April 6, 2020
The Department of State has issued a Global Level 4 Health Advisory for COVID-19. Travelers should be prepared for travel restrictions to be put into effect with little or no advance notice. U.S. citizens who are considering returning to the United States are urged to work with their airlines to make travel arrangements while flights are still available, even via circuitous routes. United Airlines is currently operating daily flights from Sydney to San Francisco; Qantas and Virgin Australia are operating weekly flights from Brisbane to Los Angeles April 8-30. Many travelers worldwide have reported unexpected flight cancellations and limited flight availability. If your travel has been disrupted, please contact your airline.
The Department of State has reduced operations due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Effective April 9, 2020, the U.S. Mission to Australia will only offer emergency citizenship services. Routine and mail-in passport and citizenship applications will not be processed. Please contact your closest consulate to request an emergency citizenship service. For further details, please see our announcement regarding a Reduction in Services.
- Australia has confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its borders.
- There are reported fatalities from COVID-19 within Australia.
- Flight availability into and out of Australia is extremely limited due to some airlines suspending international flights.
The government of Australia has implemented measures to limit the spread of COVID-19:
- Public gatherings, excluding household members, have been reduced to a maximum of two people. Check State and Territory websites for further enforcement information.
- Everyone should stay home unless you are: shopping for essentials, receiving medical care, exercising or travelling to work or education.
- People aged over 70, aged over 60 with pre-existing conditions, or Indigenous people aged over 50 should stay home wherever possible for their own protection.
- All non-urgent elective surgeries are temporarily suspended.
- Please refer to official recommendations to protect yourself and others and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Visit the Australian government COVID-19 website for updated information. State and local authorities are levying fines on individuals and businesses not following new social distancing guidelines.
The governments of nearly all states and territories of Australia have implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Visit the website of each state or territory’s government for additional information on these new measures, and be prepared for measures in all Australian states and territories to change at any time:
- All non-Queensland residents will require a state approved permit to enter Queensland starting midnight, April 3, 2020. Apply for a permit at qld.gov.au/border-pass. Queensland requires all non-essential arrivals from interstate or overseas to quarantine for 14 days. There are exemptions for border communities.
- The government of Western Australia (WA) has announced the temporary closure of the Western Australian border and tighter restrictions for the Kimberly region. There are also restrictions on travel within WA. For further details and information about exemptions, please see the WA website.
- The Northern Territory requires all non-essential arrivals from interstate or overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days. Please be aware that from midnight Friday, April 3, 2020, domestic and international arrivals will be required to pay for their accommodation and food (which could amount to AUD $2,500 per room).
- South Australia requires all non-essential arrivals from interstate or overseas to self-quarantine for 14 days.
- Tasmania requires all non-essential arrivals from interstate or overseas to self-isolate for 14 days. Tasmania has also determined that only residents or essential travelers will be allowed entry; non-residents will be directed to their port of departure or directed to government-provided accommodation for self-isolation.
- Effective immediately, the states of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, the Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory require non-essential services to be suspended.
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.
Entry and Exit Requirements:
Australia announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens entering Australia that went into effect on Friday, March 20, 2020; this also applies to those transiting Australia. 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 entry and exit restrictions at this link.
The Government of Norfolk Island announced a travel ban is in place in relation to passenger arrivals to the island until April 17. Only residents and essential staff will be able to travel to Norfolk Island until further notice, and anyone returning to the island will need to self-isolate for 14 days once on island.
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 self-isolation 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. Authorities are urging the families and friends of travelers returning to Australia not to come to the airport to greet those travelers. There are no areas in the airport to see or make contact with returned travelers.
State and local authorities are levying fines on individuals not following quarantine and self-isolation guidelines.
- View U.S. Mission Australia Most Recent Alerts
- Australian government COVID-19 page
- Department of Home Affairs COVID-19 resources
- Department of Health COVID-19 resources
- Smartraveller resources
- Download the official Australian government “Coronavirus Australia” app in the Apple App Store or Google Play, or join the official Australian government COVID-19 WhatsApp channel on iOS or Android.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- travel.state.gov Country Information and Travel Advisory page
- Global Health Alert
- U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Citizen Services: 888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444.