Travel Restrictions | COVID-19

20/03/2020

Latest Updates:

From 21:00 AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.

From 23:59 AEDT on 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Some exemptions are in place. Please check back regularly.

Travelling from Australia

Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents are restricted from travelling overseas from 25 March 2020 at 12:00hrs AEDST.

This travel restriction does not apply to:

  • people ordinarily resident in a country other than Australia
  • airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers
  • New Zealand citizens holding a Special Category (Subclass 444) Visa are not permanent residents for the purposes of the Biosecurity Determination and are permitted to depart Australia. New Zealand citizens who are permanent visa holders may apply for a Commissioner’s discretion
  • people engaged in the day to day conduct of outbound and inbound freight
  • people whose travel is associated with essential work at offshore facilities and
  • people travelling on official government business, including members of the Australian Defence Force.

Travellers who believe they meet a travel restriction exemption can apply online to the Commissioner of the ABF.

You should apply for the exemption as early as possible - preferably at least 12 hours before your intended departure time. If granted an exemption, you must take evidence of that exemption to the airport.

Travelling from overseas

  • From 23:59 AEDT on 28 March 2020 all people entering Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival
  • Travellers will be transported directly to designated facilities after appropriate immigration, customs and enhanced health checks.
  • Designated facilities will be determined by the relevant state or territory government and will ordinarily be in the city of entry where the traveller has cleared immigration, but facilities in other areas may be used if required.

For further information see New arrangements for arrivals from overseas.

Restrictions in place until: Further notice

Exemptions to travel restrictions

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia. If you are an immediate family member holding a temporary visa you will need to provide us with evidence of your relationship. Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can use this form to apply for an exemption.

You can travel to Australia if you are:

Australian citizens

Australian citizens will be permitted to enter Australia, even without a valid Australian passport. If you don’t have a valid passport, please advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia (even if you are a dual national). The airline will contact the Australian Border Force to verify your citizenship. It is important you get to the airport early in case of any delays. Departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country.

Permanent residents of Australia

You will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival. Provisional (temporary) visa holders cannot come to Australia.

A New Zealand citizen — usually resident in Australia

New Zealand citizens who normally reside in Australia (subclass 444) can come to Australia. You must carry proof of residency (driver's licence or documents in relation to your residency). Present it at check-in. You will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival.

Important: New Zealand citizens and permanent residents not living in Australia can only transit through Australia to return to New Zealand. Refer to transiting section below.

You may need to provide information to the Department before travelling to Australia if you are:

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents

For this category an immediate family member only means:

  • spouses
  • de facto partners
  • dependent children
  • legal guardians.

A guardian in relation to a child, is a person who has responsibility for the long-term welfare of the child; and has, in relation to the child, all the powers, rights and duties that are vested by law or custom in the guardian of a child, other than:

  • the right to have the daily care and control of the child; and
  • the right and responsibility to make decisions concerning the daily care and control of the child.

Without visa - You can't come to Australia until you have a visa. Apply for a visa and include proof (such as your marriage certificate, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). If we let you travel, you will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival.

With a temporary visa (except for Partner and Child visa holders) – Use the enquiry form below to provide further information to the Department. You should attach proof (such as your marriage certificate, evidence of your de-facto relationship such as shared finances or property, your birth certificate or birth certificate for your children). Do not travel until we advise that you can. If we let you travel, you will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival.

Partner (subclasses 100, 309, 801, 820) and Child (subclasses 101, 102, 445) visa holders can come to Australia. You do not need to request an exemption. You will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in your port of arrival. Prospective Marriage (subclass 300) visa holders can’t come to Australia at the moment.

You can apply for an exemption if you are:

Transiting through Australia

If you are a New Zealander, citizen of a Pacific Island Forum country, Timor Leste citizen or resident of New Caledonia or French Polynesia transiting though Australia on your way to New Zealand or a Pacific Island Forum Country, you do not require a transit exemption if you have booked a connecting flight to depart Australia within 72 hours of your arriving flight.

Due to domestic travel restrictions, the outbound connecting flight must be departing from the same state or Territory of Australia as your arrival flight.  If your connecting flight means you will spend longer than 72 hours, you are not considered to be transiting Australia and will need to apply online to the Commissioner of the ABF for an exemption from the travel restrictions.

All other passengers will need to seek an exemption be allowed to transit through Australia.

Designated isolation facilities and requirements for those who are required to be placed in them are a matter for the relevant State and Territory health and police authorities. The exercising of discretion by the ABF Commissioner does not preclude you from having to undertake State or Territory isolation requirements in one of these facilities should you be unable to complete the transit outbound from Australia in the same day as you arrived (8 hours).

State and Territory Authorities will consider exemptions to the isolation requirements on a case by case basis, and each State and Territory may apply varying degrees of consideration for transit passengers.

Travellers should plan to arrive and depart Australia in transit on the same day wherever possible.

  • Any accompanying family members who are not exempt, will need to apply for Commissioner discretion.
  • You will need to ensure you have a valid visa that allows you to transit through Australia.  Further information on transit visas can be found on the department’s website

If you need to leave the airport you will be taken to a designated facility to undergo self-isolation. You will be required to stay in self-isolation until it is time for you to return to the airport for your connecting flight. Isolation facilities are being managed through the relevant State or Territory in which you arrive.

Any exemptions to the mandatory requirement to enter quarantine for the 14 day period after arriving in Australia are a matter for the relevant State or Territory Health departments.

Additional exemptions as determined by the Commissioner

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF) may consider an additional exemption in relation to the travel restrictions currently in place for:

  • Foreign nationals travelling at the invitation of the Australian Commonwealth Government for the purpose of assisting in the COVID-19 response or whose entry would be in the national interest
  • Critical medical services, including air ambulance and delivery of supplies, that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports
  • Persons with critical skills (for example, medical specialists, engineers, marine pilots and crews) by exception
  • Diplomats accredited to Australia and currently resident in Australia, and their immediate family
  • Case-by-case exceptions may also be granted for humanitarian or compassionate reasons.

Exemptions must be granted prior to these travellers undertaking travel to Australia. The request for an exemption through Commissioner’s Discretion must be accompanied by:

  • Passenger details: name, DOB, visa type and number, passport number, Australian residential address, Australian telephone number)
  • Case information: why this case should be considered for Commissioner discretion/exemption
  • Supporting statement: the request should be accompanied by a statement and evidence of how the individual meets one of the grounds for an exemption or excise of the Commissioner’s discretion listed above.

It is important that all travellers provide evidence to us that they meet one of the exemptions above before travelling. For example if you are an immediate family member holding a temporary visa you will need to provide us with evidence of your relationship.

Apply online for an exemption or provide further information

Apply online for an exemption or provide further information

Travellers who have a compassionate or compelling reason to travel to Australia can also use this form to apply for an exemption.