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Monday, November 29, 2021

Travel to Australia: when the border could reopen, and latest Covid rules

Australia’s borders are to open a little further from December 1 – permitting certain visa holders and holidaymakers. Since November 1, immediate family members – including parents – of Australian citizens and permanent residents are permitted to enter the country. Exemptions also apply to Australian citizens and permanent residents who are currently overseas.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on November 22 that, starting next month, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders would be able to visit the country without having to apply for a travel exemption.

The types of visitor that will be permitted include: eligible visa holders, including skilled and student groups, humanitarian, temporary and working holidaymakers and provisional family visa holders. 

But a number of caveats apply, and you must hold a valid visa.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said Australia will reopen its borders to “safe countries” when 80 per cent of the population is fully vaccinated. The country’s rollout got off to a sluggish start, but the rate has picked up significantly in recent months. 

As of November 22, 96.14 per cent of the population has had one dose, and 89.49 per cent is now double-jabbed. 

Here’s everything you need to know about visiting Australia.

What is Australia’s travel status?

Since October 4, in a bid to simplify the travel traffic lights, the UK Government has scrapped the green and amber lists (and emptied the red list, as of November 1) – there is now only a red list, and then everywhere else, with Australia included in the latter.

Under the new regulations, double-jabbed travellers from ‘safe’ countries will no longer have to take any sort of test before they get on a flight home from overseas; and since October 24, only a lateral flow on their second day back in the UK is required, rather than a costly PCR test.

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