Sydney Opera House

After a soap opera of changes, shifts and brutal lockdowns, Australia is now open to foreign visitors. The only catch? All visitors must be fully vaccinated.

Flights to this ever popular paradise of the South Pacific are flying full and people are making plans to take advantage of open borders for the first time in years, but there is quite a bit to know, before heading for the airport.

If you’re planning a trip to Australia, here’s the latest on border rules and what you will need to get on board a flight.

Australia Opened On February 21st, 2022

“If you’re double vaccinated, we look forward to welcoming you back,”

Scott Morrison, the embattled Prime Minister of Australia, doubled down on his earlier words about reopening and went ahead and did it. Foreign visitors who could enter without arranging a visa in advance before, can do so again now.

February 21st, 2022 saw Australia open for the first leisure travel arrivals, and the initial response has been huge.

Yep, if you’re fully vaccinated and didn’t need to apply for a visa to enter before the pandemic, you can once again visit. “The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it,” Morrison told CNN.

Entry Requirements Four Australia

Despite many countries recently dropping Covid-19 related testing restrictions for entry, Australia is open, but hasn’t gone that far. Tests are still required in advance of travel, even for fully vaccinated visitors.

Western Australia remains a hold out to quarantine free entry, but with the majority of travelers landing in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra or Adelaide, travelers will likely prioritize the East and South until that changes.

The news is an exciting development on what was already a notable step change from what has been one of the world’s most “locked down” countries.

For a full rundown on testing requirements and vaccination proof, always use official resources to validate what you’ve heard, like this page from the Australian Federal Government.

Currently, the testing options to enter Australia are as follows…

You can enter Australia with proof of vaccination and either…

1) evidence of a negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test or other Nucleic Acid Amplification Test  (NAAT) taken within 3 days of your flight’s scheduled departure, or

2) a medical certificate as evidence of a negative Rapid Antigen Test taken under medical supervision within 24 hours before your flight’s scheduled departure to Australia.Australian Federal Government

Image by Patty Jansen from Pixabay

Qantas, Australia’s flag carrier airline, recently began reopening lounges at most international outposts ahead of the announcement and is now poised to capture a powerful flow of reopening traffic.

If you’re going, don’t forget out guides to hotspots like Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane or Adelaide, seems happy to never open borders again.

Image by Kon Karampelas from Pixabay

Start Planning Australia Trips?

Queensland, which is the perfect jumping off point for easy Great Barrier Reef access is putting $1 billion into protecting the reef and making the experience more enjoyable and sustainable than ever this year.

And of course, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide continue to be among the most compelling cities in the world. Australia was always worth the trip, and after two years locked out, it’s more meaningful than ever. So, time to plan? Probably, yes!

Some airlines are still offering flexibility on tickets. Some hotels are still keeping flexible rates at lower prices, to help people book with confidence. Booking with points almost always means cheap and easy cancellation for any reason, if you can’t go as planned.

Australia is open again with fairly reasonable entry protocols, so whether you visit or not is totally up to you.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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24 Comments

  1. Would be nice if they reopen without quarantine for vaccinated travelers. In fact, how about vaccinated travelers only?

  2. They practice medical segregation, so, ~50% of the world will not be allowed to visit.

    I have a lot of business work in AUS and NZL, and it’s a shame to not visit again.
    We’re working to pull business ties from there, bring it back to the US.

    Can’t be supporting segregation in 2022. No sir, we don’t believe in that.

  3. Western Australia hasn’t been locked down at all. Our lives have been blessed for the last few years. We’ve just locked arrivals out to protect our COVID FREE lifestyle. So yet again,Fake News. Our great mineral and agricultural wealth has allowed us to live a blessed life.

      1. We’ve locked you out to protect our lifestyle. The majority of Western Australia residents support this policy. You just want in but we will not let you in.

        1. There were 19 local cases of Covid in WA yesterday. If Australia opens its borders internationally by July 2022 as planned, the WA border will have already opened before then – the Premier says he will open WA’s border once the booster rates are 80%, which WA is on track to do by May/June. If Covid keeps spreading in WA, it will likely be sooner.

  4. Further more, people have always been allowed to depart Western Australia, we just don’t allow them to return so our lifestyle is protected.

    1. Do you speak for the other 2.8 million Western Australian prisoners, 35% of which were born overseas and have not seen their family’s for 2 years.

  5. That’s the weakness of mankind having this desire to be so connected to each other. The virus loves that weakness so spreads like wildfire through communities. I haven’t seen my family is their war cry. Well, leave Western Australia, you just can’t back in so the majority can continue to enjoy our blessed lifestyle.

    1. The tourism industry in Australia doesn’t share your opinion. Ask Virgin Australia if Chapter 15 bankruptcy was part of their master plan. Australia tourism is a $50B/year industry and 32,000 tourism related companies are at risk of failing. But yes, take great comfort in a policy that doesn’t work (it hasn’t prevented COVID cases from reaching Australia) but is successful at wiping out a lot of businesses and livelihoods.

  6. The tourist industry has been well supported by ScoMo and has had many good years with high tourist numbers. Safety and the good health of the community comes before tourism. Lock down policies have worked well in Western Australia to control the spread of COVID.

  7. I haven’t been able to visit our son and his family for over 2 years. It is unfair that they said they were opening Western Australia on 5th February and I had booked to arrive on 7th February only to be told 2 weeks before that they had cancelled the opening. My husband and `I are fully vaccinated with boosters and nearing 80 years old, will we ever see our grandchildren again?

  8. Unfortunately there are a lot of people like this wanker. It’s pretty much all the left-wing states that think this is ok, while holding out their other hand expecting the Federal Government to pay for the damage they have done (it will take 100 years to pay off the bill from the lockdowns). Seems that something like this brings out the worst in people. AA56 is a wonderful example of that.

  9. Western Australia has it’s own massive mineral wealth and has propped up the whole Australian economy during this time. As I’ve already said this burning desire to be so connected with each other is mankind’s greatest weakness. The borders stay firmly closed to protect our lifestyle.

  10. @AA57
    It’s a great nation if we can continue to fight to keep them out, otherwise we will have a death toll like the USA with over 920,000 dead and counting. Mark McGowan needs to be our Prime Minister so the borders stay firmly closed to any arrivals.

  11. Impossible, because you’ll be met by the Police who will ask to see your G2G approval. No approval, you’ll be taken into custody and charged. There are only a couple of roads into Western Australia and all controlled by our awesome Police Officers. A few people have tried your idea and have all been given a custodial sentence. Good luck!!

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