COVID-19: Staying overseas
This page has advice for Australians staying overseas. It includes questions on whether to stay overseas or return to Australia, and travelling to other countries and within countries.
- To stay or to come home?
- Travel to a third country and within other countries
- General tips
- Need help?
To stay or to come home?
If you’re an Australian based overseas for the long term, consider:
- The accessibility and quality of healthcare. Do you have the support systems and healthcare you’d need if you or your family got sick?
- Restrictions on movement. Many countries have strict public health measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. In addition to border measures, there may be specific quarantine or self-isolation requirements, local or country-wide lockdowns, curfews or domestic travel bans.
- Visas. Do you have the right visa, and are you able to stay on if it expires? Check with local authorities what visa conditions are in place.
- Fewer flights. It may be hard to find a flight back to Australia if you need to return urgently. There are fewer international flights available due to travel restrictions, disruptions to key transit hubs and limits on passenger arrivals into Australia. Travel regulations and restrictions are changing often and at short notice
- Help and support. 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.
It’s your responsibility to be aware of the local rules and regulations. Restrictions can change at short notice, and breaches can result in serious penalties such as large fines or jail time.
You need to decide what's right for you. If you decide to stay where you are, read our tips below.
If you wish to return home to Australia, we encourage you to plan your travel but be prepared for possible delays and disruptions. See our COVID-19: Trying to get home page .
Travel to a third country and within other countries
If you're currently overseas and seeing borders opening up and restrictions easing, you may be wondering if the Australian ban on overseas travel applies to you. You may wonder if it's safe to travel to other countries or other parts of the country you're in.
The Australian border restrictions, including the outwards travel ban, the entry ban and quarantine requirements are all about protecting Australia from the further spread of COVID-19. They don't apply if you're staying overseas or travelling from one foreign country to another.
However, due to the health risks from the COVID-19 pandemic and significant disruption to global travel, our advice remains that you do not travel. Travel between countries, and even within some countries, is unpredictable and risky. There could be new waves of infection that could shut down borders and bring about more restrictions. This could mean not being able to return to your country of residence or having to quarantine. Think about what this might mean for your health, and your family, work or study responsibilities.
We strongly encourage you to read our travel advice for your destination so you can weigh up risks and make informed decisions about your travel. Even though there's a ban on outwards travel from Australia, we continue to keep our travel advice updated for Australians overseas.
Ultimately, the decision to travel is yours. And it's your responsibility to take care of your safety and wellbeing. Be informed of the risks to help you decide if you should travel, and be prepared before you go.
- Be informed:
- Read our travel advisories in detail. Read not just about COVID-19 but all our advice on safety, health, local laws, travel and local contacts. Be aware that some countries were already at ‘Do not travel’ (level 4 of 4) or ‘Reconsider your need to travel’ (level 3 of 4) advice levels due to security or other risks.
- Subscribe to receive our news and updates.
- Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Check the website of the Australian embassy or high commission in your destination and follow them closely on social media for any updates.
- Be prepared before any travel:
- Read insurance policies carefully to know what will and won’t be covered. Many policies won’t cover claims relating to COVID-19. Take into account any possible booking cancellations if the situation were to change again and you’re not able to, or decide not to, travel.
- Read our general checklist of what to do before you go.
- Stay safe:
- Follow the advice of local authorities, particularly regarding any self-isolation or social distancing guidance or rules. If you don’t comply with their direction, you may face penalties.
- Take care to minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
- Stay in touch with family and friends regularly. Provide them with contact details if you haven’t already, and provide those around you with contact details for your family or friends back home.
For non-urgent inquiries, email email@example.com.
If your situation becomes life-threatening, or you have very serious concerns for your welfare, contact the nearest embassy or high commission or call the Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305.
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.