Australia Reconsiders Travel Restrictions to stop Covid19. Managing the health risks and effectively supporting the economy at the same time had been a major challenge to the government thus far. Covid-19 restrictions, including border restrictions, have negatively impacted various sectors of the Australian economy. Aviation, tourism, entertainment and universities are some of them.
The 3-Step Framework towards a CovidSafe Australia
The 3rd step of this framework, which has December 2020 as its target date, outlines the following;
- Domestic Border Restrictions
Interstate travel is open and domestic border restrictions will be removed. Further, free movement between areas with no community transmission of Covid-19 should be permitted.
- International Travel
Quarantine free international travel with New Zealand and other low-risk international partners will be implemented. Further, international student and seasonal worker pilot programmes will expand.
For more information, please visit; www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2020/10/framework-for-national-reopening-october-2020.pdf
Easing of International Travel Restrictions
News of a vaccination breakthrough has brought forward the ease of restrictions on international and domestic travel. Earlier, this was assumed to be in the latter part of 2021.
Australia has already permitted New Zealand residents to travel to certain states without quarantine. Ways of expanding this travel bubble to other countries that have effectively controlled the pandemic are currently being considered. Japan, Korea, Pacific Island nations, Taiwan, Provinces of China and Singapore are some of the countries considered to be of low risk. Australia Reconsiders Travel Restrictions.
Re-opening of the State and Territory Borders Australia Reconsiders Travel Restrictions.
The following is the present status of the state/territory border restrictions in Australia;
Beginning November 14th, interstate travel to WA is permitted. However, the following are to be adhered;
- Travellers from any “low risk” State or Territory should record a 14-day rolling average of less than 5 community virus cases daily.
- These travellers must self-quarantine for 14 days and be present for a Covid-19 test on Day 11 (if still in WA).
- Travellers from “very low risk” States and Territories with no community cases in 28 days, are not required to meet state quarantine requirements.
- Travellers need to apply for a “good to go” pass.
- Regional border restrictions will be maintained for remote Aboriginal community areas.
- Queensland (QLD):
Beginning November 3rd, interstate travel to QLD is permitted. However, the following is applicable;
- Travellers who have been to a declared Covid hot-spot in the last 14 days will not be permitted.
- Transits through Covid-19 hot-spots may be permitted and other exceptions may apply.
- Travellers must complete a QLD Border Declaration Pass 3 days before arrival and agree to Covid-19 tests.
- Quarantine requirements depend on whether the traveller has been overseas or in a Covid-19 hot-spot, has Covid-19 symptoms or has been in contact with an infected person.
- New South Wales (NSW):
- The NSW state border is open to all travellers presently. Beginning November 23rd, the border between NSW and VIC has been re-opened too.
- Interstate travellers to NSW must apply for an NSW Border Entry Permit.
- Victoria (VIC):
Interstate travel to VIC is permitted. No permit is required and state quarantine does not apply.
- Travellers must adhere to directions that help slow the spread of Covid-19, including wearing a mask in public.
- South Australia (SA):
Interstate travel to SA is permitted. However, the following are to be adhered to;
- Travellers from VIC must meet separate eligibility criteria to enter, including state quarantine.
- Transits by flight through VIC is not permitted, while transits by car via approved roads may be permitted.
- Travellers must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration at least 14 days prior to travel.
- Australian Capital Territory (ACT):
Interstate travel to ACT is permitted. Beginning November 23rd, the ACT-Victoria border has been re-opened. However, the following are applicable;
- Travellers from Victoria who are granted a State Travel Exemption need to meet state quarantine requirements.
- Northern Territory (NT):
Interstate travel to NT is permitted. However, the following are to be adhered;
- A Border Entry Form must be completed no more than 7 days before arrival.
- State quarantine is required for travellers who have recently been in an active declared Covid-19 hot-spot.
- Tasmania (TAS):
Interstate travel to TAS is permitted. However certain risk categories apply;
- Travellers from “low risk” areas such as NSW, QLD, WA, SA, ACT and NT can enter without state quarantine requirements.
- Travellers from “medium risk” and “high risk” areas must meet state quarantine requirements.
- Essential travellers may be exempted from these requirements. Other exceptions may apply too.
- VIC has been considered as a “low risk” area since November 27th.
- Travellers need to apply for a “good to go” pass and register their details via the Tas-e-Travel system.