Update on Australian Borders 2021
December 14, 2021

Australia to Open Borders on Dec 15, New Visa Arrangements in Place

Coming December 15, fully vaccinated visa holders will be allowed to travel to Australia without applying for a travel exemption. It includes Australian visa holders who want to return and depart. Eligible visa holders should hold one of the Australian visas meant for students, skilled professionals, migrants, visitors, and parents.

What are the New Arrangements for Australian Visa Holders?

Owing to the Omicron variant threat, the Australian administration has announced travel restrictions for those international travellers arriving from Eswatini, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Malawi, and Mozambique for 14 days. Any traveller who has been in these countries will not be allowed to enter the nation.

Australian permanent residents, citizens, or family members entering the island nation who have been in any of these countries and have landed in Australia in last 14 days must enter quarantine for 14 days in line with the state and territory requirements. It is regardless of the vaccination status. It applies even if you hold a travel exemption, eligible visa, or plan to enter under the safe travel zone arrangement.

What It means for Australian Permanent Resident, Citizens & Visa Holders?

The move taken by the administration allows fully vaccinated Australian permanent residents, citizens, and eligible visa holders to travel to and from Australia from December 15 without applying for a travel exemption.

If you are fully vaccinated, you can travel to the island nation without seeking a travel exemption and exempt from Australian travel restrictions or travel to Australia under a safe travel zone arrangement.

Related Read: A Guide to Australia Permanent Residency

What if You are Fully Vaccinated?

The administration considers you to be fully vaccinated if you completed a course of TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved or recognised vaccine. It comprises mixed doses.

TGA is evaluating COVID-19 vaccines recognised for inbound travel to Australia. Nearly a week has passed from the final vaccine dose in the course of immunisation where you have to be fully vaccinated. However, mixed doses of vaccines approved or recognised by TGA count as being fully vaccinated.

Vaccination Exemptions and Arrangements

For Children

There is no vaccination for travellers with acceptable proof for medical reasons. Children under 12 can access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travellers. Arrangements also allow unvaccinated/partially vaccinated children aged 12-17 years to travel with a fully vaccinated adult.

If the child is traveling with an unvaccinated adult, the entire family is subjected to managed quarantine and passenger caps. Children aged under 12 years can be counted as fully vaccinated for travel purposes. Besides, their passports can be used as proof of age.

Vaccination Proof When Traveling to Australia or Leaving the Country

  • Fully vaccinated individuals in Australia will have to show the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) to airline staff.
  • If individuals are vaccinated abroad and do not have ICVC, they will have to present a foreign vaccination certificate, thus, meeting requirements outlined on the Australian Passport Office website.
  • You need to get a vaccination certificate that does not mean you are fully vaccinated. For instance, your vaccination certificate shows you are administered one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

Key Pointers

The traveller has to comply with other requirements for coming to the island nation. You need to contact AIR (Australian Immunisation Register) if you were vaccinated in Australia but cannot get ICVC owing to name details on the vaccination certificate if the details are not matching your passport

If You are Not Vaccinated for Medical Reasons

Travellers who are not vaccinated for medical reasons have to provide medical exemption proof. It is vital to check requirements, especially quarantine requirements in the territory or state to which you can be traveling.

Medical Exemption Proofs

  • When Departing from Australia:
    Australian permanent resident or citizen departing from island nation will have to show proof that you have a medical contraindication reported to AIR for COVID-19 vaccines available in Australia. As concrete proof, you have to provide the country’s COVID-19 digital certificate. Besides, you can provide an immunisation history statement.

  • When Coming to Australia:
    Provide an Australian Covid-19 digital certificate in case you are coming to Australia and have a medical contraindication recorded in AIR (Australian Immunisation Register). Besides, you should provide a history statement of immunisation. Travellers without a medical contraindication but recorded in AIR have to provide a medical certificate.

What does a Medical Certificate Comprise?

The certificate comprising English language has to include:

  • Name that matches travel identification documents
  • Medical consultation date and medical practitioner details

People who have received non-TGA-approved or recognised vaccines should not be certified in this category and cannot be treated as vaccinated for their travel.

It is necessary to check quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements, in the state or territory to which you are traveling. This ultimately will impact travel arrangements.

In case you plan to travel onwards to or through a different territory or state when you arrive in Australia, you have to check travel restrictions domestically. Both states and territories can apply for their travel restrictions.

Quarantine and Local Requirements

It is necessary to comply with requirements in the territory or state of your arrival. It includes quarantine and post-arrival testing requirements. However, restrictions are set to change at short notice.

Besides, you are eligible for reduced quarantine requirements especially when returning to Australia. A lot depends on the territory or state to which an individual is traveling.

Catch for all updates with Aussizz Group and feel free to interact with our Australian migration consultants for any queries.

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