28 April 2020:
All overseas travel is currently banned, with few exceptions.
If you’re overseas and want to return, we continue to urge you to do so as soon as possible while flights are available.
Where there aren’t options, we’re working to make flights available for you.
If you can't leave or prefer to stay where you are, make plans for an extended stay.
If you wish to return to Australia, and there are still commercial flights available, take them as soon as possible. While we know it can be frustrating or expensive, the window of opportunity is closing.
No flights out?
Many travellers are having difficulty getting home because of flight cancellations or movement restrictions.
If you’re one of them, we know it’s a stressful and difficult time.
Where commercial flights are not available, we’re working with the airline industry and other governments to help Australians find ways to get home. This includes a special partnership with Qantas and Virgin Australia and facilitated flights from several destinations.
See further details on the COVID-19 – Helping Australians to return home page.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve also worked with cruise operators and other governments to bring home thousands of Australian passengers from cruise ships.
Check the website of your nearest Australian embassy or high commission and follow them closely on social media for updates about flights back to Australia. Some embassies and high commissions are providing the option for Australians to register for direct communication, including in some places to receive updates on potential unscheduled commercial flights.
Planning your trip home
Travel regulations are changing at short notice. If you’ve decided to return to Australia:
- check your route carefully and stay in touch with your airline or travel agent
- follow official announcements from your transit airports and governing authorities
- contact the nearest embassy or consulate of the countries you’re transiting through if you have any queries about their entry or exit requirements
To stay up-to-date with our latest advice, subscribe to our travel advisories and news.
Staying where you are
In some cases, you may need to make arrangements to stay where you are for a longer period, until your departure can be arranged or border closures are lifted.
We understand this is a very challenging situation. Our ambassadors, high commissioners and consular officials are doing all they can to assist those most in need.
The scale and complexity of this crisis is greater than anything we have faced before. With the global shutdown of borders and transit hubs, it won’t be possible for every Australian traveller to get home until the travel restrictions are lifted.
In some cases, particularly if you’re living and working overseas long-term, you may have the support, accommodation and income you need to remain where you are through this period.
If, for whatever reason, you’re staying somewhere longer than you planned:
- follow the advice of local authorities
- subscribe to news and the travel advice for your location
- follow your local Australian embassy or high commission on social media; and register with them if they have called for it
- make arrangements for an extended stay
- take care to minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19
- COVID-19 - what to do when you can't get home
- COVID-19 - advice for Australians living, working or studying overseas
Our ability to provide our usual consular services in many places is limited during this time. In some countries, our embassy buildings are closed to the public or offering limited consultations by appointment only. This is due to tight restrictions on local services and movement, including of our embassy staff.
While we can’t always get out and about in the way we normally would, rest assured our staff are hard at work behind the scenes. We’re focused on sharing the most up-to-date local advice and information for Australians, providing consular and passport services in situations of genuine need and working with other governments on the international effort to combat COVID-19.
The Foreign Minister decided on 26 March to direct the departure to Australia of all remaining dependants and non-essential staff from a number of Australian embassies and high commissions in countries where there is significant pressure on local health systems and reducing transport links. This will not affect the provision of services to Australians in these locations.
Travel plans in the coming months?
If you have future travel planned or are considering going overseas, cancel or postpone these plans. A ban is in place. The risks to your health and that of others is too great.
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.
See our Travelling by boat page for further information.
For non-urgent inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For urgent consular assistance, contact your nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate or call DFAT’s Consular Emergency Centre on 1300 555 135 from Australia or +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas.