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
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.
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.