Page Last Updated: 27 October 2021, 2:00pm
As Australia progresses towards re-opening, we know many of you have questions about vaccination status and travel to Australia. Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions
Who can travel to Australia
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. At this time, you can only travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, permanent resident, in another exempt category, or if you have been granted an individual exemption. Travel restrictions are subject to change. You can stay informed with the latest updates by checking the Department of Home Affairs website regularly.
If you are not in an exempt category, you should reconsider your need to apply for a visa at this time.
If you are in an exempt category but are not an Australian citizens or permanent resident, you will still need to apply for a visa and exemption to travel. This includes immediate family members* of Australian citizens and Permanent Residents.
*From 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents will be included in the definition of ‘immediate family member’ and can travel to and enter Australia. It is important that you confirm your parental relationship with an Australian citizen or permanent resident before you travel. You can do this by applying through the travel exemptions portal with evidence of your parental relationship to an Australian citizen or permanent resident. Information for immediate family members, including what evidence you can provide is available here.
Returning to Australia
If you’re travelling to Australia you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure point.
- This applies to all travellers five years of age or older
- You must be tested 72 hours or less prior to departure and present a negative result when checking in prior to boarding your flight.
- If you transit through a third country on your return journey to Australia, you should check on any local requirements at your transit destination and follow the advice of local authorities on social distancing and mask wearing while in transit.
- If you or a member of your travelling group tests positive, you won’t be allowed to travel to Australia.
- Exemptions to the COVID-19 (PCR) testing requirements will only be applied in extenuating Some airlines may already have pre-flight testing in place. You should contact your airline on the requirements for your specific flight. Local authorities may have additional requirements in place for departures.
Masks must be worn on all international flights, including at airports.
Frequently asked questions on these measures can be found on the Department of Health website.
International air passenger arrival caps will remain in place, with ongoing review by National Cabinet.
Read more about the changes via Smartraveller's COVID-19 page.
Each State is managing their own individual entry and quarantine requirements. You may be required to pay for your own quarantine arrangements.
Telephone no. in Australia
+61 8 9118 3100
New South Wales
+61 2 8894 1555
+61 7 3328 4811
+61 3 9096 9000
Australian National Coronavirus Hotline:
Australian Capital Territory
+61 2 6207 7244
You can also check restrictions in all states and territories using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.
New South Wales and Victoria will reopen to fully vaccinated Australian citizens, Permanent Residents, and their immediate families on 1 November 2021.
You are only considered to be an immediate family member if you are:
- a spouse
- a de facto partner
- a dependent child
- a parent/legal guardian of a dependent child
- a parent of an adult Australian citizen or permanent resident
See Coming to Australia | COVID-19 and the border for more information
Cathay Pacific is the only airline flying directly into Australia from Hong Kong at present.
Other airlines operate indirect flights from Hong Kong to a range of destinations within Australia – please check www.smartraveller.gov.au for the relevant transit conditions.
You will need to contact airlines directly for flight information. Flight dates, times, and numbers are subject to change as per the airline requirements.
Australia Travel Declaration
If you are able to travel to Australia under our current travel restrictions, you should complete an Australia Travel Declaration online at least 72 hours before boarding your flight.
You will need to provide your contact details in Australia, flight information, health status and requirements during quarantine.
This information helps the Australian Government determine your quarantine arrangements and enables health authorities to contact you if someone you travelled with tests positive for COVID-19.
For more information, visit the Department of Home Affairs website - COVID-19 and the border: Australia Travel Declaration
Entry into Hong Kong and Macau
Hong Kong and Macau have imposed entry restrictions and compulsory quarantine measures on travellers from overseas. For latest update please check the official COVID-19 websites of Hong Kong and Macau.
The Australian Government Department of Health has a specific Coronavirus webpage here:
Information can also be found on Smartraveller's COVID-19 page.
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.
Financial support loans
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.
Further information on the loans, eligibility and the application process can be found on Smartraveller's Overseas Finance Assistance page.
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.
Emergency Consular Assistance
If you require emergency consular assistance contact the Australian Consulate-General Hong Kong (tel: 2827 8881) and follow the prompts or contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for international travellers (Department of Health)
- Frequently asked questions – international airlines operating to Australia (Department of Health)
- Statement on safe air travel – enhancing end-to-end mitigations – international (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, AHPPC)
- Coming to Australia (Department of Home Affairs)