Dreaming of down under? Now’s the time to book your ticket. On February 21, the Australian government lifted border restrictions for vaccinated foreign travelers.
“The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia,” said Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a press conference on February 7.
To limit the spread of COVID, Australia shut its border to foreign travelers in March 2020. But the country has been easing restrictions since November, introducing travel programs with New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan. Australia’s initial plan was to fully reopen in December 2021, but a wave of Omicron caused delays.
To visit the Oceanic island, you’ll need to present proof of vaccination before boarding your flight. To be considered fully vaccinated, you must have received two doses from an approved list of vaccines, which includes Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Janssen, and Biocelect on behalf of Novavax. The vaccine passport must be in English or include a certified translation.
You must also provide a negative pre-departure test. This can be either a PCR test taken within three days of departure, or a rapid antigen test administered 24 hours before the flight by a registered medical practitioner.
Non-vaccinated travelers require a valid travel exemption to enter Australia, and will be subjected to state and territory quarantine requirements. Depending on where you’re traveling in Australia, fully vaccinated visitors may also encounter some in-country restrictions. For instance, if you fly into Western Australia, you will be required to quarantine in a hotel for seven days.
As of February, 93.8% of Australia’s population 16 and over is fully vaccinated, with the country seeing a 23% decline in hospitalizations.