The Government has announced new rules for travel to Australia, which include the need to take a COVID-19 test before travel and mandatory requirements to wear a mask.
The changes were agreed by the National Cabinet on 8 January 2021 in response to the new COVID-19 strain that is more infectious and will take effect no later than 15 January 2021.
Here’s a summary:
- International passenger caps in NSW, QLD and WA will be halved by 50% until 15 February 2021;
- WA reduced to 512 international travellers/week
- QLD reduced to 500 international travellers/week
- NSW will accept a maximum 1,505 people/week into hotel quarantine
- No changes for VIC or SA (already operating at lower levels)
- NT will increase its intake to 425 arrivals/week (previously at 300/week)
- The Government will make individual agreements with ACT and TAS.
- International passengers must return a negative COVID-19 test before travelling to Australia – exemptions in extenuating circumstances may be available;
- International passengers on flights from the UK will be subject to ‘rapid testing’ for the new COVID-19 strain before they board flights to Australia;
- Masks will be mandatory on all international and domestic flights to and within Australia (excluding children under 12 years of age and those with an exemption);
- Travellers must also wear a mask in international and domestic airports for travel to and within Australia.
What if I am due to travel in January or February 2021? | New rules for travel to Australia
The Government has acknowledged some travellers may already be due to arrive in the country and has allowed a short transition period for the new rules for travel to Australia.
The new travel rules will commence no later than 15 January 2021 – approximately one week after the changes were announced on 8 January 2021.
Businesses and individuals should consider the new rules for any planned travel this month and in February.
Unfortunately, for those still needing a flight to come to Australia in January or February, tickets are likely to be even more expensive and less flights may be available.
Interstaff | Migration to Australia in the COVID-19 Era
We hope these updates are helpful. You may also be interested in our other Australian immigration insights:
Critical Work and Compassionate Travel Exemptions | Migration in the COVID-19 Era
Sponsoring Highly Skilled Migrants | The Global Talent Program
COVID-19 Vaccination and International Travel
Australia Travel Declarations | What to Do Before Travelling
If you have any queries about the new rules for travel to Australia or your visa options, we encourage you to get in touch with Interstaff’s Registered Migration Agents.