COVID-19: Leaving Australia
This page has information for Australians and permanent residents in Australia who want to go overseas. Read on to find information about:
- The ban on overseas travel from Australia
- Destinations exempt from the travel ban
- Things to consider before planning to travel
For information about travel zones with reduced restrictions, see our page on travel zones.
Overseas travel ban
There’s a ban on overseas travel from Australia. If you’re an Australian citizen or permanent resident, you can’t leave Australia unless you get an exemption to travel or you’re travelling to a destination that’s exempt from the ban. Foreign citizens are able to depart Australia at any time.
The Department of Home Affairs looks after this ban. Visit their page on Leaving Australia for further information, including details on exemptions to the ban and exemption restrictions for high risk countries.
Destinations exempt from the travel ban
If you're travelling to a destination which is exempt from the travel ban, you don't need to apply for an exemption to leave Australia from the Department of Home Affairs. You still need to abide by the entry requirements of your destination, including any mandatory quarantine periods and COVID-19 testing.
You must have been in Australia for 14 days or more before travelling to an exempt destination. The exemption applies whether you are flying or travelling by sea.
The only destination currently exempt from the travel ban is New Zealand.
Read more about destinations no longer included in the travel ban on the Department of Home Affairs page on Leaving Australia.
For information on quarantine-free travel, read our page on travel zones.
Things to consider before planning to travel
Before considering travel, be aware:
- Flights may be difficult to find – both for leaving and returning to Australia. Be prepared for possible delays and disruptions to your travel.
- Many travel insurance policies won't cover claims relating to COVID-19. Read insurance policies carefully to know what will and won't be covered.
- Even if you get an exemption, you'll have to comply with entry restrictions when you come back to Australia, including 14 days of mandatory quarantine. You may also have to pay for the cost of quarantine.
- We continue to offer consular support around the world, but it may be limited in some places. In some countries, our embassy buildings are closed to the public or offering limited consultations by appointment only. This is due to tight restrictions on local services and movement, including of our embassy staff.
Read our advice on how COVID-19 has changed international travel before you decide to leave Australia.
To stay up-to-date on any changes, read our travel advice for your planned destination/s and subscribe to receive news and travel advice updates.
If you have questions about visas or other entry requirements for your destination, contact the embassy or consulate for that country.
- See our general checklist of what to do before you travel
- Read about the difference between the travel ban and our travel advice levels on travel advice explained
- Learn about what assistance we can provide when you're trying to get home
- Read about what to do if you're staying overseas
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community.
Travel zones are routes of travel that have eased COVID-19 border restrictions, either in Australia, in the destination, or both.