Australia International Travel 2021

Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced in a Press Conference today that Australia's international border will re-open from next month (November 2021) for States with an 80% vaccination rate - starting with New South Wales (NSW). This is very welcome and highly anticipated news. Australia's international border has been closed for more than 18 months and many people have been waiting to reconnect with loved ones.

Australia International Travel 2021 | Border to Re-open for Some States in November 2021

At this stage, it appears the relaxed border restrictions will focus on:

  • Maximising the number of Australians that can return
  • Enabling more vaccinated Australians to travel out of the country

Decisions are still being considered for re-opening:

  • Inbound international travel to Temporary Visa holders
  • Outbound international travel to unvaccinated Australians

What was announced | Australia International Travel 2021

Mr Morrison said:

  • Fully vaccinated Australians and Permanent Residents arriving in NSW will be able to home quarantine for 7 days (instead of 14 day hotel-quarantine) - depending on the outcome of current home-quarantine trials.
    • Travellers must be fully vaccinated with an approved vaccine by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) - including Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and the Janssen vaccine. Sinovac and Covishield would be considered 'recognised vaccines'.
    • Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents that cannot be vaccinated due a medical condition or because they are under 12 would be treated as vaccinated for travel purposes.
  • South Australia will also implement home quarantine for vaccinated arrivals once 80% of the State's population over 16 years are fully vaccinated.
  • Unvaccinated travellers (including people that have been vaccinated with an unapproved TGA vaccine) will need to undertake hotel quarantine for 14 days.
  • The Government will work with States to remove arrivals caps for vaccinated travellers.
  • Commercial flights out of Australia will resume for vaccinated Australians. Travellers will need to access a Government-issued internationally recognised proof of vaccination document and can fly to any country, but should consider travel advice by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
  • Quarantine-free travel between some countries, such as New Zealand and Singapore, would be considered 'when it is safe to do so'.

To enable the re-opening next month, many practicalities are yet to be fully worked through - including whether airlines and border authorities will be ready to ramp up their services in line with new restrictions and proof of vaccination, and whether home quarantine trials will be successful.

It will also require the lifting of current international arrivals caps that had been put in place to manage quarantine. Western Australia and Queensland's State Premiers have expressed their reluctance at opening borders at the 80% vaccination rate. Read more here.

Interstaff | Migration Agents Australia | Australia International Travel 2021

You may also be interested in other immigration updates on the status of Australian visa and travel below:

Businesses call for more direct Permanent Residence Pathways for Skilled Visa Holders
Agribusinesses Still Hopeful for an Agriculture Visa to be Finalised as Labour Shortages Worsen
Travel Exemptions for Couples Intending to Marry Plus Other Updates
Applying for a Australian Partner Visa During the Pandemic
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions to come to Australia
Travel Exemptions for Leaving Australia
Becoming an Australian Permanent Resident

Should you need professional advice on your Visa or Travel Exemption, you may wish to contact Interstaff's Migration Agents to arrange a consultation so your circumstances can be considered.

Interstaff is an Australian owned and operated immigration consultancy providing strategic migration advice to businesses and individuals Australia-wide and internationally since 1988.


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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.