At midnight on Monday 21st February, Australia opened its frontiers to fully vaccinated travellers. It’s been two long years and they want tourists back; even their website’s opening headline is “Welcome Back”.
Western Australia however stays closed until next month on 3rd March
It seems an age since March 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic closed down travel around the world. While other countries were easing restrictions, Australia has remained extremely cautious making it difficult for citizens to return. Those that did manage to enter had to quarantine in hotels.
Indeed locals couldn’t leave their own country or travel within states without abiding by restrictions. Things are changing thanks to the vaccination and booster rolls outs and a growing outrage on the ban on international travellers, especially from those wishing to unite with family and indeed the travel industry.
We answer some burning questions:
What do I need to enter Australia?
There are still hurdles. You must get a free eVisitor visa, which entitles you to stay up to three months within a 12-month period. It is pretty straightforward to complete and the process is quick. However, if you are not flying direct, you may need to take tests. When you get there you must show
- a certificate of your jabs including a booster
- proof of a negative Covid-19 test taken in the 24 hours before departure
- a completed Digital Passenger Declaration for Australia
How easy is it to get there?
If you are flying direct on Qantas it’s pretty straightforward. However, if you need to change planes then be aware of the rules of the country. You may need to take extra tests.
Which airlines will take me there?
British Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways are running flights to the country from the UK, with layovers in Dubai, Doha, Abu Dhabi and Singapore. Qantas is running daily flights from Heathrow to Darwin, continuing to Sydney.
It’s a long journey, will I have to wear a mask?
Yes, 11,000 miles is a long way and tiresome if you have a flight connection. Even more tiresome is having to wear a mask – it’s mandatory both on the plane on at all airports. The only exception is if you are eating and drinking.
There are no long queues or delays.
Do I need a test on arrival?
Yes everyone must take a lateral flow test on arrival and you must quarantine until you get the result. Everyone needs a lateral flow test on arrival, and you must quarantine while you wait for the result.
What about coming back to the UK? Any hurdles?
Fully vaccinated travellers still need to complete the passenger locater form – you can include your kids if they are under 18 years old and live with you. Other than that, just board the plane and fly home.