New international travel plan revealed – what next steps look like

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·News Reporter
·3-min read
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International travel will be back on the table in weeks as Prime Minister Scott Morrison touted "it's time to give Australians their lives back".

"It will be time, very soon, that we will be able to open our international borders again and that will enable Australians who are fully vaccinated to travel again," Mr Morrison told reporters on Friday. 

International borders were initially meant to remain closed until December 17 just in time for Christmas.

But the PM said Australians have responded "remarkably" with vaccine rates.

"Securing additional vaccines which I knew were necessary to keep driving vaccination rates forward in September has been remarkably successful and that is giving us the opportunity to get Australia ready for takeoff," he said.

Levi Teen is embraced after arriving from New Zealand at Sydney International Airport in Sydney, Australia.
Families are expected to be reignited from next month with international borders to reopen. Source: Getty Images

When can I travel?

At this stage, November is set as the travel date for anyone looking to head overseas, corresponding with when Australian is expected to have 80 per cent of its eligible population fully vaccinated.

These changes mean there will be no travel restrictions if you are a vaccinated Australian entering or leaving the country, the PM said.

States and territories will begin this at different times due to vaccine distribution. NSW is likely to be the first to allow it as more than 62 per cent of residents have been fully vaccinated.

The aim is for each state to get to 80 per cent of its population fully vaccinated.

Where can I travel?

This will depend on what countries also allow international arrivals. The Federal Government is recommending people check smartraveller.gov.au for further info.

Qantas confirmed to Yahoo Finance last month a number of travel dates for destinations including Fiji, the US and Japan.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pictured.
Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Aussies will be able to travel overseas from November. Source: AAP

Will I need to be vaccinated to go overseas?

You will need to be fully vaccinated to travel internationally. Qantas has previously said it will only allow fully vaccinated passengers and staff on its flights overseas.

However, some Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated, due to age or health conditions, will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

Travellers will need to show proof of vaccination before heading overseas. The certificate will include a QR code which will be recognisable globally by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. 

Do I need to quarantine?

Anyone returning from overseas will have to quarantine at home for seven days but that is only for people fully vaccinated with a coronavirus vaccine recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Association.

Others returning from overseas who are not fully vaccinated, or have a vaccine which is not recognised by the TGA, will have to go into 14 days of hotel quarantine.

A Qantas flight takes off from Sydney.
Qantas has said it will only allow fully-vaccinated people on its flights overseas. Source: AAP

The TGA said it will look at other vaccines overseas to determine whether they are "recognised". On Friday, it said Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccines will be accepted. 

However, the TGA is still assessing BIBP-CorV (Sinopharm), Covaxin (Bharat Biotech), Sputnik V (Gamaleya Institute), and Convidecia (CanSino) vaccines.

The Federal Government said it is working with New Zealand to try and find an exemption to allow non-quarantine travel between Australia and New Zealand.

More to come.

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