read More
  • Singapore has seen a sharp rise in passenger traffic since reopening borders. The number of flights and arrivals have both increased as the country continues to roll back restrictions. Since the beginning of April, international travelers have been able to once again visit Singapore with an SG Arrival Card. The online application currently includes a

    Read More
  • The United States government has announced that the US ESTA will be mandatory for citizens of all Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries entering the United States by land. This new policy will be introduced on May 2, 2022. From this date, visa-exempt travelers will still be able to enter the US by land without a

    Read More