Australia International Border Updates
Update: On 1 October 2021, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that Australia’s international border will re-open from 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.
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
Australia is making progress towards its National Plan to re-open international travel, although a few hurdles, such as how States and Territories will manage home quarantine and vaccine passport/certificate systems, still need to be finalised for travel restrictions to be lifted.
Here’s an update on the status of some of the factors impacting when Australia could re-open its international border:
- Australia’s Biosecurity Emergency Period, which allows international border restrictions to be mandated, has been extended to 17 December 2021. This could possibly be extended further according to health advice.
- As at 28 September 2021, Australia reached a fully vaccinated rate of 52.6% of people over 16 years.
- As per the National Plan, international travel could re-open once national vaccination rates reach 80%, however some States and Territories, such as Western Australia and Queensland, plan to re-open at their discretion.
- Home quarantine trials are already underway in South Australia and will start to commence in New South Wales.
- A reduced quarantine period of 7 days rather than 14 days will be trialled.
- Mr Morrison said in a recent press conference the intention is to allow home quarantine for Australians that have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration – these include Moderna, Janssen-Cilag, AstraZeneca and Pfizer.
- The Government hopes home-based quarantine will increase capacity for more international arrivals and that the use of check-in apps will reduce reliance on police resources for compliance with quarantine rules.
- The Federal Government has developed a digital Vaccination Certificate to be used by Australians, however discussions are being held to try and have some uniformity about how restrictions may apply to vaccinated persons at a State and Territory level.
- Currently, travel to Australia is still limited to returning Australian Citizens/Permanent Residents and people that meet a Travel Exemption.
- Travel out of Australia is limited to Australian Citizens/Permanent Residents with an approved outbound Travel Exemption. Temporary Visa holders can still leave the country but it may be difficult to re-enter.
Stay sharp with our Australia International Border updates | Interstaff Migration Agents
Read on for more insights on the current status of Australian visas and international travel:
Getting Permanent Residence | 2020-21 Trends on Migrating to Australia During the Pandemic
Businesses call on the Government to Review Permanent Residence Pathways for Skilled Visa Holders
Agribusinesses Still Hopeful for an Agriculture Visa to be Finalised as Labour Shortages Worsen
New Travel Exemption for Couples Intending to Marry
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it may still be possible to travel to or from Australia at this time under limited circumstances – should you need professional advice on your Visa or Travel Exemption, we encourage you to contact Interstaff’s Migration Agents to arrange a consultation so your circumstances can be considered.