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Source:Australian Goverment Department of Home Affairs

18.08.2021

COVID-19 and the border

Travel restrictions and exemptions

Australia’s borders are currently closed and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. You can stay informed with the latest updates by checking this page regularly. If you are transiting through Australia further information can be found on the Transiting Australia webpage.


Travel restrictions and exemptions

Travel restrictions and exemptions

Australia’s borders are currently closed and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. You can stay informed with the latest updates by checking this page regularly. If you are transiting through Australia further information can be found on the Transiting Australia webpage.

Exemption requests for travel from India

Based on current health advice, travel restrictions for travel from India to Australia have returned to global settings. Individuals seeking an exemption to travel from India to Australia can apply for a travel exemption through the travel exemptions portal.

Exemption requests to escort Australian citizen or permanent resident minors

Travel exemptions may be granted to people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to travel to Australia. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of the child or children during travel. 

Travel exemptions for this category are generally approved under the following circumstances:

  • one guardian for each child under the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • only one guardian within the same family group for multiple children over the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • additional guardians may be considered on a case-by-case basis if medical advice and evidence is provided.

Unless exceptional circumstances apply, people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to Australia should be a relative (for example, aunt, uncle, grandparent).

Temporary visa holders

Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they will generally not be permitted to return. More information can be found at Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a short trip overseas.

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:

* If you hold a temporary visa or do not yet hold a valid visa for Australia, you must provide proof of your relationship (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) to the Department before you travel to Australia. Do not travel until we advise that you can. You can find out more about how to provide this information at Immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia.

You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions.

Individual exemptions

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • a foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • a foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • a person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought
  • a student who has been selected to take part in an International Student Arrivals Plan that has been approved by the relevant state or territory government, and endorsed by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment as satisfying the Protocols and Preconditions for International Student Arrivals.
  • a student in your final three years of study of a medical university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice. The placement must commence within the next two months, and provide medical services to the Australian public.
  • a student completing year 11 and 12, with endorsement from the Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE), and support from the relevant state or territory government health and education authorities. Further information regarding this process can be found at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
  • a student in your final two years of study of a dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
  • a Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holder in the following circumstances:
    • where the subclass 300 visa has been granted; and
    • the subclass 300 visa application was lodged at least 12 months before submitting a travel exemption request.

    This means if you applied for a subclass 300 visa on or before 18 August 2020, and you have now been granted your subclass 300 visa; you are eligible for an inwards travel exemption on 18 August 2021.

You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Your request must include:

  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons. Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

Where possible, you should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel. If you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and we will prioritise your application.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply online for an exemption

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions using the Travel Exemption portal.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Most travel exemption requests are finalised within 7 days. Complex requests may take longer.

To complete a travel exemption request you should hold a visa, or have applied for a visa, and provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:

  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.

Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.

Make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply for travel exemptions

Commissioner's Guidelines and Operational Directives

For more information on how we assess travel exemptions, see our guidelines:

Source: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions

__________________________________________________________________________

01.07.2021

Travel restrictions and exemptions

Australia’s borders are currently closed and entry to Australia remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Travel to Australia is only available if you are exempt or you have been granted an individual exemption.

Travel restrictions are subject to change in response to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19. You can stay informed with the latest updates by checking this page regularly. If you are transiting through Australia further information can be found on the Transiting Australia webpage.

COVID-19 vaccination and travel exemption eligibility

As COVID-19 vaccination programs become available worldwide, the Australian Government is considering options to recommence international travel. This will be a gradual process informed by expert health advice.

Vaccination status does not currently determine or influence the outcome of a travel exemption request.  Exemptions can only be approved if you meet the guidelines for a discretionary exemption, or meet an exempt category.

Exemption requests for travel from India

Based on current health advice, individuals seeking an exemption to travel from India to Australia will only be approved for the following limited circumstances:

  • critical workers providing assistance to Australia’s COVID-19 response
  • people travelling in Australia’s national interest
  • people travelling due to the death or funeral of a close family member in Australia
  • people visiting a close family member who is critically ill
  • people escorting an Australian citizen or permanent resident minor back to Australia, where the parents of the child are currently in Australia.

Supporting evidence must be provided.

The discretionary exemptions outlined in the Commissioner's Guidelines, excluding the limited circumstances stated above, do not currently apply to people seeking to travel from India.

This advice is subject to change. Please check back regularly.

Exemption requests to escort Australian citizen or permanent resident minors

Travel exemptions may be granted to people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to travel to Australia. This is to ensure the safety and welfare of the child or children during travel. 

Travel exemptions for this category are generally approved under the following circumstances:

  • one guardian for each child under the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • only one guardian within the same family group for multiple children over the age of 2 years will generally be approved
  • additional guardians may be considered on a case-by-case basis if medical advice and evidence is provided.

Unless exceptional circumstances apply, people escorting Australian citizen or permanent resident minors to Australia should be a relative (for example, aunt, uncle, grandparent).

Temporary visa holders

Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they will generally not be permitted to return. More information can be found at Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a short trip overseas.

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:

* If you hold a temporary visa or do not yet hold a valid visa for Australia, you must provide proof of your relationship (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) to the Department before you travel to Australia. Do not travel until we advise that you can. You can find out more about how to provide this information at Immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia.

You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions.

Individual exemptions

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • a foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • a foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • a person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought 
  • a student completing year 11 and 12, with endorsement from the federal Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) and; support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department. Further information regarding this process can be found at the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.
  • a student in your final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which begins within the next two months.
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.

You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Your request must include:

  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons. Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

Where possible, you should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel. If you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and we will prioritise your application.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply online for an exemption

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions using the Travel Exemption portal.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Most travel exemption requests are finalised within 7 days. Complex requests may take longer.

To complete a travel exemption request you should hold a visa, or have applied for a visa, and provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:

  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.

Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.

Make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

                                                                                                 

28.01.2021

Travel restrictions and exemptions

Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time. Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check back regularly. See: National Cabinet media statement.

From 22 January 2021, if you are travelling to or transiting through Australia you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline, taken 72 hours or less before your scheduled departure.

If you do not have evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test, you should not go to the airport as your airline will not allow you to board the aircraft. 

Masks must be worn on all international flights, including at airports. 

More information can be found at Department of Health website.

Unless arriving on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand, all travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel in their port of arrival.​ See Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers. You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. To find out more about quarantine requirements, contact the relevant state or territory government health department.

You cannot come to Australia unless you are in an exempt category or you have been granted an individual exemption to the current travel restrictions.

Temporary visa holders in Australia can depart Australia at any time, however, they will generally not be permitted to return to Australia. Additional information can be found at Temporary visa holders leaving Australia for a short trip overseas.

The majority of travel exemption requests to come to Australia are finalised within 7 days, but some complex requests may take longer.

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions.

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:

* If you hold a temporary visa or do not yet hold a valid visa for Australia, you must provide proof of your relationship (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children) to the Department before you travel to Australia. Do not travel until we advise that you can. You can find out more about how to provide this information at Immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia.

You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.

Individual exemptions

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force and decision makers may grant you an individual exemption if you are:

  • a foreign national travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • a foreign national whose entry into Australia would be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a foreign national with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a foreign national sponsored by your employer to work in Australia in an occupation on the Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (PMSOL)
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • a person who resides on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State or Territory government where safe haven is sought
  • a student completing year 11 and 12, with support from the relevant Australian State or Territory government health authority and education department
  • a student in your final two years of study of a medical, dental, nursing or allied health profession university degree, where you have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.

You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

Your request must include:

  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons. Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.

You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.

Where possible, you should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel. If you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and we will prioritise your application.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply online for an exemption

If you are not in an exempt category you can request an individual exemption to Australia's travel restrictions using the Travel Exemption portal.

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months, before your planned travel.

To complete a travel exemption request you should hold a visa, or have applied for a visa, and provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:

  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.

Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.

Please make only one request per person. Duplicate requests will delay assessment.

If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply for travel exemptions


For more information on how we assess travel exemptions, see our guidelines:



                                                                                                 

02.10.2020

On Friday, 2 October 2020, the Australian Government announced changes to international travel restrictions with quarantine-free travel possible from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from Friday 16 October 2020. Further details will be provided when available.

Key topics

                                                                                                 

28.08.2020

Travel restrictions

Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time. Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check back regularly. See: National Cabinet media statement.All travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel in their port of arrival.​ See Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers. You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. To find out more about quarantine requirements, contact the relevant state or territory government health department.You cannot come to Australia unless you are in an exempt category or you have been granted an individual exemption to the current travel restrictions.

Update on requesting an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions

We are making it easier to submit and track your travel exemption request with a new purpose-built service delivery platform. The new travel restriction exemption portal provides a range of benefits, including:
  • user-friendly functionality
  • immediate acknowledgement of your request
  • supporting documents can be easily attached and updated
  • group and family requests can be linked
  • you can track the progress of your request
  • immediate notification when a decision has been made.
If you submitted your application before the new portal became available on Friday 17 July 2020, we will be finalising your request by 5pm Friday 31 July 2020, Australian Eastern Standard Time. If you submitted before 17 July 2020, and you do not hear from us, please submit another request and we will contact you about your application.Apply for travel exemption

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia (without obtaining an individual exemption) if you are:You need to carry evidence that you meet one of the above categories when travelling. Additional evidence may be requested.

Individual exemptions

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an individual exemption if you are:
  • a non-citizen travelling at the invitation of the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response
  • providing critical or specialist medical services, including air ambulance, medical evacuations and delivering critical medical supplies
  • a non-citizen with critical skills or working in a critical sector in Australia
  • a non-citizen whose entry would otherwise be in the national interest, supported by the Australian Government or a state or territory government authority
  • military personnel, including those who form part of the Status of Forces Agreement, Commonwealth Armed Forces, Asia Pacific Forces and Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • travelling for compassionate and compelling reasons.
You must hold a visa and an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than three months, before your planned travel.Your request must include:
  • traveller details: name, date of birth, visa type and number, passport number
  • proposed residential address and phone number in Australia
  • your reasons for coming: why you should be granted an exemption
  • a supporting statement: setting out how you meet one of the grounds for an exemption
  • accompanying evidence.
If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Compassionate and compelling reasons to travel

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force may grant you an exemption if you are seeking to travel for compassionate and compelling reasons. Compassionate and compelling reasons include, but are not limited to, needing to travel due to the death or critical illness of a close family member.You must hold a visa and have an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions before you travel. You can request an exemption online and must provide appropriate evidence to support your claims. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. All documents need to be officially translated into English.Where possible, you should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than three months, before your planned travel. If you are travelling due to the death or critical illness of a close family member, you can apply inside this timeframe and we will prioritise your application.If you are not granted an exemption, you should not continue with your travel plans, as you will not be permitted to board a flight to Australia. If you are granted a travel exemption, you need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Apply online for an exemption

You need to apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than three months, before your planned travel.To complete a travel exemption request you should already hold a visa and you should provide information and documents to support your request. Requests may be finalised without further consideration if insufficient evidence is provided. This may include the following:
  • proof of identity
  • evidence that you hold a valid visa
  • travel itinerary
  • marriage, birth, death certificate/s
  • proof of relationship or residence (such as a shared tenancy agreement, joint bank account etc.)
  • letter from a doctor or hospital, indicating why travel is necessary
  • letter from an employer indicating why travel is necessary
  • supporting letter from a business or government agency, advising why your skills are critical
  • statutory declaration to support your claims.
Please do not submit multiple requests for one traveller, as only the most recent request will be processed. Obtaining a travel exemption does not guarantee you will be able to get a flight to Australia at this time.Apply for travel exemption

Australian citizen, permanent resident or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time. See Smartraveller. Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check back regularly. See: National Cabinet media statement.All travellers arriving in Australia, including Australian citizens, must quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, such as a hotel in the city of arrival.​ See Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for travellers.You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine. To find out more about quarantine requirements, contact the relevant state or territory government health department.

Australian citizen

Australian citizens can enter Australia and, in exceptional circumstances, can enter without a valid Australian passport. You should be aware of any restrictions in the country you are leaving before you travel. See SmartravellerIf you don’t have a valid passport, and urgently need to travel before a passport can be issued, please advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia. The airline will contact the Australian Border Force to verify your citizenship. You must carry other identity documents with you.

Permanent resident of Australia

You can enter Australia if you hold a permanent visa for Australia, including a Resident Return visa.

New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia

New Zealand citizens who normally reside in Australia (with a subclass 444 visa or other permanent or provisional visa) can come to Australia. You must be able to present evidence of residency documentation at check-in. Acceptable evidence of residency documentation may include, but is not limited to:
  • Government issued documentation (for example Australian issued driver's licence, Medicare card, registration as an Australian resident with the Australian Tax Office) which is supported by one other type of documentation confirming:
    • you have current employment or approved study in Australia (or financial support evidenced through a local bank statement) or
    • you own or rent property in Australia (e.g. utility bills, rates notices, lease agreement)
You can present this evidence when you check-in at the airport. Your residency will be verified against your travel history before you are allowed to board your flight. If you have any doubt about whether your circumstances fall within the definition of normally resident, we recommend you lodge a request for assessment at least two weeks prior to your intended departure.Apply for travel exemption

I have a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa

COVID-19 travel restrictions currently prevent people from entering Australia unless they are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.If you hold a Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa you are not considered to be a permanent resident, unless you have already entered Australia.Refugee and Humanitarian (Class XB) visa holders who have not yet travelled to Australia are not able to enter Australia at this time, unless they have applied for and been granted an exemption. For further information, see Travel restrictions.


Source: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/

Source: Australian Goverment Department of Health /health.gov.au

24.08.2020

Travel into Australia

Australia’s borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Learn more about who can enter Australia from the Department of Home Affairs.Australian Border Force liaison officers will work with airlines at overseas airports to identify those who should not board flights to Australia.Since 27 March 2020, no foreign-flagged cruise ships may enter Australian waters (with limited exceptions). The cruise ship ban is in place until 17 September 2020, but this does not mean the ban will be lifted at that time. The Australian Health Principal Protection Committee reviews the ban regularly.Everyone who arrives in Australia will be quarantined for 14 days and might have to comply with other state and territory travel restrictions.See our printable resource for International travellers arriving in Australia.

Health screening

Travellers arriving from any country may be health screened when they arrive in Australia.If you are on an international flight and show signs of an infectious disease:
  • the airline must report you to biosecurity officers
  • biosecurity officers will assess you before you get off the plane
  • when you land you will be quarantined or may be sent to hospital
If you’ve flown recently, check whether someone on board had COVID-19:

Quarantine for incoming travellers

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, all travellers arriving in Australia by air or sea must go into government approved mandatory quarantine for 14 days from arrival, with limited exceptions.State and territory governments, with support from the Australian Government, manage quarantine arrangements including:
  • transport for travellers from their arrival point to their quarantine accommodation
  • quarantine arrangements at the accommodation facility
You must quarantine in the city you arrive in for 14 days, even if you plan to travel elsewhere in Australia.Once you have completed quarantine, you can travel within Australia in line with state and territory domestic travel restrictions. This may include further quarantine requirements.You may be tested for COVID-19 in the first 48 hours and then between days 10 to 12 of quarantine. If you refuse testing, you may have to quarantine for a longer period. Exact testing arrangements depend on states and territories.In some states and territories, you may also have to pay a contribution to the cost of quarantine.To learn more or to ask about someone you know who is quarantined, contact your state or territory government health department.

Recommended quarantine exemptions for some industry workers

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recognises some industry workers should be exempt from quarantine requirements as long as they take steps to mitigate risk.The AHPPC recommends the following groups be exempt from 14-day mandatory quarantine requirements when entering Australia.These are national recommendations. However, because mandatory quarantine is managed by state and territory governments, other requirements may apply depending on the state or territory you arrive in.

Flight crew

Airline, medevac and air ambulance crew, including off-shift crew who are travelling as passengers on an aircraft to reposition at another location, are exempt from the mandatory 14 day quarantine requirements.
  • Airline crew who have been on international flights must quarantine in their crew accommodation or home for 14 days after arrival, or until their next flight, whichever is shorter.
  • Essential flight-related duties from a regulatory or safety perspective may be undertaken during this time. This may include flight simulation training, safety and security training.
  • Medevac and air ambulance crew may request an exemption from home quarantine requirements to return to duties beyond the essential flight-related duties already exempt.
Flight crew are exempt from mandatory quarantine because of the:
  • industry infection prevention requirements
  • training the industry provide to their staff
  • vital role of these industries in Australia
Flight crew must not board an aircraft or travel domestically if you feel unwell. Seek medical help immediately.

Domestic flight crew

Domestic flight crew must follow the quarantine requirements of the relevant state or territory.

Maritime crew (excluding cruise ships)

States and territories may choose to implement a variety of requirements for maritime crew. This could include:
  • mandatory quarantine in designated accommodation at the point of arrival in Australia
  • self-quarantine at their accommodation or on the vessel
Industry should ensure they are aware of individual state and territory requirements for maritime crew before arrival.If necessary, you can seek an exemption from state and territory requirements from the relevant state or territory.Learn more about national quarantine requirements for maritime crew from our marine industry fact sheet.

Cruise ship crew

Cruise ship crew are not exempt from quarantine requirements.

Recommended quarantine exemptions for some other travellers

The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) recognises some other travellers should be exempt from quarantine requirements as long as they take steps to mitigate risk.These are national recommendations. However, because mandatory quarantine is managed by state and territory governments, other requirements may apply depending on the state or territory you arrive in.These travellers must apply for a quarantine exemption in line with state and territory requirements.

Transit passengers

International transit passengers arriving into Australia can leave on another international flight that leaves from the city you arrived in. You must:
  • stay at the airport if you must wait for your next flight for up to 8 hours
  • go to mandatory quarantine at a state designated facility if the wait for your next flight is from 8 to 72 hours
Transit passengers cannot travel within Australia, even to meet a departing international flight in another city.

Unaccompanied minors

Unaccompanied minors may be allowed to travel within Australia after arrival to quarantine with a parent or guardian, unless otherwise specified by the relevant state or territory.  For further information, please contact your state or territory government health department.

Official government travel

Government officials, and/or their dependents, who are returning from official government travel need to quarantine for 14 days on return to Australia. They may quarantine at their home, usual place of residence, or private accommodation.Government officials must travel on an Australian Government issued Official or Diplomat passport when completing Official Travel.Strict conditions apply on this exemption class. Government officials are not allowed to take a domestic connecting flight within 14 days of arrival in Australia. Government officials must comply with all state or territory public health requirements.For further information, contact your Australian Government agency employer.

Foreign diplomats

Foreign diplomats need to quarantine for 14 days on return to Australia. They can quarantine at their mission or usual place of residence.Australia has legal obligations under the Vienna Convention to ensure diplomats’ freedom of movement and travel, and protection from detention.

Compassionate or medical grounds

Submit applications for a quarantine exemption on medical or compassionate grounds to the relevant state or territory. They will consider requests on a case by case basis.

Apply for a quarantine exemption

You must apply to the state or territory you will arrive in well before you travel in Australia.If you want to travel through more than one state or territory within the 14 day mandatory quarantine period, you must apply for a quarantine exemption from each one you want to travel through.If you are granted a mandatory quarantine exemption, you might still have to self-quarantine at home or in other accommodation of your choice.Find out how to apply for an exemption from the state or territory quarantine authority:

Travel out of Australia

There is a ban on all overseas travel, unless granted an exemption.Our 3-step plan guides us towards a COVIDSafe Australia. Under Step 3, we will consider the possibility of travel to New Zealand.

Stay informed

Whether you’re travelling in Australia or overseas, make sure you know the facts about COVID-19.Keep informed through our COVID-19 news and media.SmartravellerVisit the Smartraveller website regularly to check for international developments and subscribe to updates.Consular assistance
1300 555 135
SmartravellerView contactSource: https://www.health.gov.au......




Source: WCO/The Australian Border Force (ABF)


27 May 2020
The Australian Border Force (ABF) is taking action to maintain vital international links, protect our citizens and visitors and support the needs of our community in response to the challenge of COVID-19.
Sustaining legitimate international supply chains and global trade will be critical over the coming months. Australia recognises that all WCO members rely on international trade in our supply chains for essential goods, including in sourcing medical and protective products. It is important that the customs measures that WCO members may implement in response to COVID-19 do not unduly or unintentionally disrupt these vital international trade links.
This document provides an overview of the ABF organisational response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Travel restrictions
Australia’s border measures are reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread from international travel.
Since 20 March 2020, when Australia restricted passenger arrivals, total air arrivals into Australia have decreased by approximately 99 per cent compared to the same period in 2019. Departures have also decreased significantly, by approximately 89 per cent since restrictions on departures from Australia came into effect on 26 March 2020.
Quarantine takes place immediately in the State or Territory of arrival, and passengers are not permitted to transit home (with limited exemptions). The location of quarantine is a hotel or other designated accommodation as determined by State or Territory governments.
With both inbound and outbound travel restrictions, the Australian Government has granted the ABF Commissioner powers authorising an exemption to travel restrictions on an individual basis for:
  • Air and maritime crew;
  • International transit passengers (if connecting flight within eight hours);
  • Diplomats (to self-isolate at home); and
  • Compassionate or urgent medical grounds.

    Implementing travel restrictions
    To implement these restrictions, the ABF pursued a multi-layered approach to ensure the safety of travellers. This includes:
  • Strategic communication with airlines and peak industry bodies on new measures, including airlines and peak industry bodies on new measures;

  • Establishment of hard border, with ABF Airline Liaison Officers in high risk locations preventing boarding of passengers displaying symptoms onto flights to Australia;

  • Working with Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment to provide in-flight messaging and fact sheets, electronic signage and banners at airports, pre-recorded messages and Smartgate information in 21 languages;

  • Enhanced ABF presence at pre-primary, primary line, immigration clearance and the baggage hall conducting real time assessment of travellers (particularly those from high-risk countries and those showing symptoms). ABF officers redirect travellers exhibiting symptoms to Department of Agriculture biosecurity officers;

  • Marshalling passengers at airports to prevent congestion, including visual floor markings to support enforced social distancing, and staggering aircraft docking and disembarkations to manage passenger flow through airports; and

  • Procuring security services to marshal and escort arriving passengers within required areas of the airport en route to buses taking them to their quarantine accommodation, and to provide a physical presence at hotels to ensure compliance.
    Cruise Ships

To ensure the safety and welfare of Australian community, the Australian Government has also imposed restrictions on cruise ships in Australian waters. On 4 April 2020, the ABF Commissioner requested operators of foreign cruise ships to depart Australian waters, allowing time for refuel or resupply.
In managing these departures, the ABF’s focus was the safety of lives at sea. As a result, three cruise ships were allowed to stay beyond these dates while Australian health authorities worked with cruise ships operators to remove sick passengers and crew.
Repatriation
The ABF and Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) have facilitated the inbound repatriation of over 10,000 Australian citizens or permanent residents, their immediate family and New Zealand citizens who usually reside in Australia.
The ABF and DFAT also facilitated outbound repatriation of 13,000 foreign nationals from Australia to their home countries, and international transit through Australia of over 2,000 passengers, mostly to the Pacific.

The ABF and DFAT are also liaising with foreign missions in Australia and the region to plan repatriation charter flights for their foreign nationals out of Australia and the Pacific.
Cross-border movement of relief and essential supplies
Australia implemented a new concessional item that provides a ‘Free’ rate of customs duty for eligible medical and hygiene goods capable of being used in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. The new concessional item reduces the cost of goods imported to assist in the government and community response to the pandemic. The new concessional item applies to goods imported between 1 February 2020 and 31 July 2020.
The list of goods and conditions of the concessional item can be found here https://www.abf.gov.au/help-and-support-subsite/CustomsNotices/2020-20.pdf.
Australia also established a Transport and Freight Taskforce involving a number of Australian Government agencies to facilitate the expedited clearance of essential air cargo.
Sustaining supply chain continuity
The Australian Border Force (ABF) is working in partnership with the Australian Government’s Supermarkets Taskforce to implement temporary measures to fast track the movement of essential groceries.
The ABF streamlined its border compliance activities to facilitate the entry of high volume grocery goods into Australia. The ABF will continue its practice of giving customs clearance to most high volume grocery goods even before they arrive in Australia.
Interception of counterfeit medical supplies
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Australian Border Force (ABF) has continued its community protection mission by regulating the movement of prohibited goods across the border. This has included compliance activities for a diverse range of goods, including unsafe consumer goods and counterfeit goods. The ABF is working closely with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), which has responsibility for regulating the movement of pharmaceuticals and medical devices into Australia. This includes facemasks and other PPE, as well as COVID-19 test kits. The ABF will seize goods suspected of breaching the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989 upon request by the TGA.
Exportation of goods during the COVID-19 human biosecurity period
On 30 March 2020, the Australian Government introduced the Customs (Prohibited Exports) Amendment (COVID-19 Human Biosecurity Emergency) Regulations 2020 to prevent non-commercial exports of personal protective equipment (PPE), alcohol wipes and hand sanitiser. The ABF designed this temporary new measure to enable legitimate commercial trade and humanitarian consignments to continue. The temporary measure will only apply for the duration of the current COVID-19 biosecurity emergency period in Australia.
Exemptions apply in the following circumstances:

 
  • for personal use by a passenger or crew member in their accompanied personal or household effects;
  • by a person to a relative of the person, for the relative’s personal use
  •  by a humanitarian organisation for non-commercial purposes;
  •  by an Australian manufacturer of the goods; or
  •  by a person who exported those types of goods in the course of their ordinary business, and is registered for Australian Goods and Services Tax and has an Australian Business Number.

The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring international trade can continue to flow during these difficult times.Engagement with industry
The ABF has been working with maritime and aviation stakeholders, including ports, airports, airlines, cruise ship operators and the offshore oil and gas industry on the operational and workforce impacts of the COVID-19 response measures.
The ABF is supporting trade-related stakeholders during the COVID-19 pandemic by convening a monthly teleconference with approximately 80 trade-related stakeholders across industry and Government. These monthly meetings update stakeholders on the COVID-19 responses by Australian Government agencies. The teleconferences also provide industry with an opportunity to resolve any concerns regarding importing, exporting and transhipment.
The ABF is also working across Government to respond directly to trade-related COVID-19 questions raised through a dedicated industry engagement mailbox.
International engagement
ABF engaged with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to encourage consistent COVID-19 customs policy responses at the international level, and to share insights and best practices.
Australia is also focusing on assisting its Pacific neighbours with their respective COVID-19 responses. The ABF is working closely with Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to facilitate the shipment of essential goods to Pacific countries, and to ensure the orderly transhipment through Australia of COVID-19 related equipment.
Protection of ABF staff
The Australian Border Force (ABF) has a standing PPE capacity in order to support staff who may be exposed to physical, chemical or biological hazards in the course of their duties. At the time of the COVID-19 response, the ABF increased its procurement, storage and distribution capacity to issue staff in front line roles with the appropriate quantity and standard of PPE.
The quantities and standards for PPE reflect advice provided by the Department of Health, clinical advice provided from the Department of Home Affairs and the operational risk assessments made by the ABF.
The increase in PPE capacity occurred over a period of weeks. The ABF varied and repurposed existing contracts and arrangements with panel providers to meet the required demand for PPE, with detailed governance and auditing to monitor PPE requirements and supplies.
Frontline officers include all officers in close contact with inbound and outbound passengers, through scheduled commercial flights, chartered repatriation flights and the maritime environment.
All frontline staff have been provided with instructions in the safe use of PPE, as well as enhanced physical distancing and hand hygiene. The maintenance of hygiene standards in all ABF workspaces has been through antimicrobial wipes and surface sprays. Supervisors are required to be vigilant in the monitoring of staff use and disposal of PPE and maintaining hygiene standards. The ABF sourced additional cleaning product for use in its workspaces, in addition to additional commercial cleaning.
The ABF also established a consistent work health and safety standard for its officers and an overarching strategy for the health, safety and wellbeing of its officers.
Further information:  www.wcoomd.org/-/media/wco/public/........

Remarks from the International Road Transport Union

Forthcoming

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