Australia travel ban: Can I travel to Australia? When will restrictions lift?

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Australia has managed to keep its coronavirus infection rate fairly low throughout the pandemic.

The country has a total of 27,182 cases, with only 897 deaths.

Australia has seen two peaks in coronavirus, the first in March and the second in August.

Since September 4, the country has managed to keep its daily reported cases below 100 and reported just eight new cases on October 7.

Does this mean Australia has reopened its borders? explains all you need to know.

Can I travel to Australia?

At present, most Brits cannot travel to Australia.

Entry to the country is closed to everyone except Australian citizens and permanent residence or those with an exemption.

If you have an immediate family member who is an Australian citizen or permanent resident of Australia, you may be able to enter the country.

You are only considered to be an immediate family member if you are a spouse, a de facto partner, a dependent child, or a legal guardian.

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Australian citizens, including dual nationals, and permanent residents are stuck in Australia and need an exemption to leave unless ordinarily resident in a country outside of Australia.

You can’t enter Australia at present unless you are in an exempt category or have been granted an exemption to the restrictions.

You are automatically exempt from the restrictions and can enter Australia if you are:

  • an Australian citizen
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident*
  • a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members
  • a diplomat accredited to Australia (holding a subclass 995 visa)
  • a traveller transiting Australia for 72 hours or less
  • airline crew
  • maritime crew including marine pilots
  • recruited under the Government approved Seasonal Worker Program or Pacific Labour Scheme
  • holder of a Business Innovation and Investment (subclass 188) visa

You can normally get an exemption approval within seven days but sometimes it takes longer.

You can apply for an exemption through the online portal.

The entry requirements in Australia are much stricter than in other countries.

You’ll need to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designed facility such as a hotel as soon as you arrive.

This isn’t paid for by the Government, you would have to fund this two-week stay yourself.

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When will restrictions lift?

Australia’s travel ban is currently in place until December 17 but will be extended if the Government deem it unsafe to lift it.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has suggested the country will start reopening its borders to safe locations such as New Zealand, Japan, and some Pacific islands.

Australian Federal Budget papers have said international travel will “remain low” until next year, and social distancing will be used until the end of this year at least.

It isn’t certain when Australia will lift its restrictions and allow people from the UK and the rest of Europe into the country.

Morrison said last week: “I think home quarantine can play a role in the future and it’s something that is being considered by the AHPPC (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee

“We will need a more flexible approach that gives us more options for managing this, so that is something that is under active consideration.”

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