Faced with this global virus, governments took unprecedented measures to limit the coronavirus spread. We tell you more about the current COVID-19 situation in Australia and what it means for travellers and Working Holiday Visa holders.
“IN BRIEF” Australia facing Covid-19
In March 2020 the country applied strict measures to fight the pandemic both nationally and internationally. Measures that would have saved more than 30,000 lives according to local authorities. The country is now reopened after almost 2 years of closed borders. After initially opening the borders to some visas on December 15, 2021, the country is now opened to all visas, including tourists ones.
Working Holiday Visa makers, students, qualified visas, partners, tourists etc can therefore enter the country. All states now welcome international travellers without mandatory quarantine.
To date, there have been more than 10,000 deaths linked to Covid-19 across the country since the start of the pandemic. More than 8.25 million cases have been identified in the country.
Enter Australia in July 2022
Requirements to enter in Australia from July 2022
From Wednesday July 6, 2022, the majority of Australian border restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed.
The Australian government will no longer require travellers to:
- Declare or prove their vaccination status when entering Australia.
- Submit a Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD)
- Apply for travel exemptions to enter Australia (for non-Australians).
- Provide proof of their vaccination status when leaving Australia.
- Travellers entering Australia on international flights will continue to be required to wear a mask.
- All incoming travellers will be required to comply with the testing requirements of the relevant state or territory.
- Travellers are always encouraged to wear a mask indoors.
- Airlines may also have specific vaccination, testing or mask-wearing requirements. All passengers are strongly encouraged to familiarize themselves with these requirements by contacting their airline or cruise line directly.
Authorised visas since 15 December 2021
Since 15 December 2021, 28 visas have been authorised to enter the country. Here is the list :
|Subclass 200 – Refugee visa|
|Subclass 201 – In-country Special Humanitarian visa|
|Subclass 202 – Global Special Humanitarian visa|
|Subclass 203 – Emergency Rescue visa|
|Subclass 204 – Woman at Risk visa|
|Subclass 300 – Prospective Marriage visa|
|Subclass 400 – Temporary Work (Short Stay Specialist) visa|
|Subclass 403 – Temporary Work (International Relations) visa (other streams, including Australian Agriculture Visa stream)|
|Subclass 407 – Training visa|
|Subclass 408 – Temporary Activity visa|
|Subclass 417 – Working Holiday visa|
|Subclass 449 – Humanitarian Stay (Temporary) visa|
|Subclass 457 – Temporary Work (Skilled) visa|
|Subclass 461 – New Zealand Citizen Family Relationship visa|
|Subclass 462 – Work and Holiday visa|
|Subclass 476 – Skilled – Recognised Graduate visa|
|Subclass 482 – Temporary Skill Shortage visa|
|Subclass 485 – Temporary Graduate visa|
|Subclass 489 – Skilled – Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 491 – Skilled Work Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 494 – Skilled Employer Sponsored Regional (Provisional) visa|
|Subclass 500 – Student visa|
|Subclass 580 – Student Guardian visa (closed to new applicants)|
|Subclass 590 – Student Guardian visa|
|Subclass 785 – Temporary Protection visa|
|Subclass 790 – Safe Haven Enterprise visa|
|Subclass 870 – Sponsored Parent (Temporary) visa|
|Subclass 988 – Maritime Crew visa|
Tourist visas authorized since February 21, 2022
Tourist visas (Subclass 651, 601, 600), are able to enter Australia since February 21, 2021 without the need to gain an exemption. You will not have to quarantine upon arrival. You may need to provide a negative rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of arrival (different rule in different states, remember to check).
Application for new visas and visas accepted before pandemic
For those who do not yet have a visa, you can apply for one on the Australian immigration website. Once you have obtained your visa, you can go to Australia. For the WHV visa, remember that once your visa has been granted, you have one year to go to Australia. As for student visas, you can enter Australia as soon as you obtain the visa and before the start of your courses. Tourists can also enter the country directly after obtaining their visa.
For people with a WHV: all those who have a current visa and have not been able to enter the country, or those who have a visa that they have not been able to use can get a refund or a new visa free of charge.
Additionally, all WHV visa holders who entered Australia between January 19 and April 19, 2022 are eligible for a visa refund. The same applies to all students who enter to the country before March 19, 2022.
If you are travelling in Australia: current situation
Covid-19 Work & Travel Health Insurance
For those who have made the choice to stay in Australia, please make sure you be well covered! Some insurance providers cover well if you are ever affected by the virus.
- WorldNomads: There is NO COVER available for travel to any country or part of it with a COVID-19 travel ban, and any events that arise when you travel against any FCO government warning advising against all or all but essential travel. Please visit their Website and check your coverage.
- GoWalkabout: There will no longer be cover for cancellation, abandonment or curtailment claims if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises you not to travel.
- World First Travel: Cover is provided for claims arising from COVID-19 under certain sections of your policy, for Medical Expenses and Cancellation. Check this PDF for more information.
- TrueTraveller: Policies include medical, cancellation and curtailment cover for Coronavirus, subject to there being no Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel warning for Coronavirus for the country or area you are travelling to.
- Medicare: some countries such as the UK, Ireland, New Zealand, Sweden, the Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Belgium, Norway, Slovenia, Malta have signed bilateral agreements with Australia. Nationals of these countries can benefit from Medicare. However, coverage is lower than that provided to Australian citizens, which means Medicare only covers essential care.
The states and territories each apply their own rules. Currently, all states and territories are open to each other. There is no need to prove your vaccination status or obtain a Pass or other document to travel between the states of the country.
Travellers can therefore travel freely within the country. Some places require you to wear a mask such as medical offices, hospitals, chemists, vaccination clinic.
If you wish to return home
Europeans can return to their homes. Commercial flights operate between Europe and Australia (not at full capacity still).
If you’re travelling to England and you qualify as fully vaccinated, you don’t need to take a COVID-19 test before or after you arrive, nor quarantine on arrival. You still need to complete a passenger locator form. There are different rules for people who do not qualify as fully vaccinated for travel to England. You need to review the rules before travel.
If you are travelling to Ireland, pre-departure testing is not needed when travelling to Ireland, unless you’re not fully vaccinated or you have recovered from COVID-19.
When travelling to the US, as of June 12, 2022, CDC will no longer require air passengers traveling from a foreign country to the United States to show a negative COVID-19 viral test or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board their flight.