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What is the process for travelling to Australia, including for return travellers?

It is now easier for fully vaccinated Australians, permanent residents, their families, and eligible international passport and eligible visa holders to travel to or return to Australia. Requirements will vary depending on the state or territory to which they are travelling.

The Government is continuing to assist vulnerable Australians, including those who are unvaccinated or who have not been able to access TGA approved or recognised vaccines still seeking to return home, through facilitated commercial flights. For more information, see Smartraveller.

Check if you can access reduced quarantine requirements

Your vaccination status will impact the options available for travel to Australia.

Before you book your flight, check the quarantine, entry testing requirements, and any other arrangements for the state or territory to which you are travelling. Make sure that you are prepared to comply with any requirements, including by providing any required information to the relevant state or territory, and ensuring quarantine arrangements if necessary. 

Get a foreign vaccination certificate (if you don’t have an ICVC)

If you were vaccinated outside of Australia and you do not have an ICVC, you must obtain an overseas vaccination certificate.

Your vaccination certificate must have been issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider. Paper and digital certificates are equally acceptable. Your certificate must be in English. A certificate is also acceptable if it is written in multiple languages and one of those languages is English. Otherwise, you will need a full certified translation.

Your certificate must show, at a minimum:

·        your name as it appears in your passport

·        either your date of birth or your passport number

·        the vaccine brand name, and

·        either the date you got each dose or the date on which you completed a full course of immunisation.

Airlines will check your certificate when you check-in to your flight.

If your vaccination certificate does not meet all these requirements, you will not qualify as a fully vaccinated traveller.

Complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your flight

Passengers travelling to Australia should complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before departure.

When filling out the ATD you will need to upload your vaccination certificate. You will also need to:

·        make a legally binding declaration in relation to your vaccination status

·        provide information and a declaration about your last 14 days travel history

·        acknowledge that when you check-in for your flight, you must present evidence of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 3 days of your flight’s scheduled departure to Australia (unless you are exempt); and

·        make a declaration that you will comply with the quarantine requirements of the jurisdiction of first arrival and any other domestic jurisdictions you intend to travel to, and have made quarantine arrangements prior to travel where required.

Penalties will apply for giving false and misleading information, including potential criminal prosecution for providing false or misleading information as set out in s 137.1 of the Criminal Code Act 1995. Travellers may also have to undergo hotel quarantine at their own expense.

After you clear both primary and secondary passenger processes, you will need to comply with the quarantine, entry, and post-arrival testing requirements of the state or territory where you have entered.

Undertake a pre-departure COVID-19 test

A negative COVID-19 PCR test result is required for travelling to Australia. Evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 3 days of your flight’s scheduled departure must be provided to your airline when you check-in for your flight.

If your flight is delayed, you will still be considered to have met the pre-departure testing requirements. You will not need a new test.

However, if your flight is re-scheduled or cancelled, you will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken no more than 3 days before the re-scheduled or newly booked flight.

Information about PCR test requirements, what to do if your PCR test result is positive when you have already had and recovered from COVID-19, and if you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons for pre-departure testing is available on the Department of Health website. You should also check for any airline, departure or transit country testing requirements.

At the airport

Present your foreign vaccination certificate or ICVC, negative COVID-19 PCR test result and show your completed ATD to airline staff when you check in for your flight. If you are not able to present valid documentation you may not be permitted to board your flight. 

When arriving in Australia

After you clear both primary and secondary passenger processes, you will need to comply with the quarantine and entry testing requirements of the state or territory where you have entered.