Australia has also implemented strict measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). The visa for Australia can in many cases no longer be used, though a number of exceptions do apply. On this page you can read what the impact of coronavirus is on your travel plans and your Australia visa. Updated on 30-03-2020.
Is there coronavirus in Australia?
Yes. As of 30 March 2020, close to 4200 infections have been confirmed and 17 people have died of coronavirus in Australia.
Are visa applications currently being approved?
Currently, it is still possible to apply for a so-called eVisitor visa Australia. This visa type is suited for holidays and business trips. However, many applications are being processed for a substantially longer time than normal. As the Australia visa is valid for one year, it can already be asked for a trip later this year.
Can I still use my Australia visa during the coronavirus crisis?
Due to the coronavirus, no travellers are currently allowed inside of Australia. This includes transits or transfers, and it also applies to people that possess an Australia visa. Only two exceptions are made. Firstly, for inhabitants of Australia. These include people that have the Australian nationality or are a permanent resident of Australia. Secondly, for direct family of people with the Australian nationality or with a permanent resident status.
Until 26 March, exceptions were also made for people travelling from New Zealand that had a transfer in Australia to return home. This exception did not apply to people that in the 14 days prior to their transfer had been in China, Iran, Italy or South Korea, due to the large number of coronavirus infections there.
The coronavirus (Covid-19) is causing a lot of problems for travelling with an Australia visa
When can I travel to Australia again?
It is currently not known when you can travel to Australia again on a usual visa. The government of Australia has announced that most measures implemented due to coronavirus will last for at least half a year. Whether this means that tourists and business travellers will be able to travel to Australia for half a year has not been officially confirmed. Keep a close watch on this page if you want to be kept up to date on the measures and restrictions that apply to usage of the Australia visa.
If you have the Australian nationality, an Australian permanent resident status, or are directly related to someone who is either of these things, you can still travel to Australia. You require special permission from the immigration service, on top of a valid visa. To acquire this permission, you need to prove that you meet the requirements. Keep in mind that on arrival in Australia, you will always be quarantined for 14 days to reduce the chance of transmitting the coronavirus. You yourself are responsible for this. This means that you can stay at home or at a hotel, as long as you stay inside for those 14 days.
Can and/or should I return to the UK?
That decision is up to you. The British government recommends only staying in Australia if it is absolutely necessary. If you want to stay in Australia, check with your insurance whether it still applies now that the travel advice is no longer positive. Also keep in mind that it will become increasingly difficult to return to the United Kingdom in the coming weeks. More and more coronavirus measures are being implemented, and it is expected that this will only increase further. If you decide to return, do this as quickly as possible.
If you want to stay in Australia, make sure you have a valid visa. Does your visa expire soon? Apply for a new one before the current one expires. There are special "bridging visa" which are approved faster and can serve as a solution to long-term visa applications. Certain visa types normally cannot be applied for if you are in Australia, but due to the coronavirus outbreak, exceptions might be made by the immigration service.
Are you in Australia? The following recommendations apply:
- Maintain a distance of at least 6 feet to other people
- Avoid social contacts, especially with vulnerable people
- Wash your hands regularly, at least 20 seconds each time
- Cough and sneeze in the inside of your elbow
- Touch your face as little as possible with your hands
Where can I recover the financial damages of coronavirus?
This is currently not clear. This also depends on your situation, such as if you have booked a trip to Australia and which costs you have already made or still have to make. Some travel insurers and tour operators will pay out any damages that arise from coronavirus. However, a number of insurers and travel organisations have already said that they will not be able to compensate all of the damages, simply because there is not enough money. Visas for Australia that cannot be used cannot be cancelled. The immigration service does not cancel visas and will not refund unused visas.
Disclaimer: the coronavirus measures and advice of the British government as well as the immigration service of Australia change rapidly. No guarantees can be given that all the information about the Australia visa in this article is at all times up to date. We do try to keep this article updated regularly by adding new information or changing existing information.