- General advice
- Advice for vaccinated travellers
- Advice for unvaccinated travellers
- International border requirements and travel disruptions
- Returning to Australia including PCR testing and quarantine
- Next steps
COVID-19 remains an ongoing global health risk
Despite increasing vaccination numbers, countries and territories continue to experience sudden outbreaks of disease. New variants may pose an added risk.
If you’re thinking of travelling overseas, it’s important you understand the risks of contracting COVID-19 in your destination, the financial implications this may have on you and those travelling with you and what to do if you test positive while travelling. You’ll also need to understand the requirements for returning to Australia.
You need to take special care when travelling. Infectious diseases, including COVID-19 can have a serious impact on your health. Healthcare systems in other destinations can be quickly overwhelmed in an outbreak, making them harder to access for any health concern.
Follow local health advice and continue to take simple hygiene and infectious disease control steps, such as:
- wearing a mask
- frequently washing your hands
- physical distancing.
Plan your travel carefully. Read our travel advice to check the risks and requirements specific to your destination. We continue to monitor the situation closely. Subscribe to Smartraveller for updates to stay informed if something changes.
Advice for vaccinated travellers
We encourage all travellers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before travelling anywhere overseas. By Australian international travel standards, individuals are fully vaccinated seven days after they have received their second dose of a TGA approved or recognised vaccine (or first dose if it's a one dose regime), with doses spread at least 14 days apart. Definitions of fully vaccinated vary for each country. Check the rules for each country you're visiting.
Vaccines provide protection, but there’s still a risk of you contracting the virus. When travelling:
- follow local public health orders
- monitor for symptoms
- wear masks as advised and in appropriate settings
- practise good hand hygiene
- get tested if symptomatic
Health advice is continually changing as we learn more about COVID-19. Rules and restrictions to prevent outbreaks can change quickly. It’s important to regularly check the rules in the destinations you’re travelling to, as well as the requirements at the Australian border. These may differ between state and territory jurisdictions.
Advice for unvaccinated travellers
You’re at greater risk of contracting COVID-19 if you’re unvaccinated. Sudden outbreaks of COVID-19 pose an added risk to you, particularly in destinations with low vaccination coverage. Health services can also be difficult to access.
You should reconsider your need to travel if you’re:
- not vaccinated against COVID-19
- ineligible for vaccination because of age
- medically exempt from vaccination
If you still choose to travel, take all possible precautions to avoid contracting the virus. This may include:
- avoiding crowds
- limiting social interactions, particularly in indoor settings
- ensuring social physical distancing
- monitoring for symptoms
- correctly wearing a mask at all times
- exercising frequent and good hand hygiene
- getting tested if you have symptoms
Some destinations have different rules for vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers.
Given the evolving situation, and the speed at which outbreaks can occur, it’s important that you closely monitor the COVID-19 situation in destinations you’re travelling to.
If you’re unvaccinated you may also be subject to different requirements at the Australian border. This may differ depending on state and territory jurisdiction.
International border requirements and travel disruptions
Every country or territory decides who can enter and leave through its borders. Entry and exit rules can change at short notice. You may need to show proof of vaccination as a condition of entry, and to access venues overseas. You may also need to quarantine or provide negative COVID-19 tests. Some destinations remain closed to foreign visitors.
Even though global travel is opening up again, there’s still a risk you’ll experience travel disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
You may find it difficult to access COVID-19 testing facilities overseas, which may impact upon your ability to board your return or onwards flight.
Flights to some destinations are still limited and may be expensive. They could be cancelled at short notice.
Foreign governments may put movement restrictions in place that prevent you from leaving. If you, or someone in your travelling group, test positive to COVID-19 you may be required to quarantine at your own expense. Be prepared for the possibility you may be in your destination longer than planned.
It's your responsibility to learn about all the destinations you're visiting and plan for your safety. This includes entry requirements and understanding any risks. It's also your responsibility to stay informed, in case things change.
Returning to Australia
You still need to get tested for COVID-19 to return to Australia, even if you’re vaccinated. To board a flight to Australia, you must provide evidence of a negative PCR test result. The test must be taken within 3 days of the scheduled departure time of your first international flight. There are exemptions and modifications for certain circumstances.
You may find it difficult to access COVID-19 testing overseas within a 3 day window, which may impact your ability to board a flight to return to Australia.
Restrictions on arrival may vary depending on which state or territory you arrive in. There may still be caps on international arrivals. You may need to quarantine when you arrive. It's important to check the restrictions that will apply to you on return - before you decide to travel and while you're away as they may change suddenly.
Read more about Australia’s re-entry measures.
- Read our travel advice for the most up-to-date information on entry measures and local risks.
- Subscribe for updates to stay informed and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
- Make sure you know the facts about COVID-19.
- Visit the Smartraveller COVID-19 portal for the latest information on leaving Australia and re-entry measures.
- Check with your state or territory government for quarantine arrangements.
- If you’re fully vaccinated, you’ll need an International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.
- If you're unvaccinated, read the requirements to apply for an exemption to travel.
- Check your travel insurance policy to see what’s covered, particularly in the event your travel is disrupted or there’s a change in travel advice level.
The Australian Government continues to monitor the international health situation, both for COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. This is to make sure we can respond quickly and effectively to any emerging new health risks.
- Advice for international travellers (Department of Health)
- COVID-19 and the border (Department of Home Affairs)
- State and territory COVID-19 rules and requirements (Australian Government)