travel

Thinking about booking an overseas holiday for 2022? Here's everything you need to know first.

This post will be updated as new information about international travel comes to light.

Since last March, it's been anyone's guess when Australians would be able to travel overseas again. 18 months have come and gone with no international holidays and no visits to see loved ones, just millions of us waiting to hear when the international borders will open back up.

Finally, we have an answer: November 2021. 

Confirming the news last Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "It's time to give Australians their lives back," after announcing we will move to phase C of the national roadmap next month.

Watch: Prime Minister Scott Morrison calling for states to open borders. Post continues after video.


Video via Sunrise.

But there are a couple of things that need to happen before any of us jet off on a long-awaited trip - including completion of the new seven-day, at-home quarantine program trials, and an increase in vaccination rates to 80 per cent in each state and territory. 

Here's everything we know so far about international travel.

When will I be able to travel overseas?

On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced international travel will resume once states and territories reach the 80 per cent vaccination target, starting with New South Wales, followed by Victoria.

"States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates but we expect the system to commence in November," Mr Morrison said.

While other states and territories will reach the target soon after, some of them, particularly Queensland and Western Australia, aren't as willing to open up when they do.

On Friday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she would need to see some "paperwork" before announcing when Queensland would open up.

"It would be irresponsible, and I think Queenslanders would expect me to see some paperwork to understand the issues before an announcement is made," she said.

While WA Premier Mark McGowan called the international travel announcement a "New South Wales thing".

"With NSW having very high levels of infection... the view is if people from NSW want to fly overseas and come back, they’re really not adding to the risk. We're not going to do this at this point of time," he told reporters on Friday.

"Western Australia will open up internationally at some point in time, it’s probably just a matter of months between us and other states."

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Where can we travel to?

There will be no restrictions on which countries you will be allowed to travel to, with your first two options being the UK and the US. However, that is subject to change if case numbers rise or new variants arise.

Qantas has announced that from 14 November, they will operate three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and between Sydney and Los Angeles. Both Qantas and Virgin have stated that once the borders open, there will be more international routes to countries including Hong Kong and Singapore.

Mr Morrison also said Australia would be working towards quarantine-free travel for countries such as New Zealand (like the travel bubble we had earlier this year).

But something to note is that despite us being allowed to travel to these places, the rules in other countries might change. So, before departing Australia, make sure you check the rules in your chosen destination.

Do I have to be vaccinated to travel overseas?

Yes. In order to travel overseas, Australian citizens and residents need to have both doses of a TGA-approved vaccine. Those who have a medical condition or are under the age of 12 and cannot be vaccinated, will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.

However, unvaccinated Australian citizens and residents will be allowed to return home to Australia.

What do I need to know about vaccine passports?

According to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, an "internationally recognised proof of vaccination document" will be accessible to Australians looking to leave the country.

It will have all the information your passport has, as well as a QR code that can be scanned by border officials to prove your vaccination status. The documents will be available via the myGov website.

Listen to The Quicky, Mamamia's daily news podcast. In this episode, we discuss when young kids will get vaccinated. Post continues after audio.

What will happen before and during flying?

According to Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, you'll have to take up to four COVID tests before getting on an international flight - one prior to departure for each flight and two while in home quarantine - and all must come back negative before you board the plane.

It's also expected that people will have to wear masks for the duration of their flights.

What about hotel quarantine?

Depending on where you plan on travelling to, different rules will apply. And the rules that certain countries have in place now might change by the time you want to travel there in 2022.

For example, vaccinated travellers entering Bali this year (Australians aren't allowed just yet) will need to show proof of hotel bookings for a mandatory eight-day quarantine - which will need to be paid for by the visitor.

Upon returning to Australia, fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will need to quarantine at home for seven days. And those unvaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA will need to attend 14-day hotel quarantine.

Feature image: Getty.

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