Travel Ban Southern Africa | Australia Lifts Travel Ban on Arrivals from Southern Africa
Australia has lifted its travel ban on arrivals from the below southern African nations:
- South Africa
Australian Citizens, Permanent Residents and fully vaccinated eligible visa holders travelling from the above nations can now arrive in Australia without a Travel Exemption, whereas unvaccinated travellers will need an approved Travel Exemption. However, currently there are no direct flights from southern Africa to Australia.
The travel ban had been implemented in late November to limit the spread of Omicron from travellers in these nations, but Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly said in a media statement yesterday the ban is no longer needed now that global spread has occurred. The new Omicron variant is now in 77 countries.
All arrivals to Australia must return a negative COVID-19 PCR Test within three days of travel and meet the testing and quarantine requirements of the State or Territory of their arrival. At this stage, not all States and Territories have opened their international borders.
What about international and interstate travel to WA?
Western Australia (WA) Premier, Mark McGowan announced yesterday afternoon that international arrivals to WA will be halved from 530 people per week to 265 from 23 December 2021.
The cap currently includes fully-vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers until 5 February 2022 when WA expects to reopen its international border. From this date, the cap will only apply to unvaccinated travellers.
Mr McGowan believes the reduced cap will ensure hotel quarantine capacity and safeguard models are maintained in light of increased Omicron risks while WA’s 90% vaccination rate has not yet been reached. WA currently has two cases with the Omicron variant in hotel quarantine.
Mr McGowan also announced interstate travel will not be permitted from New South Wales (NSW) into WA except under extraordinary circumstances from this Saturday 18 December 2021 when NSW will be upgraded to the ‘extreme risk’ category.
Travellers from NSW that may be considered for a state Travel Exemption include:
- Commonwealth and State officials,
- Members of Parliament and Diplomats
- Travellers with specialist or extraordinary circumstances determined by the State Emergency Coordinator or the Chief Health Officer.
Travellers must be fully-vaccinated, and testing and quarantine arrangements apply. Currently, Victoria remains in WA’s ‘extreme risk’ category for interstate travel.
Interstaff | Over 30 years of Australian visa and migration experience | Travel Ban Southern Africa
The announcement to lift the travel ban for arrivals from southern Africa echoes Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s sentiments last week that Australia will seek to limit the spread of Omicron with a ‘suppression’ strategy rather than ‘elimination at the border’ and intend to move forward with easing travel restrictions pending health advice.
Visa and travel arrangements can be complex at this time. Should you require assistance with your visa or sponsorship options, we encourage you to call Interstaff’s Migration Agents on 08 9221 3388 (Perth) or 02 7200 2567 (Sydney) or 03 8319 0902 (Melbourne) or +61 8 9221 3388 (International) or get in touch here.