COVID-19 and consular services overseas
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. The health and wellbeing of Australians overseas, including our staff, is our highest priority. Arrangements are in place to continue to assist those in genuine need.
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.
If you’ve decided to return to Australia and you’re concerned about whether you can due to border restrictions or flight cancellations, first try to contact your travel agent, accommodation and transportation providers before contacting the embassy, high commission or consulate. Stay in touch with your friends and family to let them know what the situation is.
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.
If you have concerns for your safety or wellbeing or require an emergency passport, email the Australian mission responsible for your location, or contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 to discuss your situation and receive further advice.