COVID-19: Facilitated commercial flights
DFAT's highest priority at this time is helping vulnerable Australians overseas return to Australia. As part of this ongoing work, DFAT has arranged a number of additional facilitated flights with commercial airlines.
The number of government-arranged commercial flights depends on the number of people states and territories can quarantine in a given week. The government is 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.
Read this page to learn about:
- How to access the flights
- The costs involved
- Unaccompanied minors and additional commercial flights
- Quarantine on arrival
- Frequently Asked Questions
How to access the facilitated commercial flights
Those who've registered with DFAT and been identified as most vulnerable are given priority access to these flights. If we can offer you a flight, we'll contact you via the email you registered with us and advise you of next steps to secure your seat/s on the flight.
Vulnerability is assessed using information you provide about your financial, medical and other circumstances when you register with DFAT. Specialist consular staff assess vulnerability on a case-by-case basis. It's important to include as much detailed information as you can about your circumstances when you contact us, so we can better and more rapidly assess your situation. We can only assess vulnerability based on the information you provide to us. Read our page on registration for more information
We strongly encourage you to continue seeking commercial flight options through an airline or travel agent, even if you have registered with DFAT. Places on DFAT facilitated commercial flights are limited and those that have been identified as the most vulnerable are given priority. The location and schedule of facilitated commercial flights may be announced at short notice and seats sell out quickly. Please note there will not be facilitated flight options available to all locations around the world, and departure locations depend on a range of factors, including the numbers of Australians currently in a source country.
The airfares for the additional flights will be set at commercial rates, with loans through DFAT available to those who need financial assistance.
You're responsible for covering the costs of quarantine. For any queries about this, you may contact the Department of Health.
Unaccompanied minors (under 14) can't return via the additional commercial flights at this time. However, if a a minor is accompanied by an adult family member or guardian, they may be considered for future flights. The accompanying adult must have permission to enter Australia.
If you or another parent / caregiver want to leave Australia to accompany a minor back to Australia, you'll need an exemption from the current outward travel ban. If you apply for a travel exemption, you must read and acknowledge advice about travel risks, including delays returning to Australia. You need to make sure you have the means to support yourself overseas for a significant period of time in the likely event of flight cancellations and/or other disruptions to your travel plans.
If you want to pursue standard commercial options for returning an unaccompanied minor to Australia, you'll need to discuss this with your preferred carrier directly, as well as state or territory authorities regarding quarantine arrangements. Each airline flying into Australia has different policies for allowing unaccompanied minors to travel on their flights.
Quarantine on arrival
When you arrive in Australia you'll be quarantined in a hotel or other accommodation facility for 14 days. You'll be transported to designated facilities after immigration, customs and biosecurity and enhanced health checks. You don't need to book a place in quarantine in advance.
You'll need to quarantine at your port of arrival into Australia. You can't travel domestically until you've completed the mandatory quarantine period.
Quarantine requirements are managed by the relevant State or Territory authority. For more information about quarantine, see the Department of Health website.
- Find out how to register with DFAT
- Read about overseas financial assistance
- See our advice on Australian re-entry and quarantine measures
- COVID-19 and travel (Department of Home Affairs)
- Quarantine for incoming travellers (Department of Health)
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.