Page Last Updated: 24 November 2020, 4:35pm
This page has advice for Australians in Hong Kong or Macau who are trying to return home to Australia.
- Cathay Pacific is the only airline flying directly into Australia from Hong Kong at present
- You may consider flying and transiting via a third country for other destinations in Australia – please check Smartraveller.gov.au for the relevant transit conditions
- You will need to contact the airlines for flight information
|Cathay Pacific||Sydney||5 flights weekly (Tue, Thu, Fri, Sat & Sun)|
|Cathay Pacific||Perth||25 November 2020
2, 9, 16, 23 December 2020
There are no plans for government-facilitated flights from the Hong Kong, as regular commercial options are still available. We recognise that caps on international passenger arrivals into Australia are making it more challenging for Australians to get home.
Existing international air passenger arrival caps will continue until 21 November 2020, with ongoing review by National Cabinet.
If you have a flight booking, you should check with your airline for any changes to your flight departure details.
Effective from 28 September 2020:
- Melbourne: no international passenger arrivals
- Hobart: 450 Australians over three flights before Christmas
- Sydney: limit of 2950 passenger arrivals per week
- Perth: limit of 1,025 passenger arrivals per week
- Brisbane: limit of 1000 passenger arrivals per week
- Adelaide: limit of 600 passenger arrivals per week. (NOTE: On 16 November 2020, all international flights to Adelaide were suspended until the end of the week)
- Canberra: limit of 360 passengers over two flights before Christmas
- Darwin: finalising arrangements with the Commonwealth to increase capacity at Howard Springs Quarantine Facility from the current 500 per fortnight
Restrictions on outbound travel by Australian citizens and permanent residents remain in place, in accordance with the health advice to the Government.
Read more about the changes via Smartraveller's COVID-19 page.
The Australian Consulate-General is unable to help in confirming flights as airlines manage tickets sales and boarding in line with the caps, not the Australian government.
Registering with DFAT
You can register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) (Registration Portal) if you've been unable to return to Australia. Registering does not guarantee that we can facilitate your return to Australia. However, it does help us better understand who is seeking to return home, and allows us to assess your situation and provide information to you when it becomes available. Use the "Additional information" field to give as much information as possible about your circumstances. To find out more, read our Registration FAQs.
Entry into Australia and quarantine
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. Only Australian citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate family members can enter Australia. If you are not an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, please visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs for information on visas, travel restrictions and exemptions, https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au.
You can return to Australia as an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident, however if family members do not hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency, they will need to apply for entry for non-citizens. More information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au.
Each State is managing their own individual entry and quarantine requirements. You may be required to pay for your own quarantine arrangements.
- WA - https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus
- NSW - https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
- QLD - https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
- VIC - https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/
- SA - https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/
- NT - https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/
- TAS - https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/
- ACT - https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/
You can also check restrictions in all states and territories using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.
The Australian Government Department of Health has a specific Coronavirus webpage here:
Information can also be found on Smartraveller's COVID-19 page.
Recently announced Financial support loans
The Australian Government will provide additional support to the most vulnerable Australian citizens whose return to Australia has been impacted by the restrictions arising from COVID-19. The Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Marise Payne, set out the key elements of this support in her Media Release dated 2 September 2020.
In summary, if you’ve been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and you are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible for a one-off emergency loan to support your living costs while you wait for a flight to Australia and/or to help cover the cost of the flight.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in Canberra is administering the Hardship Program with emergency assistance. These emergency loans are only available as a last-resort. Applicants will have to meet strict eligibility criteria and must be intending to return to Australia as soon as a flight is available. Further information on the loans, eligibility and the application process can be found on Smartraveller's Overseas Finance Assistance page.
Two types of loans are available:
- emergency repatriation loans to help cover the costs of return flights to Australia, where available
- emergency living costs loans for Australians who are unable to return as quickly as they would like.
This support is intended to assist the most vulnerable Australian citizens overseas, who are in financial distress due to COVID-19, to
- purchase return flights to Australia where this is possible, including where prices have increased
- shelter in place, including to cover the cost of safe, temporary accommodation
- and ensure access to medication and other essentials.
Government Payments or Other Support
If you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident returning from overseas, you may be eligible for government payments and other support. Usually a person must be in Australia when they claim. However, your claim may be accepted while you’re overseas if you’ll be eligible when you return to Australia. For more information download the Services Australia brochure for Australians returning from overseas.
Information for Australian Pet Owners
The current COVID-19 pandemic does not change the existing risks posed by diseases of biosecurity concern to Australia or the need for cats and dogs to meet the import permit conditions in full. These import conditions protect Australia against exotic diseases. To ensure animal welfare and manage the significant biosecurity risks posed by international transport of animals, all animals destined for the quarantine facility at Mickleham must arrive directly into Melbourne Airport. Animals cannot be transhipped to Melbourne on a domestic flight from another Australian port.
The quarantine facility at Mickleham is fully operational and is continuing to take booking requests. Pet importers and agents are advised to make flight arrangements and reservations at the quarantine facility promptly after their import permit is approved.
This information is subject to change.
For the latest guidance on pet imports, including updates on transhipment to Post Entry Quarantine facility Mickleham via Sydney, please see: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs.
For Post Entry Quarantine facility (PEQ) Mickleham Christmas closure dates and Frequently Asked Questions, please see: https://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/industry-advice/2020/145-2020.
We understand it can be very overwhelming and confusing as each state/territory has their own restrictions in managing COVID-19. If you are unable to find the information online or need further advice we would recommend contacting the Australian National Coronavirus Hotline – +61 2 4018 3442.