Since february of 2022, the Autralian borders have reopened for tourists and business travellers. Since the 18th of april, fully vaccinated travellers no longer need to test for Covid-19 before departure. However, a visa is required for travel to Australia. Here you can read about the steps you need to take in order to be able to travel to Australia. Last update: 03-05-2022.
Entry ban lifted
On 7 February 2022, the Australian government announced that the entry ban for travel to Australia will be lifted on 21 February. Before this, it was almost impossible to travel to the country for a long time. However, a number of COVID-19 rules are still in force. Here you can read about what you need to bear in mind before you leave for your holiday or business trip to Australia.
Apply for an Australia visa
You must apply for an Australia visa before you leave. For holidays and business trips, an eVisitor visa is usually sufficient. This e-visa can be applied for completely online and is valid for a period of 12 months. Within this time, you may travel to Australia as often as you want. However, each consecutive stay may not exceed 3 months.
Apply for your Australia visa
As of 21 February, fully vaccinated travellers can travel to Australia without having to apply for a travel exemption. You are considered to be fully vaccinated if you have received two COVID-19 vaccinations and the date of the second vaccination is at least 7 days before arrival. If you have received the Janssen vaccine, then one vaccination is sufficient. You must carry a vaccination certificate with you during your trip. The European digital vaccination certificate, i.e. the international QR code in your COVID-19 app, is valid. Also valid are digital and paper vaccination certificates issued by a national or provincial authority, written in English and containing the following information:
- Name of the traveller as it appears in the passport
- Date of birth, passport number or Citizen Service Number of the traveller
- The brand of the vaccination
- The date of each vaccination or the date when full immunisation was achieved
There are exceptions to the vaccination requirement. Children under 12 do not need to be vaccinated to travel to Australia. Unvaccinated young people between the ages of 12 and 17 can also travel to Australia under certain conditions, but this varies by province. Travellers aged between 12 and 17 are advised to consult the regulations of the provincial government of the destination. People who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons may also travel to Australia without needing a travel exemption. In this case, a medical certificate must be presented containing the following information in English:
- Name of the traveller
- Date of medical examination and details of doctor/office
- Explanation of the medical condition that prevents the traveller from receiving the coronavirus vaccine
Travellers who cannot get vaccinated for medical reasons are also advised to consult the local regulations of the travel destination. Some provinces have special measures in place for these travellers.
Unvaccinated travellers aged 18 and over who wish to travel to Australia and who do not have a medical certificate of exemption from the vaccination requirement must apply for a travel exemption.
Completing the Digital Passenger Declaration
All travellers going to Australia by plane must complete a Digital Passenger Declaration at least 72 hours before departure. This also applies to travellers who only transfer in Australia. It must contain the following details:
- Your contact details, including a phone number in Australia
- Your vaccination status
- A summary of the countries you visited in the past 14 days
- A confirmation that you are aware of all the COVID-19 rules with regard to your trip to Australia
After you have applied for your visa, the status page of your visa application will tell you exactly where and how you can fill in the declaration. After completing the declaration, you will receive a confirmation by email that must be submitted (digitally or printed out) upon arrival. The Passenger Declaration cannot be changed after submission. If your flight details have changed or if you made a mistake, you must delete the first declaration and submit a new one.
After arrival in Australia
If you meet the above conditions for travelling to Australia, you can enter the country. However, different corona rules apply on arrival, depending on which province you are travelling to. The rules in the different provinces can change quickly and different rules apply for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers, so you are advised to keep up to date with the local corona measures for international travellers.
Please note that the following rules apply to vaccinated travellers only. Travelling to Tasmania or the Northern Territory? If so, you do not need to undergo quarantine or testing upon arrival. Are you travelling to New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia or the Australian Capital Territory? If so, testing is compulsory on arrival. You must go into quarantine on arrival, but may leave as soon as you have received a negative test result.
Australia will open its borders to international travellers on 21 February 2022 after a long period of strict entry bans due to the Coronavirus / COVID-19.
The course of COVID-19 in Australia
From the the start of the global coronavirus pandemic, Australia opted for a zero tolerance policy. This led to strict lockdowns and an almost completely closed border. Because the island has no land borders, this policy was easier to enforce than in most other countries. For a long time, this led to an almost negligible number of coronavirus infections. But after the summer of 2021, the number of infections rose sharply. With the emergence of the omicron variant, infection rates rose particularly rapidly by the end of 2021. Despite this, Australia decided to reopen its borders to travellers in February 2022, and infection rates are now falling again.
Vaccination started relatively late. From June 2021 onwards, the vaccination rate was stepped up significantly, as a result of which Australia now has a vaccination rate comparable to most countries in Western Europe.
Returning to the UK
When returning to the UK, you will not need to take a COVID-19 test or quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. You also do not need to fill out a Passenger Locator Form.
Disclaimer: The COVID-19 measures and the advice of the British government and the immigration authorities of Australia change regularly. Therefore, no guarantee can be given that all the information in this article about the use of the Australia visa in times of the coronavirus is completely up to date. However, the article is regularly updated.