COVID-19 Information

Last updated: September 23, 2021

***All airline passengers to the United States aged two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.

 

Country-Specific Information:

  • Australia has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
  • There are reported fatalities from COVID-19 within Australia.

The Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory for Australia of Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions. Travel and movement restrictions vary by location. U.S. citizens should be prepared for restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice.

 

COVID-19 Testing:

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Australia? Yes
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes

COVID-19 tests are free for individuals with even mild symptoms and all possible contacts of known positive cases. (If you get tested at a public health facility, mobile testing center, or doctor that offers bulk billing, you won’t have to pay for the test. You may have to pay to see your doctor if they don’t offer bulk billing, but the actual test is free.) Tests are carried out by health authorities in each state and territory. Find more information about testing locations here.

COVID-19 testing for travel clearance purposes is conducted at private pathology clinics only. Charges apply for COVID-19 testing services for travel. Please search here for a pathology clinic near you.

Most people who are not eligible for Medicare in Australia will have health or travel insurance. If you do not have adequate insurance cover, some states and territories will waive healthcare costs associated with COVID-19 if a person is treated in a state- or territory-run health facility. This is to ensure payment issues are not a barrier for people from overseas with symptoms seeking early medical advice. Ask your doctor or local hospital for more information.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Information:

  • Has the government of Australia approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes
  • Are vaccines available in Australia for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes
  • Which vaccines are available in Australia? Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna

The Australia Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has provisionally approved the COVID-19 vaccines listed above for use in Australia. Janssen has also been provisionally approved, but is not yet included in Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination program. The Australian government began administering vaccines to the initial priority groups in February 2021. Vaccines are voluntary, universal, and free for all, including Australian citizens, permanent residents, and temporary visa holders. Find more information from the Australian government about COVID-19 vaccines, including the approval process and vaccine rollout, here.

 

Entry and Exit Requirements:

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? Yes
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? Yes

Australia has enacted a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens entering Australia. Individuals may request exceptions to the entry restrictions at this link.

The Australian government requires all individuals traveling to or transiting through Australia, with limited exceptions, to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test at time of check-in. The test must be taken 72 hours or less prior to departure. Additionally, masks are mandatory for passengers and crew on all international and domestic flights.

Quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia is suspended as of 11:59 pm (NZT) on July 23, 2021. The suspension will be reviewed in November. Normal Australian visa requirements will apply. Travelers returning to New Zealand from Australia will be required to comply with New Zealand’s travel requirements.

The Australian government is restricting Australian citizens and permanent residents from traveling overseas, with some exceptions. Dual U.S.-Australian citizens and U.S. citizen permanent residents of Australia are not exempt from this rule and may be prevented from boarding flights if they do not meet the exception guidelines. Individuals may request exceptions to the exit restrictions at this link.

Foreign nationals transiting through Australia to another country do not need to apply for an exemption to travel restrictions if they are booked to depart on a connecting flight within 72 hours. Travelers must follow the quarantine requirements in the state or territory that they arrive in. They may need to stay in hotel accommodation and may be asked to pay for their stay while awaiting their onward flight. If a traveler intends to spend more than 72 hours in Australia waiting for a connecting flight, they are not considered to be transiting Australia and will need to request an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions.

The Australian government has announced changes to certain types of temporary entry visas due to COVID-19. Please read the announcement here. Visit the Home Affairs website for information about all visa types and for further information on the entry and exit requirements.

The Government of Norfolk Island requires all travelers obtain a Norfolk Island Entry Pass 24 to 72 hours before scheduled flight departure. Travelers from certain areas of Australia are not permitted entry to Norfolk Island or may be required to quarantine at personal expense upon arrival. Please check the Norfolk Island COVID-19 website for updated information.

 

Movement Restrictions:

  • Is a curfew in place? Yes
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? Yes

Measures in Australia to limit the spread of COVID-19 vary by state and territory. Please check the individual state and territory websites for further information on restrictions. State and local authorities may levy fines on and/or arrest individuals not following physical distancing or other orders. Be prepared for measures in all Australian states and territories to change at any time:

  • The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) is under a lockdown order until at least midnight October 15, 2021. Check the ACT government website for more details. Travel Restrictions are in place from COVID-19 affected areas. ACT residents travelling from affected areas must complete a travel declaration form at least 24 hours prior to entry and follow ACT government instructions upon return to the ACT. Non-ACT residents who have been in the affected areas may not visit the ACT unless they have an exemption. U.S. citizens should read and follow public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures.
  • The state of New South Wales (NSW) has imposed a lockdown order in the Greater Sydney Area, as well as in regional and rural NSW. Check the NSW COVID-19 page for detailed information. Entry to NSW from affected areas is restricted. Those traveling from affected areas must complete a self-declaration and follow all NSW guidelines on testing and/or isolation upon entry. U.S. citizens should read and follow public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures.
  • All travelers to the Northern Territory must complete a border entry form. Entry is prohibited from current hotspots or public exposure sites without a prior approved exemption attached to your border entry form. U.S. citizens should read and follow the territory’s COVID-related public guidelines regard physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures.
  • The state of Queensland  has COVID-19-related guidelines in place, including restrictions on movement and mask wearing requirements. See the Queensland Government website for more information. Queensland has entry restrictions for individuals who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot. U.S. citizens should read and follow the state’s COVID-related public health directions.
  • All travelers to South Australia must complete a cross border travel registration, which will determine if a traveler is able to enter without restriction or is required to self-quarantine. U.S. citizens should read and follow the state’s COVID-related public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures.
  • All travelers to Tasmania must register online. The areas where travelers have spent time prior to arriving in Tasmania determine conditions of their entry and any possible quarantine (fees can apply). U.S. citizens should read and follow the state’s COVID-related public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and health and safety measures
  • All travelers to Victoria must obtain a travel permit, which will determine if any restrictions apply. U.S. citizens should read and follow the state’s COVID-related public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures. The cities of Greater Geelong, Surf Coast and Mitchell Shire entered a 7-day lockdown at 11:59 PM on Sunday, September 19, 2021. The lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne continues, with some easing of restrictions. The curfew for the Melbourne metropolitan area continues from 9 PM to 5 AM every night.
  • The government of Western Australia (WA) has enacted a controlled interstate border arrangement. All travelers must register online before traveling to Western Australia. The areas where travelers have spent time prior to arriving in Western Australia determine conditions of their entry and any possible quarantine, vaccination, and/or COVID-19 testing requirements. For further details and information about exemptions and public guidelines regarding physical distancing, face coverings, and other health and safety measures, please see the WA website.

 

Quarantine Information:

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? Yes

All travelers entering Australia from overseas will be quarantined in a hotel or designated facility for 14 days. Travelers are required to undertake their mandatory 14-day quarantine at their port of entry. Travelers will be transported directly to designated facilities as determined by the relevant state and territory government (for example, a hotel) after appropriate immigration, customs, and enhanced health checks. Each state and territory will charge international arrivals for the cost of their quarantine accommodations. State and local authorities are levying fines on individuals not following quarantine and self-isolation guidelines.

 

Transportation Options:

  • Are commercial flights operating? Yes, with significant restrictions
  • Is public transportation operating? Yes

International commercial flight options currently exist in Australia:

  • United Airlines is operating daily flights from Sydney to San Francisco, and flights from Sydney to Los Angeles five times per week.
  • Delta Airlines is operating flights from Sydney to Los Angeles six times per week.

Masks are mandatory for passengers and crew on all international and domestic flights.

Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. Australia has limited the numbers of inbound passengers on international flights. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline or travel insurer.

Public transportation systems are operating. Rules regarding physical distancing and mask requirements vary by location.

 

Fines for Non-Compliance:

State and local authorities may levy fines on and/or arrest individuals not following physical distancing, mask requirements, self-isolation, or other orders.

 

Consular Operations:

  • The U.S. Consulate General in Perth is offering all routine passport, citizenship, and notarial services.
  • The U.S. Consulate General in Sydney has suspended all routine services due to the stay-at-home order in Greater Sydney and NSW. U.S. Citizens in need of critical emergency services should contact SydneyACS@state.gov.
  • The U.S. Consulate General in Melbourne is limited to emergency services only, due to movement restrictions in the state of Victoria. U.S. citizens in need of critical emergency services should contact MelbourneACS@state.gov.

Appointments are available only for applicants who require an in-person interview. U.S. citizens who require travel documents sooner than the current processing time should contact their nearest consulate to request an emergency passport appointment if an appointment is not available in the system within their travel timeframe.

Additional information on visa services and restrictions relating to COVID-19 is available here.

 

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