Australia’s International Border
Unfortunately, it looks like Australia’s international border may not re-open any time soon.
Finance Minister, Simon Birmingham has today told The Australian global outbreaks and new COVID-19 strains have meant Australia’s international border would likely remain shut until the end of 2022, despite the rollout of the vaccine.
Travel Exemptions will continue to be available for limited circumstances and we expect that establishing Travel Bubbles will be a focus while Australia’s international border is closed. According to media reports, Singapore is touted as the next likely destination for a Travel Bubble.
Australia’s International Border | Travel Restrictions
You may have also seen in the media that Australia’s international travel restrictions are being scrutinised and legally challenged.
After suspending all flights to and from India from 27 April until 15 May, the penalties under The Biosecurity Act 2015 for people who breach the rules now include up to 5 years in jail or a fine of up to $66,000 or both.
It is the first time Australia has contemplated criminal sanctions for its own Citizens and Permanent Residents to return home.
However, this week Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was unlikely anyone would be jailed and penalties would be implemented ‘proportionately’.
Travel Exemptions Under the Spotlight
Flying to ‘high-risk’ COVID-19 countries (such as India when the travel ban is lifted) requires an ‘Exceptional Circumstances’ Travel Exemption, which does not allow travel for weddings and funerals.
This has raised broader questions in the media about Australia’s international border. Should weddings still be permitted for any Travel Exemption? Which countries should be considered ‘high-risk’?
We could indeed begin to see Travel Exemptions become more limited.
Interstaff | Over 30 years experience in Australian visas and migration
We should have more details about Australia’s international border and the 2020/21 Migration Program after next week’s Federal Budget announcements.