Travel

What You Need To Know About Overseas Travel

By Tim Piccione
9th Nov 2021

It’s been a long and difficult road to get here–but Aussies can finally travel overseas again. We’ve made the best of the last 18 months since our borders were officially shut in March 2020, exploring and appreciating our own beautiful backyard like never before. And while we’re grateful for that, many people are itching to hop on a plane and globe-trot once more.

Truthfully, information surrounding the rules of overseas travel has been somewhat unclear and ever-changing as governments and health officials make announcements on the fly. We know for certain that since November 1, double-vaxxed Australian citizens can now travel overseas without a government exemption. But that doesn’t mean you can jet off to any country you like and without following particular rules for each destination.

To avoid any more confusion and help you figure out how and where to go, we’ve put together everything wanderlusting Australians need to know about overseas travelling and exactly which countries you can currently visit.

What Do I Need To Do Before Travelling Overseas?

First off, it should be absolutely no surprise that you must be double vaccinated to travel internationally again. With Australia reaching the 80% double jab mark, that shouldn’t be a problem for the vast majority of the country. But to prove you’re immunised, you’ll also have to download your international vaccine certificate, which will act as your global vax passport.

Secondly, make sure you clearly understand the rules for returning international travellers in your home state. While border restrictions for travelling Aussies in NSW, ACT and Victoria have changed to forgo quarantine requirements, Western Australia has announced it will only open up its borders when the state’s 12+ population reaches 90% double dose. Tassie has also announced it expects to re-open international borders on December 15, for example.

Finally, make sure you plan, plan and then plan some more. While it’s incredible that we can holiday again–things are obviously not quite the same, and it’s best to be overprepared as we figure out the new-normal of overseas travel. For example, give yourself plenty of time to figure out paperwork and to understand health orders in any country you visit, including stopovers and travel bans between countries you visit. There’s also a very good chance you’ll need to produce negative COVID-19 PCR tests for specific destinations, and that may require quarantine time as you await results. Airlines like QANTAS similarly require a negative PCR test for flying. You should also keep in mind the possibility of getting COVID as you travel and the ways that could change your itinerary, and the health costs involved. Make sure you factor that into your travel insurance and budget.

But most importantly, remember that things can always change and that direct flights to countries Australians can technically travel to may still be challenging to find. So, now the big question is: where can I travel?

UK

Fully vaccinated Australians can now enter the UK without needing to show a negative PCR test. So, all you need is your international vaccine passport. However, you will have to take a test if you’ve travelled through one of the UK’s ‘red’ listed countries in the previous 10 days. You also must fill out a passenger locator form before arriving in the UK, even if you’re just transiting through the country.

USA

We can now enter the United States again (including Hawaii) with proof of vaccination. You must also show a negative PCR test before jumping on a plane. Remember that individual states in the US may have different public health orders in place as you travel through the country.

Canada

Similarly to the US, Aussies can now enter Canada as long as you can prove that you have received your second COVID-19 vaccine dose at least 14 days before travelling.

Singapore

As of November 8, fully vaccinated Australians can travel to Singapore without quarantining. As a short-term visitor, you need to apply through Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane. You also need to meet requirements like producing a negative PCR test before leaving Australia and on arrival and self-isolating until the result (typically 24 hours).

New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand have done their best to stay in touch throughout this pandemic, with on and off travel bubbles put into place over the last year. The good news is, Kiwis can come into states that will allow it (NSW, VIC, ACT), but sadly quarantine is still required for Aussies wishing to travel to NZ. 

Fiji

Fiji is officially re-opening its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from certain countries, including Australia, on 1 December. But there are a couple of requirements. First, you’ll need to return a negative PCR test within three days of leaving Australia. Secondly, you must have stayed in a ‘Travel Partner’ country for the previous 10 days (Australia being one of them). Finally, you must show a minimum of three nights of pre-paid accommodation at a hotel/resort/property that is ‘Care Fiji Commitment’ certified and travellers must have medical travel insurance.

Thailand

Fully vaccinated Aussies can now travel to Thailand, but you need to show a negative test before departing. And you must spend at least your first night in an approved hotel and return a negative PCR test upon arrival, at your own cost. Travellers must register through Thailand Pass.

Bali

We had to include some mention of Australia’s de facto travel destination. Currently, it looks like flights to Bali and Indonesia will recommence around March 2022–but there are some rumblings of setting up a travel bubble sooner than that. 

Argentina

You can now travel to Argentina if you are fully vaccinated, as long as you complete a statutory declaration in the 48 hours before you travel and provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of boarding the plane.

Germany

You can now travel to Germany directly from Australia or from within the EU if arriving from a country with a low rate of COVID-19 cases. All you need to do is provide proof of vaccination.

France

As a green listed country, Australians can travel to France as long as they can provide proof of immunisation. And a sworn statement declaring you have not recently suffered any symptoms and that you have not been in contact with a confirmed case within 14 days.

Spain

Aussies can now travel to Spain as long as they complete an online Health Control form 48 hours before entering the country. If you enter from a country considered at risk, you will have to show your vaccine passport, or you may have to provide a negative PCR test.

Portugal

Australians can currently visit Portugal as long as you can provide a negative PCR test performed within 72 hours of boarding. The country accepts the EU Digital COVID Certificate, but it is unclear whether they accept Australia’s. So, be safe and provide a negative result test as well.

With so much travel on the horizon, check out this hack to max your annual leave in 2022

Image credit: Julia/Pexels

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