Returning to Australia
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community.
You cannot come to Australia unless you’re an Australian citizen, permanent resident or in an exempt category. The Department of Home Affairs looks after this entry ban. Check its Coming to Australia page for more information, including details on exemptions to the ban.
Before you travel to Australia
Pre-departure COVID-19 testing
Following the decision by National Cabinet (8 January 2021) and announcement from the Prime Minister, if you’re travelling to Australia you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure point.
- This applies to all travellers five years of age or older departing on flights on or after 22 January 2021.
- You must be tested 72 hours or less prior to departure and present a negative result when checking in prior to boarding your flight.
- If you transit through a third country on your return journey to Australia, you should check on any local requirements at your transit destination and follow the advice of local authorities on social distancing and mask wearing while in transit.
Anyone who has a negative test result and enters Australia, must still complete mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities in your port of arrival.
Masks must be worn on all international flights, including at airports.
Frequently asked questions on these new measures can be found here:
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for international travellers (Department of Health)
- Frequently asked questions – international passengers (Department of Health)
- Frequently asked questions – international airlines operating to Australia (Department of Health)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert (Department of Health)
- Statement on safe air travel – enhancing end-to-end mitigations – international. Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC)
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) Australia.gov.au
- Coming to Australia Department of Home Affairs
Australia Travel Declaration
You should complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your departure for Australia. The Declaration collects your information to help the Australian Government determine your quarantine arrangements (if required) and also allows the relevant health departments to contact you if someone you travelled with tests positive for COVID-19.
When you arrive in Australia, you must quarantine for 14 days at designated facilities in your port of arrival – unless you have an exemption. At this time, vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding your flight does not change this quarantine requirement.
- You won't be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections until you have completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.
- In some states and territories, you have to contribute to the cost of quarantine.
- Under the Biosecurity Act 2015 and applicable state legislation, you’ll have to remain in the allocated accommodation until you’re medically cleared to enter the Australian community. You may have to be tested for COVID-19 during your quarantine period. If you don’t agree to be tested, you may have to quarantine for longer.
- The quarantine requirements are managed and enforced by state and territory governments with Australian Government support.
- Quarantine is an unfamiliar experience for most people and can be challenging. The Department of Health website provides a guide on getting ready for quarantine, including what to expect, what to do before you depart and how to manage your time in quarantine.
Safe travel zone with New Zealand
On 2 October 2020, the Australian Government announced a safe travel zone with New Zealand. From 16 October 2020, you can travel from New Zealand to Australia, quarantine-free, if:
- you have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated hotspot, and
- you're travelling to Australia on a quarantine-free flight.
Check the New Zealand safe travel zone (Home Affairs) page for the latest information.
State and territory COVID-19 information
- ACT: Travel advice
- NSW: COVID-19 Travel and transport advice
- NT: Border controls
- QLD: Self-quarantine
- SA: Travel restrictions
- TAS: Coming to Tasmania
- VIC: Information for overseas travellers - coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
- WA: COVID-19 coronavirus: Travel advice
- COVID-19 Restriction Checker
- States and territories COVID-19 information
Advice for Australians overseas who are trying to return home to Australia.
Read our advice on COVID-19, including leaving Australia, trying to get home, arriving in Australia and staying overseas.