Travel Advice Australia 2020: the latest update

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Australia travel advice

Travel Advice Australia 2020 as at 13th August 2020


On 12th March 2020 the World Health Organisation declared COVID-19 as a global pandemic. This led to travel restrictions and border closures around the world and now, in June, we are starting to see these restrictions easing and people looking again to book holidays. Travel restrictions in each country vary and here, at, we want to ensure that you, our customers, are provided with the latest travel advice for the key destinations favoured by you.


The first cases of Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) were confirmed in the city of Wuhan, China on 31st December 2019 and since then, it has proceeded to spread to 215 countries and territories with over 20,162,474 people so far testing positive for the virus. 

Australia confirmed its first internally transmitted case of COVID-19 on 20th January 2020 and by 13th August, 22,127 cases and 352 deaths had been declared.


What is COVID-19?


COVID-19 is a disease caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2. This virus is a type of coronavirus which can cause illness in animals and humans. Coronavirus infections in humans can result in coryzal symptoms as seen in a common cold and more severe respiratory symptoms such as pneumonia. In recent years, we have seen outbreaks of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). 


SARS-CoV-2 is the most recently discovered type of coronavirus and it is spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth. The method of transmission is often via cough, sneeze or exhalation. People breathing in these droplets or touching the surfaces these droplets land on and who touch their eyes, nose or mouth are at risk of developing COVID-19. 


The World Health Organisation continues to assess ongoing research on the means of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 but general advice is to maintain distance from others, regularly wash hands and avoid touching your face.


Many countries have implemented temporary travel restrictions and COVID-19 has impacted on events and activities. In the travel advice newsletter, we will endeavour to provide you with the latest travel advice on key destinations.


Current Travel Advice for Australia, as at 13th August 2020


Is it safe to travel to Australia in 2020?


Australia’s air and sea borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. 


Foreign passengers are not allowed to enter or transit via Australia with the exception of immediate family members of Australian nationals, permanent residents and their immediate family members, airline crew and diplomats.


These restrictions do not apply to transiting nationals of Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Zealand, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa (American), Solomon Island, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


Nationals of Australia are not permitted to travel out of Australia, with the exception of those with a residency in another country, airline and maritime crew and associated safety workers, those travelling to offshore facilities for essential work and those travelling on official government business.


Internally, Western Australia, Tasmania, South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland have closed their borders with other states.


Domestically, travel in Australian changed for many on 1st June 2020. Queenslanders can now holiday in Queensland while New South Wales, ACT and Victoria have opened up their borders to Australian residents from any state or territory.


Domestic visitors to the Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania must self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival while travel to Western Australia is still restricted.


This page will have updates for the latest travel advice for Australia.


Flight changes to and from Australia


Qantas and Jetstar have suspended all international flights and grounded over 150 aircraft although some services have been reintroduced to assist with the repatriation of Australian nationals. 


On 21 July, Qantas announced all scheduled international flights, including flights between Australia and New Zealand, have been suspended until at least the end of October 2020, due to government restrictions.


Virgin Australia has suspended all of its international flights, with the exception of repatriation flights, and grounded around 53 aircraft until 14 June 2020. Domestic flights have been resumed since 6 July 2020, schedules can be viewed here.


From 31 March and due to the expansion of travel restrictions by the federal and state governments’ and territories, Tigerair announced a temporary suspension of all Tigerair domestic flights and services.


Cancelled events in Australia


Generally speaking, social distancing in Australia is not as severe as other countries with two friends able to meet to exercise and partners able to visit each other. However, the threat of increased infections has seen the suspension of both Rugby League and Rugby Union matches. 


Coronavirus19 (COVID-19) FAQ – Travel


Question: Should I cancel my vacation to Australia?

Answer: In many countries, non-essential travel is being discouraged with the pandemic being a constantly evolving and changing situation. You should check for latest updates on travel advice for both your country of departure and your destination via respected Government websites and the travel advice newsletter. With refundable bookings on you can be assured that if you do need to cancel your vacation that you will be refunded.


Question: If I decide to travel to Australia, are there any precautions that can be taken to minimise the risk of infection?


  • Avoid contact with people displaying symptoms.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with hands, especially if unwashed.
  • Make sure to wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • While the focus is on COVID-19 please ensure that you are up to date with your routine vaccinations, such as the flu vaccine and measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine.


Question: Is there an increased risk of infection whilst travelling by air to Australia?

Answer: Due to how air is filtered and circulated on airplanes, many viruses and germs do not spread easily. Many countries now also operate immigration medical checks to identify any passengers who may pose a risk.


Question: Should travellers wear masks in Australia?

Answer: Anyone who displays symptoms of COVID-19 is encouraged to wear a mask as it restricts the spread of the virus. For the uninfected, the wearing of masks is not deemed to significantly reduce the risk of infection, but you may wish to consider the customs of your destination. For instance, all passengers travelling on trains in Australia must wear a face mask while they are encouraged on all other modes of transport.


Question: What can I expect on arriving and departing at airports?

In some countries screening for all passengers entering and leaving their country is being conducted. Before being allowed to board a flight, you may be questioned about your health and your travel history and have your temperature taken.



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