Travel to Australia: Latest holiday guidance as country reopens to vaccinated tourists

·7-min read
australia can we visit travel holidays 2022 - Getty Images
australia can we visit travel holidays 2022 - Getty Images

Australia will reopen to fully vaccinated tourists from February 21, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Monday.

This makes leisure trips possible for the first time in almost two years since Australia closed its borders at the start of the pandemic.

"If you're double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back," Mr Morrison said.

Rules began to ease towards the end of 2021. Immediate family members of Australian citizens and residents have been permitted to enter since November 1 and those who are fully vaccinated were spared hotel quarantine. Since this date, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents have no longer needed an exemption to leave the country.

Starting February 21, all fully vaccinated arrivals with a relevant visa will be able to visit the country. Quarantine rules will still apply in Western Australia, however.

Here's everything you need to know about visiting the country:

Rules for Australian citizens and their families

Permanent residents of Australia, immediate family members of Australian citizens or permanent residents, and (since 15 December) fully vaccinated holders of eligible visas have been permitted to enter Australia. Plus, immediate family members of an Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia are automatically exempt from its travel restrictions. You may need to prove your relationship to that family member by submitting a request through the Travel Exemption Portal. Requests for a travel exemption must be submitted at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before planned travel.

Australia has permitted eligible visa holders to enter the country without needing to apply for a travel exemption since December 1.

Here's what they'll need to entry:

  • Proof of full vaccination

  • A negative Covid-19 PCR result taken within 72 hours of departure

  • An Australian Travel Declaration completed 72 hours before departure

Rules for tourists entering Australia

Fully vaccinated tourists with the relevant visa will be able to enter Australia (except from Western Australia) from February 21, without quarantine. Among the current categories of permitted international arrivals are vaccinated international students and Working Holiday Makers, but this will depend on the rules of the state you are visiting.

Details are still to be confirmed for the entry rules starting February 21, but they are expected to need the following for entry:

  • Proof of full vaccination (for now, this means two jabs)

  • A negative Covid-19 PCR result taken within 72 hours of departure

  • An Australian Travel Declaration completed 72 hours before departure

Travellers who have a legitimate medical reason for not being vaccinated can apply for a travel exemption, Australia's home affairs minister, Karen Andrews has said.

nightcliff beach darwin australia - Getty Images
nightcliff beach darwin australia - Getty Images

Rules for children

All children aged under 12 years and three months count as fully vaccinated for travel to Australia. Arrangements are also in effect in some states and territories to allow unvaccinated or partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 to travel with a fully vaccinated adult. Quarantine requirements are determined by each state and territory.

Applying for an Australian tourist visa

UK tourists travelling to Australia must apply for an eVistor visa, which can be access on the country's home affairs website. EVisitor visas are free are allow tourists to stay for up to three months at a time. The processing time for these visas can take between one day and 46 days, although 50 per cent are completed in less than one day.

State-by-state rules for fully-vaccinated and eligible travellers

Victoria

Take a Covid-19 PCR or antigen test within 24 hours of entering and quarantine until they receive a negative result. See more information.

New South Wales

Take a rapid antigen test within 24 hours of arriving in the state and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. Take another antigen test on day six after arriving in the state.

Queensland

Take a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result. See more information.

Australian Capital Territory

Those arriving into the ACT within seven days of their arrival to Australia must: complete an online declaration form within 24 hours of arrival; take a Covid-19 within 24 hours of arrival to the country; travel to their accommodation and quarantine until they receive a negative result. Travellers are also encouraged to limit their movement in the first seven days of arrival, such as staying at home wherever possible. See more information.

South Australia

Take a Covid-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and quarantine until a negative result is received. Not enter high risk settings for seven days after arrival. See more information.

Western Australia

International arrivals must complete and submit the G2G Pass declaration prior to travel (see details). The state had planned to ease border restrictions on February 5, but this date has been delayed indefinitely. Starting February 21, fully vaccinated tourists will be able to quarantine at home (or in approved accommodation) for seven days, instead of staying in a quarantine hotel

Until then, double vaccinated travellers face 14 days of quarantine on arrival. Those who test negative for Covid-19 in hotel quarantine in PCR results from days one and six will be able to move to other suitable accommodation on day eight to self-quarantine for the remainder of the 14-day period. Once in self-quarantine, travellers must take a PCR test on days nine and 12 and all members of their household will be required to do a PCR test on day 12. If the traveller has a positive test on day nine all members of the household must take a test on day 10. All members of the household must self-quarantine and use the G2G Now app until the traveller’s 14-day quarantine period is completed. Travellers will be able to complete their quarantine on day 14 if they and all members of their household test negative on day 12.

Northern Territory

Complete a border entry form, download the G2G Now app and follow the testing regime that includes a rapid antigen test within two hours of arriving in the NT, rapid antigen tests on day three and day six. See the full details. Children aged 15 and under are considered as vaccinated for purposes of entering the NT.

Tasmania

Both fully vaccinated and those with an exemption do not need to register their details to enter Tasmania, unless they are arriving from an extreme-risk area. See further detail.

Are flights to Australia operating?

British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways are running flights to the country from the UK, with layovers in Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Qantas is running daily flights from Heathrow to Darwin, continuing to Sydney. These were planned to be routed via Perth from late March. However, after the premier of Western Australia announced an indefinite delay to easing border rules, Qantas warned its planned London-Perth nonstops are “under review”.

What are the rules for returning to the UK?

Fully vaccinated travellers and under-18s will not need to take any tests to return to the UK from February 11. As it stands, they must take a lateral flow test on Day 2 (with their arrival day being Day 0). They must also complete a passenger locator form; under-18s can be included on the form of an adult staying at the same address.

Can I get a refund for my holiday?

If your flight or holiday has been cancelled, see our guides on how to obtain a refund or a travel voucher.

Reader Service: Are you wondering what you need to do before flying? Or when you need to buy travel insurance? Learn more about the Telegraph Media Group Travel Insurance service and find answers to your question

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