Australia is ready to take its next steps to safely reopen to the world, with changes coming to the international border.
The government is setting out the framework for how international travel will look in the coming months.
With first dose vaccination rates at over 78%, and double dose rate vaccination at 55%, and will reach 70% next week, the government has been finalizing plans so Australian families can be reunited, Australian workers can travel in and out of our country, and we can work towards welcoming tourists back to our shores.
Within weeks, large parts of the country will be moving to Phase B and then to Phase C of the National Plan to safely reopen Australia and to stay safely open.
Under Phase C, international travel is on track to reopen safely to fully vaccinated Australian travelers.
To enable fully vaccinated Australians to travel, our government is finalizing new arrangements.
Following completion of home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia, it is anticipated that states and territories that are ready to do so will roll out:
Seven day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or ‘recognized’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognized by the TGA.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel. (E.g if they are under 12 or have a medical condition)
States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates but we expect the system to commence in November.
Under Phase B and C of the National Plan, 14-day managed quarantine caps apply to unvaccinated arrivals. These will return to previous levels at Phase B of the National Plan.
The Government’s intention is that once changes are made in November, the current overseas travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed and Australians will be able to travel subject to any other travel advice and limits, as long as they are fully vaccinated and those countries’ border settings allow.
These changes mean there will be no travel restrictions if you are a vaccinated Australian entering or leaving our shores.
Testing is expected to continue to be a requirement of international travel, but subject to further medical advice, Rapid Antigen Tests may be used.
Australians who want to travel overseas once restrictions are removed will be able to access an internationally recognized proof of vaccination document in the coming weeks to prove their vaccination status abroad.
To maximize the number of Australians who can return, the government is also offering facilitated flights into any state or territory that agrees to commence seven-day home quarantine trials for returning Australians.
More than 680,000 Australians have returned since the Government recommended people reconsider the need to travel abroad in March last year. The Government stands ready to assist more people to return with the cooperation of states and territories.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who have been vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine overseas can already visit their GP or local pharmacist in Australia to have their COVID-19 vaccination status updated in the Australian Immunisation Register, to be able to show proof of vaccination in Australia.
In the coming weeks the government will finalize the processes for people to be able to show their vaccination status if they have had a TGA ‘ recognized vaccine’. People who have received vaccines not recognized by the TGA, or who are unvaccinated, will be required to undertake 14 days of managed quarantine on arrival.
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