Scott Morrison has confirmed the ban on Australian citizens travelling overseas without an exemption will be lifted on Monday, November 1st.
Fully vaccinated Australians will be able to leave to any country from Monday when one of the strictest COVID-19 travel bans in the world ends after 18 months.
For over 580 days, Australians have been waiting to freely leave and return to the country.
“Last night the Health Minister signed off on the fact that from the 1st of November, Australians who are double vaccinated will be able to travel overseas,” Morrison said on Sunrise.
While New South Wales, Victoria and the ACT will be removing the quarantine for everyone, getting into other states still be difficult. Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, and Northern Territory all recently revealed reopening plans, but they either have quarantine requirements, or hard border closures until vaccination rates increase.
Next month, 🇦🇺’s international borders will progressively reopen. To help Australians prepare for safe overseas travel, @Smartraveller’s global ‘Do not travel’ advisory has been removed & travel advice levels updated for 177 destinations. For more, visit https://t.co/FO7wz5OCQb. pic.twitter.com/iC0hj5LtCi
— Marise Payne (@MarisePayne) October 27, 2021
The end of the ban also means 45,000 Aussies stranded overseas will finally be able to fly into Sydney and Melbourne without mandatory hotel quarantine. But despite the excitement, the announcement has also left some confused as to what the rules are.
Depending on the country you are travelling to or which airline you fly with, you’ll likely find different answers on what the protocols are. For example, some countries require COVID tests before or on arrival. But when travelling to the UK, you won’t need one until two days after arriving.
Other places like New Zealand and Thailand will require negative tests regardless of vaccination status. Fiji, which reopens to tourists on December 1st, also wants to see a negative test before you fly in and is restricting tourists to a resort hotel for the first three days. After doing a rapid test, tourists can leave and travel around the country.
International travel vaccine passports will also be something you’ll need sorted before you fly out, as the quickest and best way to prove your vaccination status, which you’ll need to do when checking in at the airport.
However, if you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll still have to apply for an exemption to leave, unless you’re going to New Zealand.
Australia eased its COVID-related travel advice for several countries including the United States, Britain and Canada as it prepares to reopen its borders next week for the first time in over 18 months https://t.co/yCUjIl0ybU pic.twitter.com/gcPtgVRfH1
— Reuters (@Reuters) October 28, 2021
In terms of quarantine when arriving, different countries have their own rules. Places like the UK, the US, Singapore, South Africa, Germany, and Italy all have no quarantine periods for vaccinated arrivals.
To fly back into Australia you must provide a negative PCR test, done within three or less days of your flight.
For now only citizens, permanent residents, and their immediate family are allowed into Australia. Others such as tourists and students are still barred, but Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has flagged easing restrictions on other visitors in the coming months.
And of course, the rules are likely to change once they’ve been road tested for a little while – as is the norm we’ve become used to. For now, be glad that thousands, if not millions of Australians, will be seeing their sorely missed loved ones very soon.