Last updated: January 20, 2021
*** Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages 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.
- 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 2: Exercise Increased Caution. 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.
- 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 everyone. (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. Individuals are informed of their test results by text message; travelers to the U.S. must request a test result that meets the CDC requirements for entry.
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? No
- The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas. Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination.
- Find more information from the Australian government about COVID-19 vaccines, including the approval process and vaccine rollout, here.
- Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
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
Starting January 22 (local time at departure point), the Australian government will require that all individuals traveling to or transiting through Australia, with limited exceptions, 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.
Australia has announced quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia. Travelers must have been in New Zealand for at least 14 days before travel, possess the appropriate Australian visa, and complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before departure. Normal Australian visa requirements will apply and 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.
- Is a curfew in place? No
- 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) has imposed travel restrictions for COVID-19 affected areas. Residents travelling from affected areas must complete a travel declaration form at least 24 hours prior to entry and quarantine 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.
- There are currently no restrictions for entry to New South Wales (NSW) from other states and territories. 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. Arrivals must complete 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine at personal expense if they have recently been in an active declared hotspot.
- 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.
- 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).
- All travelers to Victoria must obtain a travel permit. U.S. citizens should read and follow the state’s COVID-related public health directions, which include specific requirements for face masks in Victoria.
- 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 and/or COVID-19 testing requirements. For further details and information about exemptions, please see the WA website.
- 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.
Australia has announced quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes, with some 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.
- American Airlines is operating flights from Sydney to Los Angeles four times per week.
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.
The Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth are offering routine passport and Consular Report of Birth Abroad services by mail and appointment. Appointments are available only for applicants who require an in-person interview. U.S. citizens who require documents sooner than current processing time should contact their nearest consulate to request an emergency passport appointment. The Consulates in Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth are offering loss of nationality services.
Notary services are available at the Consulates in Perth and Sydney. Notary services are not available at the Consulate in Melbourne, nor at the Embassy in Canberra. Please refer to our website for information on the alternate option of using an Australian Notary Public if acceptable to the receiver of your documents.
Additional information on visa services and restrictions relating to COVID-19, including the suspension of routine visa appointments, is available here.
- 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
- U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Citizen Services: 888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s website on COVID-19-related fraud