International travel for fully vaccinated Australians
Since the closure of borders from 20 March 20201, Australia has been in "lockdown", with restrictions on inward and outward travel from Australia affecting Australian citizens/permanent residents and visa holders alike.
The Prime Minister has announced that from 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 12 and over will once again be able to leave Australia without getting an outwards travel exemption.
In order to take advantage of this new "freedom", Australian citizens and permanent residents will need to ensure that they can meet the following requirements before making plans to travel:
- They have taken the recommended schedule of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). As at the time of writing this article, the TGA recognises Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria, Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine (Johnson & Johnson), AstraZeneca COVISHIELD, Moderna Spikevax and Sinovac Coronavac.
- Download and save or print a copy of their International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC).
- Show the ICVC to the airline staff when checking-in at the airport.
Additionally, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents may be eligible for either no quarantine or reduced quarantine upon their return to Australia. The quarantine requirements may vary depending on which State/Territory Australians are landing in.
For further details, please click here.
Getting the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate
Since 19 October 2021, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents have been able to download their International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) from their myGov account. For step by step instructions, please click here.
Australian temporary visa holders who are not enrolled for Medicare should be able to obtain an ICVC. To do so, they can call the Australian Immunisation Register or visit a Services Australia Service Centre.
It is important to check the ICVC carefully to make sure that the details on the ICVC are correct. If there are any errors, these should be fixed before travelling to avoid problems arising at immigration checkpoints, whether at the point of departure from Australia or upon arrival in the destination country.
What about travel restrictions for Australian temporary visa holders and unvaccinated Australians?
The Australian Government has not yet announced any changes to travel restrictions for Australian temporary visa holders.
Australian citizens and permanent residents under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption. Australian citizens and permanent residents who are not fully vaccinated and do not have medical reasons for not being vaccinated will need to apply for a travel exemption before leaving Australia.
The Australian Government's travel restrictions can change at any time and travellers should check this website from time to time to get the latest information.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.