With first dose vaccination rates at over 78 per cent and double dose rates nationwide at 55 per cent and on track to reach 70 per cent in some jurisdictions, the government has been finalising plans so Australian families can be reunited, Australian workers can travel in and out of our country, and tourists can return.
Over October and November, large parts of the country will be moving to Phase B and then to Phase C of the National Plan to safely reopen Australia and to stay safely open. Under Phase C, international travel is on track to reopen safely to fully vaccinated Australian travellers. Many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step.
To enable fully vaccinated Australians to travel, the government is finalising new arrangements
Following completion of home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia, it is anticipated that states and territories that are ready to do so will roll out:
- Seven day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or ‘recognised’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
- 14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA.
- Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated - for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition - will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.
States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates but we expect the system to commence in November.
Under Phase B and C of the National Plan, 14-day managed quarantine caps apply to unvaccinated arrivals. These will return to previous levels at Phase B of the National Plan. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) will work with states and territories to remove all travel caps on vaccinated Australians.
In line with the National Plan, the government is balancing the need to minimise the risk that the spread of COVID-19 presents, with the need to live with the virus.
The Government’s intention is that once changes are made in November, the current overseas travel restrictions related to Covid-19 will be removed and Australians will be able to travel subject to any other travel advice and limits, as long as they are fully vaccinated and those countries’ border settings allow. Border settings and quarantine requirements in other countries continue to change and we strongly encourage all Australians to closely monitor DFAT travel advice, available on smartraveller.gov.au.
These changes mean there will be no travel restrictions if you are a vaccinated Australian entering or leaving our shores.
DFAT will also work towards completely quarantine-free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand, when it is safe to do so.
Australians who want to travel overseas once restrictions are removed will be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document in the coming weeks to prove their vaccination status abroad. The proof of vaccination for international travel will include a QR code that is readable globally, and will comply with the standards set out by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Engagement with commercial airlines and foreign governments has already begun to ensure they are familiar with the system.