Planning to travel during COVID-19: step by step
Travel is more complicated due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are more things you need to consider when planning your trip.
Read through our step-by-step guide to get a better understanding of what to expect, from the time you start planning your trip to the moment you arrive back in Australia.
From 12.01am AEST 6 July 2022, you'll no longer need to:
- fill out a Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration when entering Australia
- declare or prove your vaccination status.
1. Decide whether it’s safe to go
- Read our global COVID-19 health advisory.
- Read the travel advice for your destination and all your potential transit locations. Ensure you understand the risks for every place you're planning to visit. Check the entry and exit requirements.
- Find out whether travel insurance will cover your destination and all your planned activities. The advice level of your destination can affect whether you can get insurance and what's covered.
- Find out what to do if you test positive for COVID-19 while travelling overseas. It's important you understand the risks of contracting COVID-19 in your destination, including any financial implications this may have for you and those travelling with you.
- Find out if there are any state and territory requirements you must meet when you return.
- Check with your transport operator for their vaccination and testing policy before booking your flights or cruise.
If you're unvaccinated, you're strongly discouraged from international travel due to the health risks posed by COVID-19. Understand that the risks might be different for you. Airlines and cruise lines may have a vaccination policy that prevents you from travelling with them. You may face more difficulty finding flights.
2. Plan your trip
- Read our general travel advice before you go to help plan to stay safe and healthy. Find out what you need to do if you're travelling with children.
- Get a health check and organise your travel vaccinations. Some vaccinations need to be done well before your trip, particularly those that need several doses.
- Plan contingencies for what you would do if you end up overseas longer than expected.
- Check with your travel provider. They can help you understand rules and requirements specific to your planned trip.
- Subscribe for updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Travel health advice (HealthDirect)
3. Get your passport and visas ready
- Check your passport is current and valid for at least 6 months from when you plan your trip to end. Some destinations won't let you enter if your passport is expiring soon.
- Arrange your visas. Contact the embassy or consulate of your destination if you have questions about their visas or application process. Or any questions about entry and exit requirements.
- If you're travelling to Europe, ensure you understand how Schengen area visa requirements apply to you.
4. Get travel insurance and other documents ready
- Arrange your travel insurance. Read the conditions carefully before you buy, so you know what's covered. Remember that you need insurance for all destinations, including transit locations.
- Let your bank know where you're going and organise your foreign currency. Check how much cash you can take into your destination.
- If you're vaccinated, download your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.
- Organise any other documentation your destination needs, such as COVID-19 entry declarations or international driving permits.
- If your destination or airline needs evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, book a COVID-19 test. Make sure to check the test types accepted and timeframes they need the test done within, and plan ahead.
5. Leaving through Australian border control
Remember, your destination, transit locations and transport provider may still have COVID-19 requirements.
Don't forget your mask! Masks are still required on international flights.
If your destination or transport provider requires it, have the following ready when you check in to your flight:
- your proof of vaccination
- your negative COVID-19 test results.
Your transport provider can refuse to allow you on board if:
- you're showing symptoms of COVID-19
- you don't meet their vaccination requirements
- you don't meet the requirements of your destination.
- COVID-19 and the border (Department of Home Affairs)
6. While you're away
- Stay up to date with any changes to local restrictions.
- Follow the local laws for the destination you're in.
- Know what to do and who to contact if something happens while you're away. Look in the Local contacts section of your destination's travel advice for contact details of local authorities and the Australian embassy or consulate.
7. Returning to Australia
From 12:01 am AEST on 6 July 2022, when travelling to Australia you no longer need to:
- complete a Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Passenger Declaration
- declare or provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
Before you travel
- Organise a COVID-19 test if required. Find out where to get tested from the local health authority. Make sure only to use a verified testing centre.
- Complete any entry declarations needed by the state or territory you're arriving in.
You must wear a mask for the duration of your flight to Australia. If you don’t agree to wear a mask, you won’t be allowed to check in or board the aircraft.
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, your transport provider can refuse to allow you on board.
If you're not fully vaccinated, you may face more difficulty finding transport options returning to Australia. Check with your airline or cruise line for their vaccination policy.
Remember: you also need to think about anything you must declare to customs on arrival.