Australia Vaccination Rate and International Travel | Interstaff Insights
On Friday 30 July 2021, Prime Minister, Scott Morrison specified Australia must reach a 70% vaccination rate before it can move to the next phase of reopening international travel.
Building on the National Cabinet’s Four-Stage Plan announced last month, here’s a summary of the ‘Plan to Transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response’ and vaccination targets:
Phase A – Vaccinate, Prepare and Pilot
Current Stage – As of today, Australia has only reached a 15.6% vaccination rate of people over 16 years that have received 2 vaccine doses
- Accelerate vaccination rates and booster program
- International borders closed
- Inbound international arrivals caps temporarily reduced and repatriation flights increased
- Lockdowns if outbreaks occur and domestic travel restrictions in response to lockdowns
- Trial alternatives for quarantine – eg, home quarantine for returning vaccinated travellers
- Expand commercial trials for limited entry of student and economic (skilled) visa holders
- Adopt the digital Medicare Vaccination Certificate
Phase B – Vaccination Transition Phase
International arrivals caps to be relaxed once Australia reaches an approximate 70% Vaccination Rate of 2 doses
- Maintain high vaccination rates and vaccine booster program
- International border caps and low-level international arrivals with quarantine
- Restore inbound passenger caps at previous levels for unvaccinated returning travellers and larger caps for vaccinated returning travellers
- Lockdowns less likely
- Ease restrictions of vaccinated residents (to be determined)
- Reduced quarantine for vaccinated residents
- Capped entry of student and economic visa holders subject to quarantine/availability
Phase C – Vaccination Consolidation Phase
Gradual reopening of international travel once Australia reaches an 80% Vaccination Rate of 2 doses
- Maximise vaccination coverage and continue vaccine booster program
- No caps on returning vaccinated Australians
- Lift all restrictions on outbound travel for vaccinated Australians
- Gradual reopening of inward and outward international travel with safe countries and proportionate quarantine for fully vaccinated inbound travellers
- Highly targeted lockdowns only
- Vaccinated residents exempt from domestic restrictions
- Increased capped entry of student, economic, and humanitarian visa holders
- Extend travel bubble for unrestricted travel to new countries (Singapore, Pacific)
Phase D – Final Post-Vaccination Phase
International border to reopen. Target vaccination rate not specified.
- Open international border
- Allow uncapped inbound arrivals for all vaccinated persons without quarantine
- Allow uncapped arrivals of non-vaccinated travellers subject to pre-flight and on arrival testing
- Quarantine for high-risk inbound travel
- Minimise community cases without ongoing restrictions or lockdowns
- Boosters as necessary
Pharmacists added to PMSOL for Priority Skilled Visas
Last week, the occupations Hospital Pharmacists, Retail Pharmacists and Industrial Pharmacists were added to the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL) for a priority visa to assist with distributing the vaccine.
This brings the number of occupations on the PMSOL to 44. The PMSOL allows employer-sponsored and independent skilled visa applicants to access fast-tracked visa processing on the basis that their skills are in critical need during the pandemic – read more here.
While Australia’s international border is closed, it may still be possible to enter with a Travel Exemption for critical skills or compassionate or compelling reasons.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of Australian Visa Experience Since 1988
We hope this was helpful – Australia is clearly working to vaccinate its way out of international travel restrictions.
You may also be interested in our other articles:
More Occupations Eligible for Skilled Migration to WA
Priority Skilled Visas
Leaving Australia | Outbound Travel Exemptions
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions to Come to Australia
Applying for a Partner Visa in the COVID-19 Era
Should you require advice on your Visa or Travel Exemption options, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents to arrange a consultation so we can consider your circumstances.