International Travel Restrictions
Before you travel you need to ensure you meet the current COVID-19 travel regulations and advisories for your departure point, destination, and any transit points prior to booking. This includes border declarations, testing and quarantine requirements. This is your responsibility as the Traveller.
If you need a pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test, click HERE to book this at your nearest location.
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SO WHAT HAPPENS NOW?
What will you need to be able to leave the country?
- A valid passport: Checked your passport recently? If not, now would be a great time to dig it out, dust it off and check your expiry details. If your passport is out of date or within six months of expiring, you’ll need to get a wriggle on as even longer wait times for renewals are already anticipated.
- An internationally recognised vaccination certificate: This will become the ‘Vaccine Passport’, set to be released this month. Currently, you can access your vaccine status and proof via the Services Australia website. Note: Some countries have different requirements.
- To be a fully vaccinated citizen or permanent resident: To be physically able to leave the country,
you’ll need to be an Australian citizen or a permanent resident who’s fully immunised with a vaccine approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Australia currently has four COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen). The TGA has also recognised Coronavac (Sinovac), developed and used in China; and Covishield (AstraZeneca-Serum Institute of India), which has been developed and is used in India.
- To have returned a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours before departure: Other countries have already implemented systems that require a negative test within 48 hours of travel and ex Australia will be no different. You’ll likely need to do this at your own expense via a PCR test.
What about International Travel Insurance?
- Travel insurance remains a hot topic when it comes to COVID-19 cover: Not all travel insurance plans cover problems with the pandemic, so if you’re planning overseas travel you’ll want to look for a plan that covers COVID-related trip cancellation and medical expenses.
- Some airlines have included insurance: Etihad Airways bundled COVID-19 insurance with their airfares last year as part of the price. Emirates did the same in 2020 and this is a trend that is likely to continue across many other airlines, probably as an added extra.
What happens when you arrive overseas?
- This depends individually on which country you are travelling to While many countries are open to arrivals from Australia and New Zealand, their quarantine requirements, restrictions and testing regimes vary greatly and are changing all the time. We strongly recommend that you check the latest information on country/region travel restrictions as well as visa and passport requirements.
- E.g. – Arriving in the UK: You won’t need to quarantine on arrival at all now, but before you travel to England you must book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England and complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England. After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2. You must book this test before you travel. If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test. You only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2. You can find out more here.
What about arriving back in Australia?
- All arrival caps are to be lifted from mid-November:
- You’ll need to take a pre-departure COVID-19 test: A negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result is required for travelling to or transiting through Australia. Unless you are travelling on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 72 hours or less before your scheduled departure must be provided to your airline.
- You’ll need a Digital Border Declaration (DPD): Also known as the ‘Vaccine Passport’ these are set to be issued from early October, but only for arrivals. The DPD will move into a testing phase before being deployed throughout major Australian airports but will initially be applied to incoming passengers only. Passengers coming into Australia will be able to complete the DPD on their mobile device or computer and It’s understood that COVID vaccination certificates will be linked to chips in passports and people will have a QR code for scanning.
- No more arrival cards: The good news is there are no more physical incoming passenger cards to fill in or the COVID-19 Australian Travel Declaration web form.
- Fully-vaccinated Australians will need to home quarantine for 7-days: Currently, NSW and South Australia are trialling home quarantine to prove that the program can be easily and safely managed. If successful, these will be the first states to offer the program. Australians will likely need to be tested a number of times during or after their seven-day home quarantine however the exact details around that are still being worked out. This is naturally not ideal for leisure travel and is hoped will change to the UK system where there is no home quarantine and only a PCR test pre-departure and on day 2 of arrival for all fully vaccinated travellers.
- Unvaccinated non-citizens and residents will need to enter mandatory 14-day quarantine: At their own expense, and per the current system at this stage. However, the hope is that fully vaccinated tourists and visa holders could soon be allowed the same freedoms as fully vaccinated arriving Australians.
There’s so much to be worked through in the lead up to a mid-November restart and Snaffle Travel is here to help you wade through the minefield of paperwork and necessary requirements during this challenging time. We are happy to advise all our clients on the requirements for travelling whether you have booked on one of our tours or we have booked other travel arrangements for you.
Note: As things keep changing it is your responsibility as a traveller to keep up to date with the latest information and we are providing this as a guide and to help you as much as possible to navigate these times.
Email us at email@example.com or contact our office on 03 5428 6061 or 0427 286 061 (or if calling from overseas then +61 3 5428 6061).