Travel advice in challenging times
Providing Australians with the latest information and advice to stay safe overseas
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7 April 2020: All overseas travel is currently banned, with few exceptions. If you’re overseas and want to return, we urge you to do so as soon as possible while flights are available. Where there aren’t options, we’re working to make flights available for you.
From 11:59pm Saturday 28 March, all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must complete self-isolation for 14 days in designated facilities before they can go home. Self-isolation must happen in your city of arrival into Australia, no matter if you arrive by plane or cruise ship.
It’s stressful and frightening if you can’t get out of the country you’re in due to border closures. We suggest you continue to check with local authorities about available flights, however you may have to wait it out in that country until departure arrangements are made. Here’s our advice for what to do if you can’t leave the country you’re in.
The Australian Government provides consular services for Australians overseas. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are working hard to provide advice and assistance to Australians in need. In some places our ability to provide consular services may be limited.
News and updates
On 3 April, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister announced a special partnership to bring Australians home with Australia’s two major international airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia – the International Aviation Network. We know many Australians overseas are facing real difficulty getting flights home. The International Aviation Network will ensure continuing commercial flights between Australia and key international cities over the next four weeks.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Australia’s embassies, high commissions and consulates have had to adjust to local regulations on social distancing and self-isolation. Our ability to provide consular services may be limited due to restrictions on our movement.
The Pacific cyclone season is usually between October and May. During this period, even small tropical storms can develop into major cyclones. Their direction and strength can change with little warning. Cyclones lead to landslides, mudslides and flash flooding causing extreme damage to infrastructure. This can cut off communications and access to transportation, emergency assistance, medical care, and food and water.
On 11 April there are two commercial flight opportunities out of Panama City. Spirit Airlines will fly to Fort Lauderdale, United States. WestJet will fly to Toronto, Canada. Book directly with the airlines. Check US and Canadian entry/transit requirements with the airline. To transit through Canada, you’ll need evidence of onward connecting flights. If you secure a seat, you may need to show authorities a letter of ‘salvoconducto’ (safe passage) to get to the airport. Contact the Australian consulate in Panama City. If you're remaining in Panama, check the list of essential services available on the website of the Australian Embassy in Mexico City. Minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Follow the advice of local authorities. You can dial 169 for the latest information. Stay in touch with family and friends so they know you're safe and well. If you need urgent consular assistance call +61 2 6261 3305.
As more countries close their borders or introduce travel restrictions, overseas travel is becoming more complex and difficult. Read our COVID-19 advice for Australians overseas or considering travel at this time.
If you're overseas and need medical care, you may face unexpected challenges. Read our advice on what to do if you get unwell while overseas.
You may need to get a visa to enter a foreign country. For some countries you must apply in advance. In other countries you can apply on arrival.
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