COVID-19: Trying to get home
16 October 2020
Additional commercial flights to Australia
The Australian Government is continuing to help thousands of Australians return to Australia by arranging more commercial flights from the UK, India and South Africa.
There’ll initially be eight Qantas flights from London, New Delhi and Johannesburg.
We’ll work with Qantas to ensure Australians we’ve assessed as vulnerable are given priority access to these limited flights. Consular officials have already begun contacting Australians in the UK about the first flight.
The first two flights will depart London on 22 October and New Delhi on 26 October. Each will carry 175 passengers. All passengers will undertake 14 days quarantine on return at the Howard Springs facility in the Northern Territory.
The Australian Government is also engaging closely with state and territory authorities to increase quarantine capacity in major airports. It’s also looking at options to open up more airports to receive more Australians back from overseas.
- See the Prime Minister's media release: More flights helping Australians return
Registering with DFAT
If you’re overseas and have been trying to return to Australia, you can register your details with us via our registration portal.
Registering your details with DFAT does not guarantee that we can facilitate your return to Australia. However, it does help us better understand who is seeking to return home, and allows us to assess your situation and provide information to you when it becomes available.
If you need urgent consular assistance, call the Consular Emergency Centre in Australia on +61 2 6261 3305.
This page has advice for Australians overseas who are trying to return home to Australia.
Given the continuing risks from COVID-19 in many countries, if you’re overseas and wish to come home, we continue to encourage you to make plans to return. But be prepared for delays and disruptions. There are fewer international flights available due to travel restrictions, closed key transit hubs and limits on passenger arrivals into Australia. Travel regulations and restrictions are changing often and at short notice.
- Incoming passenger caps
- Overseas financial assistance
- Travelling to Australia by yacht or small craft
- Need help?
Incoming passenger caps
There are caps on the numbers of passengers coming into Australian airports from overseas. These are in place to ease pressure on state and territory quarantine facilities.
These measures are temporary.
Airlines manage the sale of tickets in line with the caps, not the government.
This could affect your flight into Australia. If you’re scheduled to fly home to Australia in the coming weeks, confirm your itinerary and travel plans with your airline or travel agent.
Other tips if you’re trying to get home:
- For questions about visas and other entry and exit requirements, contact the relevant foreign embassy or consulate.
- For up-to-date advice on local conditions and information on available flights to Australia, check the website of your nearest Australian embassy or high commission and follow them closely on social media.
- Subscribe to our travel advisories and news.
- Make sure you’ve considered all your available options, and be prepared to put in place alternative arrangements in case your flights are cancelled at short notice, or while en route.
- If you're receiving an Australian Government payment, you may be eligible to request an extension so that you continue to receive your payment. Contact Services Australia to discuss your situation.
Overseas financial assistance
If you’ve been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible for interest-free loans to cover living costs while you wait for a flight to return to Australia and/or to help cover the costs of the flight. Find out more on the COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance page.
Travelling to Australia by yacht or small craft
If you’re planning to sail your yacht or small craft back to Australia, carefully consider the risks to your personal health and safety and that of your crew members from COVID-19 and related restrictions. Due to border closures and other restrictions, you may not have access to ports and supplies en route. It’s not the responsibility of the Australian government to negotiate access or facilitate your journey.
At this time, we recommend you either moor your boat and stay where you are, or if you wish to come home and flights are available, store your boat and fly back to Australia.
We know this is a very stressful time for those trying to come home. We encourage you to be patient, follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
For non-urgent enquiries, 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.
- While you’re away
- Consular Services Charter
- Urgent help
- COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance
- Medical assistance overseas
- Taking care of your mental health overseas
- COVID-19: Staying overseas
- Travelling by boat
Read our advice on COVID-19, including leaving Australia, trying to get home, arriving in Australia and staying overseas.
Information on returning to Australia, including COVID-19 related entry requirements.