Australia Travel Guidelines
07 Oct 2021

Australia Travel Guidelines

Guidelines for travelling to Australia during the coronavirus pandemic

The Covid-19 case count in Australia has been relatively moderate. This feat was possible due to Australia implementing strict travel guidelines on international travellers. But with newly emerging Coronavirus variants and the changing government and travel policies, it is best to stay abreast with the latest Australian travel guidelines during the pandemic, especially if you plan to travel there.

Who Can Enter Australia?

As per the travel guidelines for Australia during the pandemic, you can enter Australia if you are exempt, or the Australian government has granted you an individual exemption. You can enter Australia without any travel restrictions if you are:

  • A citizen of Australia
  • A permanent Australian resident
  • An immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • A citizen of New Zealand residing in Australia or their immediate family member
  • A traveller who stayed in New Zealand 14 days before arriving in Australia by air
  • An individual on a diplomatic mission in Australia and their immediate family (visa subclass 995)
  • A passenger transiting through Australia for less than 72 hours
  • Airline crew
  • Maritime crew, including marine pilots
  • A business owner in Australia holding a 188 subclass visa
  • A Temporary Activity subclass 408 visa holder, supported by the Global Business and Talent Attraction Taskforce under 'Post COVID-19 Economic Recovery Event'.
  • Employed under the government-approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme.

Individual Exemptions

Per the Australia Travel Guidelines, the Australian Border Force Commission may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • A foreign national and the Government of Australia, or the governing authority of a state or territory, invites you for Covid-19 assistance.
  • A foreign national employed to work under the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) and are sponsored by the employer
  • Military personnel associated with the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • An international student selected to participate in an International Student Arrivals Plan approved by the respective government of that state or territory
  • A medical student in your final year and can provide proof of placement in an Australian hospital.
  • A subclass 300 Prospective Marriage visa holder where you had applied for the visa at least 12 months before submitting an exemption request
  • Travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons that include but are not limited to critical illness or death of a close family member.

How To Apply for an Individual Travel Exemption?

If you do not qualify for the exempt categories, you can apply for an individual travel exemption according to the guideline for travelling to Australia. Before you make your travel plans, you must apply for the exemption for at least two weeks, but not exceeding two months. You must hold an Australian visa or should have applied for one. You must also provide documents to support your exemption request.

The Australian government can decline your request if they conclude that you have not provided sufficient proof. Without the exemption grant, you will not be allowed to board the flight at your origin point. If the Australian government does exempt you, you must, without fail, carry proof supporting the exemption.

If you are travelling to Australia for compassionate and compelling reasons, you must submit all supporting documents in English. The Australian government, with sufficient proof, will prioritise the application.

Before Entering Australia

Travel Guidelines for Australia also state that eligible travellers must complete an Australia Travel Declaration form downloadable from the Department of Home Affairs website.

Pre-departure Covid-19 Test

  • If you are entering or transiting through Australia, you must provide a negative Covid-19 RT-PCR test report.
  • If you are on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, you need to provide a negative Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours before departure.
  • If you have been vaccinated, you are still required to present a negative covid-19 test along with proof of vaccination.

Pre-departure Testing Exemption

The categories of individuals exempt from the pre-departure testing are listed below as stated by the Australian government in the travel guidelines Australia document.

  • Travellers on a 'green safe zone flight' from New Zealand
  • Children who are under the age of 5 (i.e., four years and younger) at the time of check-in for the departure flight
  • Travellers with medical conditions, who can present relevant proof
  • International aircrew
  • Travellers from countries where Covid-19 testing is not available readily, and Australia's Director of Human Biosecurity grants the exemptions

Quarantine Protocols

Unless you are an international traveller or an Australian citizen and arriving in Australia on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, you must

  • Stay in quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility in the port of arrival
  • Complete all relevant declarations and forms so the authorities can arrange quarantine
  • Undertake the required contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 case.

You may need to pay for the costs associated with quarantining in Australia as per the Australia Travel Guidelines stated by the Country Government.

Exemption Requests for India

You can travel from India to Australia, provided you qualify for an exemption or the Australian Government grants you an individual exemption.

Exemption For Escorting Australian Citizens or Permanent Resident Minors

The Australian government may grant you a travel exemption if you escort a minor who is an Australian citizen or a permanent resident. The exemption is granted for the safety and welfare of the minor during travel.

Authorities will approve this type of travel exemption request under the following circumstances:

  • One guardian for each child under the age of 2 years
  • Only one guardian in the same family group for multiple children above two years of age
  • The government will consider additional guardians on a case-to-case basis if medical advice and evidence are provided.

The guideline for travelling to Australia dictate that Individuals escorting a minor to Australia who is a citizen of Australia or a permanent resident should be a relative, for example, an aunt, an uncle or a grandparent.

Australia is now allowing travellers to visit the country. However, leisure tourism is still on hold. As per the Australian Travel Guidelines set by the Government of Australia, you can see the country under exceptional circumstances only. As an international traveller, you cannot enter the country unless the Australian government exempts you. Upon entering the country, you must comply with quarantining requirements for 14 days. Ensure that you follow all the travel guidelines.

*Disclaimer: The information updated is valid as of 2nd September 2021 and is subject to change.