While much of the world reopened to international tourism in 2020 and 2021, Australia has been one of the longest holdouts. Well, this popular vacation destination is once again open to tourists after a two-year border closure. Here’s what you need to know about Australia’s reopening.
Australia Travel Requirements
Starting February 21, 2022, fully vaccinated international travelers can visit Australia restriction-free to most of the country. However, the travel restrictions for the Western Australia region don’t expire until March 3, 2022.
The Australian Government Department of Home Affairs has a traveler’s checklist listing the entry requirements for eligible tourists:
- Proof of full vaccination
- Negative pre-arrival test result within 72 hours before departure
- Complete a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) 72 hours before arriving
These national entry guidelines also apply to children as young as two months. You will upload your travel documents for the airline to verify. It’s also a good idea to have a paper copy of your vaccination records to show airport authorities and local businesses.
If the child isn’t eligible for a coronavirus vaccine yet, they can still enter with an accompanying guardian. But, it’s still likely that unvaccinated minors must complete a 7-day hotel quarantine per local travel restrictions.
Local Travel Guidelines
Travelers will also need to follow the state or territory travel guidelines. For example, fully vaccinated travelers most likely won’t have to self-quarantine when they have a negative post-travel test result.
The prevailing practice for regions, including New South Wales and Victoria, is to head directly to your hotel or lodging and take a rapid antigen test (this can be an approved self-test) or a PCR test within the first 24 hours.
You won’t have to self-quarantine if the result is negative. But, you must take another test on day 6 of your trip.
In addition to these requirements, visitors should carry theIR vaccination proof to enter local businesses that require customers to be fully vaccinated and have a negative test result.
What About Unvaccinated Travelers Flying To Australia?
Unvaccinated travelers eligible for a vaccine cannot enter Australia unless they have a travel exemption. Even with an exemption, a mandatory 7-day hotel quarantine applies in most situations.
Some of the possible exemptions include:
- Cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons
- Traveling for compassionate or compelling reasons (i.e., family death or sickness)
- Escorting Australian citizens or permanent resident minors
- Traveling at the invitation of the government
- Providing critical skills or working in a critical industry
- Students in participating programs
- Prospective marriage (subclass 300)
Unlike other foreign destinations, proof of a recent recovery from the virus isn’t a substitute for waiving the vaccine requirements. As a result, travelers without full vaccination status or with a medical exemption must complete a 7-day hotel quarantine.
The pre-arrival and post-arrival testing requirements also apply.
Interstate Travel Requirements
It’s possible to visit multiple regions of Australia on the same trip without a transit visa. Visitors from the United States and many other nations worldwide are eligible for transit without a visa (TWOV) status.
However, you must observe the travel guidelines for each state or territory.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need to undergo additional testing or quarantine. The international visitor guidelines apply for the first 14 days after you arrive from overseas.
It’s not possible to travel to other regions if you’re currently under mandatory quarantine or isolation.
Many world travelers have been anxiously waiting for Australia to reopen for international travel. That day is finally here for fully vaccinated travelers. While these travel requirements tend to be stricter than most international destinations, it’s a step in the right direction, and Oceania can once again be one of the best places for foreign travel.