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Covid-19 : Measures taken by Australia and current situation (February 2022)

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Covid-19 : Measures taken by Australia and current situation (February 2022)

The coronavirus which appeared in December 2019 in China is still today a global issue. It has crossed borders and several countries have been dramatically impacted by the virus. In March 2020, the Australian Prime Minister announced the implementation of strong measures to slow the spread of the virus in the country. Among those measure, Australia decided to close its borders to foreigners. Nearly two years later, the country is finally reopening to the world. Here are some information on the measures implemented to date and the current situation and requirements to enter the country.

Measures implemented by Australia

From March 2020, the country has implemented strict measures to fight the pandemic both nationally and internationally. States have closed their borders making it impossible to move between them without a permit or go into government approved mandatory quarantine. Today the states are open and only WA still closed to domestic and international travel (exemption apply)

To date, and since the Delta strain entered the country, there are been 4373 deaths linked to Covid-19 across the country. Here are some of the measures applied to date in Australia.

Entering Australia

All people travelling to Australia on flights must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR result at the time of check-in. Passengers on all international flights must wear a face mask during their flight and while in an Australian airport.

Exempt categories

You are automatically exempt from the travel restrictions and can enter Australia if you are:

  • an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia
  • an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members
  • a person who has been in New Zealand or Australia for 14 days or more immediately prior to arrival by air in Australia
  • a diplomat accredited to Australia (subclass 995 visa)
  • a person transiting Australia for 72 hours or less
  • airline crew, maritime crew including marine pilots
  • a person who holds a Business Innovation and Investment visa (subclass 188).

Authorised visas since 15 December 2021

Since 15 December 2021, 28 were authorised to enter Australia, and this without quarantine.

Among them, WHVstudents or skilled migrants. Here is the complete list of authorised visas:

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

From 21 February 2022, all tourist visas holders will be allowed to enter the country without seeking an exemption. No quarantine is imposed on international travellers. You will need to be fully vaccinated to be able to enter the country. Depending on your state / territory of arrival, you will have to obtain a negative RAT or PCR test.

Conditions to enter Australia

In order to enter the Australian territory, you must:

  • be fully vaccinated
  • have a valid passport
  • have a valid visa
  • be able to prove your vaccination status
  • prove a negative PCR test within 3 days before you leave your home country
  • complete an Australian Travel Declaration

New Visas’ application and visas granted before the pandemic

Those who do not have a visa can apply online. Once your WHV is granted, you will be able to travel to Australia. Remember that once your visa has been granted, you have one year to travel to Australia. For student visas, you can also travel to Australia.

For 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 check out our dedicated article : Working Holiday Australia : Visa refund and waivers announced by the government

The Australian Government recently announced that all WHV visa holders entering Australia between January 19 and April 19, 2022 will be eligible for a visa refund. The same applies to all students entering the country before March 19, 2022.

Current situation in Australia

States and territories are all reopened among themselves. To enter some states, be aware that it can be necessary to complete a declaration. Each state applies different rules so it is better to visit the officiel website of the state you would like to visit.

The country does impose restrictions on wearing a mask indoors in some states. Shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, etc. are opened. Gatherings of people are permitted. Rules vary by state, so it’s a good idea to check the rules that apply to the state you are in.

To date (11/02/2022), the country counts 2,8 M cases of covid since January 2020 and more than 4000 deaths across the country. A large majority of cases are found in Victoria and New South Wales.

Vaccine Rollout in Australia

The vaccine rollout in Australia has started on February 22, 2021.

Australia will use a few different vaccines. These are the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, Novavax.

COVID vaccines are free for everyone currently in Australia, even if they are not Australian citizens or permanent residents.

What is the Coronavirus ?

In late December 2019, in China, doctors began to see a new type of viral pneumonia for a few people who worked, or had visited a market in the Wuhan province. This disease, called Covid-19, is caused by SARS-CoV-2, a virus that belongs to the coronavirus family.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. They can cause illnesses ranging from a simple cold to more severe pathologies such as MERS-COV or SARS.

The virus identified in January 2020 in China is a new Coronavirus, it has been named COVID-19 by World Health Organization. Since the 11th of March 2020, WHO has described the global situation of COVID-19 as a pandemic; that is to say that the epidemic now affects 137 countries over a large area. 

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, tiredness or shortness of breath. Other possible symptoms include chills, body aches, runny nose and muscle pain.

If you develop any of these symptoms within 14 days of being in contact with a person infected with the virus, it is recommended that you consult a general practitioner. You should telephone the health clinic or hospital before you arrive and tell them your travel history or that you have been in contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. You can also call the National Coronavirus Help Line on 1800 020 080 for advice. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Source NHS BBC

How is Covid19 transmitted ?

The new coronavirus is a respiratory virus which spreads primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

Some numbers

Across the world there have been more than 401 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 5.7 million deaths. There have been 2.8 M confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia so far and more than 4000 deaths.

Sources

Updated on 11/02/2022

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