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When will international travel resume in Australia and what will it look like

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Hello world, it’s nice to see you again! We’ve been patient, and these past 2 years haven’t been easy, but the time has come – the return of international travel is here.

After closing in March 2020, the Australian government finally reopened our international border on 1 November, allowing fully vaccinated Australians to leave the country and travel abroad with the peace of mind that they will be able to easily return home whenever they please. And from the 21st February 2022, all double-vaccinated travellers from across the globe will also be able to join us in the land down under!

We’ve already seen emotional reunions, epic holiday snaps, and travel experiences worthy of telling the grandkids about someday all over our Insta feeds. So, we wouldn’t be surprised if you’re ready to get back to travel too. But first, there are a few things you need to know before you start booking your next trip, like who can travel, where you can go and importantly, when. Luckily, we’ve got the deets ready for you.

Leaving Australia? Here’s what you’ll need.

Passport?* Check. Camera? Check. Suitcase full of killer holiday outfits? Check. It’s a good start, but make sure you also check off the criteria below before you go planning your upcoming escape.

*Make sure your passport still has at least six months left before it expires, and if you need to renew it, make that a priority, stat!

Are you eligible to travel without an exemption?

Australian citizens and permanent residents, as well as travellers included in other exempt categories, like eligible visa holders, now have the green light to travel internationally from Australia. If you fit into one of these categories, you must be fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine will be able to leave (and return to) Australia. The current list of TGA vaccines include Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Coronavac, Covaxin, and Covishield.

Do you have an internationally recognised vaccination certificate?

The ‘Vaccine Passport’ will be used to prove your vaccination status when you travel overseas. Officially known as the International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate, this document can be downloaded from your myGov account.

Have you received a negative COVID-19 test?

Before you fly, you may need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. This involves a swab sample of the nose and/or throat. It’s now super common to be required in many countries upon departure and arrival when travelling internationally. Australia doesn’t require proof of a negative test to leave the country, however the country you are travelling to may have testing requirements, so be sure to check this in the days before your flight.

Where in Australia can you depart from now? 

Selfies in front of Sydney International Airport’s iconic ‘Departures’ sign are back with a vengeance. Sydney is Australia’s main hub for international travel, with the majority of overseas flights departing from and arriving into the harbour city. Melbourne International Airport and Brisbane Airport are also open for overseas travel. Other states and territories may have to wait a little longer for international flights to resume, and domestic border restrictions will play a significant role in determining how connecting flights will be planned and managed throughout Australia.

Which countries can you fly to now?

While the Australian government hasn’t outlined any restrictions on countries you’ll be allowed to travel to once international borders open, there are a few factors that will influence your choice of holiday destination, including: what countries borders are open; their quarantine requirements; and the availability of flights from Australia.

Los Angeles, California

Image source:Contiki

Qantas has announced the revival of international travel with their Sydney-London and Sydney-Los Angeles routes, operating multiple return flights weekly to both destinations. Planes soaring out of Sydney International Airport recently have been on route to destinations like Tokyo, Singapore, Phuket, San Francisco, Delhi, and Manila.

Travel bubbles for quarantine-free travel are open between Australia and Singapore, Japan and South Korea. Australians can travel to Fiji, Thailand and Sri Lanka quarantine free, with more countries being added to this list frequently. We’ll keep an eye out for these announcements, and in the meantime, we suggest you keep an eye on what amazing experiences are waiting for you in these awesome destinations!

What about arriving back in Australia? 

Will there still be caps on international arrivals?

Great news! Arrival caps have been lifted. Airlines have begun to increase their scheduled flights on popular routes, and the price of international flights will become much more affordable.

What are the COVID-19 test requirements?

Before you hop on the plane home, you’ll need to return a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before your scheduled departure.

Australia Travel Declaration

You must complete the Australia Travel Declaration before travelling to Australia, at least 72 hours before your international flight.

What about quarantine requirements? 

Fully vaccinated international travellers are currently required to self-isolate upon arrival in NSW, VIC and QLD until receiving a negative result from a rapid antigen test or PCR test. For other states and territories, a mix of either self-isolation or hotel quarantine still applies, so it’s best to check the latest information for each region.

14 days hotel quarantine will still be required for unvaccinated travellers at their own expense.

When will Australia open its borders for tourists?

In 2019 (aka the good old days), Australia welcomed 9.5 million international visitors to our sunny shores. But entry has recently only been permitted for citizens, residents and their families.

It’s been a long few years, but the wait is nearly over. The Australian PM Scott Morrison has announced that Australia will allow ALL double-vaccinated foreign travellers to visit the country from the 21st of February 2022.

We know that Australia is extremely high on the bucket-list for many travellers, so we’re pretty stoked to finally see it open up again for international tourists again this year!

Travelling overseas with Contiki

Your wellbeing is a top priority, and to deliver a seamless travel experience, all travelers booked with Contiki are required to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel with us. This policy is effective immediately for travel through December 31, 2022. For more information on Contiki’s Vaccination Policy visit our website.

Information correct as of 8 February 2022. Stay tuned for further updates.

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