Health Minister, Greg Hunt yesterday confirmed Australia’s international travel restrictions will stay in place until 17 December 2020.
Following medical advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), the Government has extended the emergency period under the Biosecurity Act 2015 by an additional three months to limit the spread of COVID-19.
The Biosecurity Act covers several measures to protect Australians during the pandemic, including restrictions on overseas travel and the entry of cruise ships into Australia.
The emergency period has been in place for almost six months since 18 March 2020.
Will Australia’s International Border Re-open in December?
It is encouraging to see the Government is providing further guidance on when international borders may begin to re-open more broadly to Temporary Visa holders.
The announcement generally aligns with the Government’s recent economic forecasts that international travel will resume between January and June 2021, as well as today’s National Cabinet discussions to re-open state borders by Christmas (except for Western Australia).
It appears the focus on boosting Australia’s economic recovery may see international travel restrictions lifted as soon as 17 December 2020.
However, it is likely that borders will only re-open in a manner that is safe, guided by health advice, and with measures in place for secure border arrangements to continue to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Australia is yet to navigate Phase 3 of its ‘Three Step Plan’ to re-open the nation and at this stage, employers should continue workforce planning on the assumption that international travel restrictions may still be in place until 2021.
We can expect further details on the size and delivery of the 2020-21 Migration program as part of the October Federal Budget and Skilled Occupation List announcements.
Australia’s Current International Travel Restrictions
Stay informed on Australia’s travel restrictions with our recent updates:
- New Critical Skills and Sectors for Travel to Australia
- How Exemptions Work for Travel to Australia
- International Arrivals to Australia Limited to 4,000 People Per Week
- COVID-19 Impact on Australia’s Migration Program
- 5 ways COVID-19 Restrictions Continue to Impact Australian Travel
- Australian Visa Processing During COVID-19
- New Priority Skills List and New LMT Requirement for 482 and 494 Visas
Interstaff | Over 30 Years of Australian Visa and Migration Experience
If you have any queries about your visa arrangements, we encourage you to get in touch with our Registered Migration Agents.