Quarantine times are being reduced across the country in most states or removed altogether in some other cases. So how do you enter Australia right now? What about if you have family who wants to come with you? What about others? Here’s everything you need to know about entering Australia in this post-COVID world.

This information is current as of 3rd November 2021 and I will endeavor to update it as soon as new information becomes available. Please do comment below or send me an email if there has been news that you think needs to be included on this page.

Entering Australia as a fully vaccinated Australian or fully vaccinated permanent resident

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents aged 12 years and over can now travel to and from Australia.

It’s important to know that being vaccinated is going to make your life a lot easier when entering (not to mention all the individual and societal benefits of being vaccinated – so go get jabbed!)

Right now you are considered “fully vaccinated” if you have completed a course of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognized vaccine (listed below) and it has been at least 7 days since the last dose of vaccine. Importantly, this includes mixed doses. Current vaccines and dosages accepted for the purposes of travel are:

  • Two doses at least 14 days apart of:
    • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
    • AstraZeneca Covishield
    • Pfizer/Biontech Comirnaty
    • Moderna Spikevax
    • Sinovac Coronavac
    • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
    • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for 18-60 year olds).
  • Or one dose of:
    • Johnson & Johnson/ Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

In some cases there may be shortened names of these vaccines and you should check here if they are going to be accepted.

Another important note is that even if the country you are in has different rules to these and you are considered “fully vaccinated” in that country, if it differs from the above requirements of Australia, it does not count for entering Australia.

What documentation do you need to show for your vaccination?

If you were vaccinated in Australia, you will need to show airline staff your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). The ICVC will be provided in PDF format for you to print or hold electronically on your phone.

If you were vaccinated overseas and do not have an ICVC, you will need to present a foreign vaccination certificate.

This foreign vaccination certificate must fulfil all of these requirements and can be either paper or digital certificates

  1. It must be issued by a national or state/provincial-level authority or an accredited vaccination provider Written in English or accompanied by a certified translation
  2. It must have your name as it appears in the traveller’s passport
  3. It must have either your date of birth or passport number
  4. It must have the vaccine brand name; and
  5. It must show the date of each dose or the date on which a full course of immunisation was completed.

This information is different from the information about having your vaccination registered on the AIR which I wrote about in another article. The above will not get your vaccine registered for the Australian app and instead it will allow you to enter the country. These guidelines appear to be less restrictive and allow for more vaccination certificates, cards, and apps to count.

First step for all travellers – Fill in the Australia Travel Declaration

First things first, no matter who you are, the first step in traveling to Australia is the Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) which should be filled in at least 72 hours prior to departure. You can find all the latest details about the ATD here and to fill it in you can either download the app from the App Store (Apple) or Google Play store (Android)

Before you start your declaration, you should prepare all this information:

  • passport details
  • evidence of vaccination
  • trip information
  • destination details
  • contact details.

And then you can create an account at the link above. You only need to create an account once, and then any future declarations can be made using that account.

It’s important to note that if you entered information incorrectly, or if your flight plans or health status have changed, you need to file a new declaration.

Parents should complete a declaration for any child under 15 years of age. Anyone who is 15 years old and over should complete their own declaration.

Once you’ve filed this you will get one of three emails:

  1. Green tick – which means that you are allowed to skip quarantine or do pre-approved home quarantine
  2. Blue hourglass – Meaning you will need to quarantine
  3. Red cross – This means it’s up to the airline whether you can travel at all, and you must quarantine when you arrive

The second step for all travelers to Australia – Get a pre-departure COVID-19 test

All travelers must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 3 days before your flight’s scheduled departure must be provided to your airline when you check-in.

If your flight is delayed, you should not need a new test, but if your flight is re-scheduled and/or canceled then you will need to provide a new test within three days of the re-scheduled flight.

If you test positive and have recovered from COVID already, or if you have other questions, be sure to check out the Australian Department of Health’s website COVID FAQ.

More information can be found here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/preparing-to-travel-to-australia-from-overseas

What are the rules for quarantine and testing in Australia for each state’s international arrivals?

This is where it starts to get a bit more difficult. All of the other information on this page relates to entering Australia, the country, but obviously, you will be landing in a state or territory and therefore we need to understand the requirements for each of those.

I can highly recommend the Health Direct website for COVID restrictions by state. I have tried to summarize it below. Be sure to check the information yourself to make sure you’ve checked all the required boxes.

Quarantine and testing rules for New South Wales international arrivals

If you’re fully vaccinated, you don’t need to quarantine or self-isolate, and you may leave the airport and enter the NSW community after you clear border control. Those under 12 are exempt but must be accompanied by an adult.

After arriving in NSW, you must have a COVID-19 nose and throat PCR test within 24 hours of arriving, another one on day 7, and it’s recommended (but not required) that unvaccinated children get another one on day 12.

Until you receive a negative result from your day 7 test you must not go to any high-risk settings, such as aged care, disability care, healthcare, and correctional facilities.

More information for NSW: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/recent-vaccinated-arrivals-guidelines.aspx

Quarantine and testing rules for Victoria international arrivals

Fully vaccinated international travelers can enter Victoria without spending 14 days in hotel quarantine. There is no longer a cap on fully vaccinated returning Australians wishing to enter Victoria.

Before you fly to Victoria, Australia you will need to have a negative COVID test taken no earlier than 72 hours prior to your scheduled departure for Victoria and you are required to get a permit for entering Victoria. The permit can be found here.

You then must get a COVID test within 24 hours of entering Victoria.

More information for Victoria: https://service.vic.gov.au/services/border-permit/home

Quarantine and testing rules for South Australia international arrivals

An international traveler who arrives in New South Wales and Victoria and doesn’t leave the airport to transit to Adelaide, are subject to “Level 5 requirements” and need a COVID test on days 1, 5, and 13. They must quarantine at a medi-hotel (or home quarantine – according to some sources but not others) for 14 days, and must wear a mask if they come into contact with the public in these 14 days.

From November 23, that quarantine requirement drops to 7 days.

Once 90% of South Australians aged 12 years and over are fully vaccinated, people who are fully vaccinated can freely travel to South Australia from overseas. People who aren’t fully vaccinated will need to quarantine for 14 days.

If an international traveler has spent any time in New South Wales or Victoria prior to entering South Australia, they are prohibited from entering South Australia but may apply to SA Health for an exemption.

Any person wishing to enter South Australia from overseas or interstate will be required to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration on the SAPOL website.

More information for South Australia: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/

Quarantine and testing rules for Queensland international arrivals

Travelers returning from overseas need to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense in government-arranged accommodation and this includes if you travel through another airport into Australia.

From Friday 19 November 2021, people flying directly into Queensland from overseas must complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.

From Friday 17 December 2021, people arriving from overseas with a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours can home quarantine. People who don’t meet these conditions must complete 14 days of hotel quarantine.

When Queensland hits the 90% full vaccinated target, Queensland will remove border restrictions and quarantine for fully vaccinated people. Unvaccinated travellers will need to meet requirements for entry and quarantine.

More information for Queensland: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/government-actions/border-closing

Quarantine and testing rules for Western Australia international arrivals

If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident returning from overseas, you’ll be placed in mandatory 14-day quarantine wherever you arrive in Australia. Arrivals from New Zealand are currently exempt from quarantine.

If you arrive in WA from overseas, you must:

  • quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at your own expense
  • have a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arriving and on day 12 of quarantine

More information for Western Australia: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus

Quarantine and testing rules for Tasmania international arrivals

Travelers who arrive in Australia from overseas between 1 November and 14 December 2021 (other than direct flights to Australia from low-risk areas of New Zealand, or approved Australian Antarctic Division travelers), will be required to meet the same requirements as domestic arrivals from high-risk areas.

All international arrivals undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine in a government-managed quarantine facility. Tasmania’s quarantine program is based on Public Health advice and has been refined by our experiences in conducting the program to date and lessons learned interstate and overseas.

Overseas arrivals must be fully vaccinated and have 2 COVID-19 tests while in quarantine — the first will occur within 48 hours of arrival, and the second will be on or soon after day 12 of quarantine.

From Wednesday 15 December 2021, fully vaccinated travelers — 12 years and over, unless an exemption applies — won’t need to quarantine if they return a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before arriving in Tasmania.

More information for Tasmania: https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/travellers-and-visitors

Quarantine and testing rules for Northern Territory international arrivals

All international travelers need to complete 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine in designated accommodation.

The NT Government has also declared Auckland as a hotspot. You can’t enter the NT from a declared hotspot without an approved exemption.

More information for Northern Territory: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel

Quarantine and testing rules for ACT international arrivals

Vaccinated travellers returning from overseas can enter the ACT, but they must:

  • get a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival in the ACT
  • get a second COVID-19 test between days 5 and 6 after arrival

There are additional restrictions on entering high-risk facilities in the ACT (including hospitals, correctional and detention facilities, residential aged care facilities, and some other residential facilities). These restrictions still apply to anyone who has been overseas in the previous 14 days.

More information for the ACT: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/travel

Which states can you travel domestically to once you enter Australia?

Again, it’s a little confusing when you actually land in Australia and what the requirements are per state.

I started trying to detail this but it gets so messy as every state has different rules for every other state so be sure to check out Health Direct for some great links and resources.

I have tried to detail the information for transiting through to your state from international arrivals in each state’s information above.

Can families and partners enter Australia?

From 1 November, fully vaccinated immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents may be able to enter Australia after first obtaining a travel exemption.

These partners and family members will first require a visa if they are not citizens or permanent residents of Australia and information about that can be found here at the Department of Home Affairs Visa Finder.

The most common visa for family and partners is the ETA for short-term travel. If the website above isn’t working for you, there’s also an app to apply for an ETA which can be found here for iPhone and here on Google Play.

To get a travel exemption they must apply online here and they must submit their request for exemption between two weeks and two months in advance of travel. It will ask for the approved visa details (like the ETA number) from above, a reason for travel, and the exemption category (which is immediate family if that’s your situation).

Immediate family members with an exemption will need to meet the requirements set out in the preparing to travel to Australia from overseas checklist.

Entering Australia if you are not vaccinated

If you are an unvaccinated adult, information on this page does not apply to you and the rest of the information is likely going to be inaccurate. You will have to do full quarantine as you have since early 2020.

If you do not meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated, current border restrictions apply and you must continue to follow current border processes when leaving Australia or coming to Australia. This includes requesting a travel exemption and undertaking mandatory quarantine.

Can children enter Australia even if they are unvaccinated?

Yes, the rules for children are different.

Children under 12 and Australian citizens and permanent residents with acceptable proof they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without seeking an exemption.

Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated Australian children aged 12-17 years old entering Australia through New South Wales, Victoria, and the Australian Capital Territory may also be eligible for reduced quarantine requirements. They will only be eligible if their accompanying parents or guardians are all fully vaccinated.

Australian children aged 12-17 years who arrive into Australia will be considered as unvaccinated if they:

– have not received any vaccination
– have only been partially vaccinated with a recognized vaccine
– have been partially or fully vaccinated with a non-recognized vaccine.

https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-vaccinated-australians-and-permanent-residents

What proof do I need to provide if I cannot be vaccinated?

If you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you will need to provide proof of a medical exemption. You should also check any requirements, particularly quarantine requirements, in the state or territory to which you are traveling.

For that medical proof you will need to provide a medical certificate that indicates you are unable to be vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine because of a medical condition; the medical certificate must include the following information:

  • your name (this must match your travel identification documents)
  • date of medical consultation and details of your medical practitioner
  • details that clearly acknowledge that you have a medical condition which means you cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination (vaccination is contraindicated). People who have received non TGA approved or recognised vaccines should not be certified in this category and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

It’s important to note too that you may not be able to travel domestically, as this only pertains to entering the country.

Where can I find more information about entering Australia, vaccination requirements, and COVID testing requirements?

As I always say, it’s best to head straight to the source: