On 3 April, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister announced a special partnership to bring Australians home with Australia’s two major international airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia – the International Aviation Network.
We know many Australians overseas are facing real difficulty getting flights home. The International Aviation Network will ensure continuing commercial flights between Australia and four key international hubs over the next four weeks.
26 March 2020: On 24 March the Prime Minister announced a ban on all overseas travel, with few exceptions. This is on top of our standing advice from 18 March to not travel overseas at this time. While there are still commercial options available to return to Australia, take them.
We know many of you might be seeking to make travel insurance claims due to COVID-19 related disruptions. You’ve asked us for information about when we changed our travel advice levels for different destinations and globally. We've put together a list of the changes we made to move to level 3 ‘reconsider your need to travel’ or level 4 ‘do not travel’ as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We now advise all Australians: do not travel overseas at this time, including on international cruises. This is our highest advice level (level 4 of 4). If you’re already overseas and wish to return to Australia, we recommend you do so as soon as possible by commercial means. From 15 March, all international cruise ships have been banned from sailing into or out of Australian ports for 30 days. Disruptions to cruise ship itineraries due to COVID-19 can have significant consequences for travellers. The situation is fluid and you can expect further disruptions.
It’s stressful and frightening if you can’t get out of the country you’re in due to border closures. We suggest you continue to check with local authorities about available flights, however you may have to wait it out in that country until the border closures are lifted or departure arrangements are made. Here’s our advice for what to do if you can’t leave the country you’re in.
If you live, work or study overseas, you’re probably wondering what our advice ‘do not travel’ means for you. You might also be asking what we meant when we said if you decide to come home, then do so as soon as possible while commercial options are available. We explain here what the current advice means for you.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of Australia’s embassies, high commissions and consulates have had to adjust to local regulations on social distancing and self-isolation. Our ability to provide consular services may be limited due to restrictions on our movement.