Published: 8th October 2021
Australia's Prime Minister, Scott Morrison announced last Friday the 1st of October that "Australia is ready to take its next steps to safely reopen to the world, with changes coming to the international border." But what does that really mean?
While the announcement was extremely exciting for so many reason, it comes with a number of questions and unknowns for everyone to start reconnecting all the pieces.
The current 'open date' will come down to the states and territories within Australia hitting that national 80 per cent double-dose vaccination target. The good news is, this is forecast to happen around November 10th 2021.
But why is it so complicated and why are there so many unknowns and questions...?
Here is what we know so far....
Who can travel to and from Australia once the borders are open?
At this stage, the borders will only be open for Australian citizens or permanent residents aged 12 and over who have received two doses of a recognised vaccine will be able to travel without needing an exemption. Children under 12 and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.
What does this mean for those Non-Australian Citizens or Permanent Residents who have a valid visa and travel exemption to Australia?
This is the big unknown. As mentioned above, the current framework for the changes to international travel only apply to Australian citizens and Permanent Residents.
The good news is, for those eligible and currently waiting for a flight to relocate to Australia, flight availability it starting to look better with passenger caps set to change and many of the major airlines boosting their number of flights in and out of Australia however current travel restrictions including mandatory 14 day hotel quarantine are still in place.
What are the changes to hotel quarantine for Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents?
Following completion of home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia, it is anticipated that states and territories that are ready to do so will roll out:
Seven day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or ‘recognised’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated - for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition - will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.
States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates but we are hopeful the system will commence in November.
How will home quarantine work?
Good question.... stay tuned on this one.
What does all of this mean for those relocating to and from Australia?
The best news is for those Australian's that relocated throughout the pandemic, they'll be able to return home and visit their family members. Of course, subject to their new country of origins travel restrictions.
Flight availability will increase for inbound and outbound travel for those eligible to enter and exit the country.
Australian travellers will be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document (Vaccine passport) in the coming weeks to prove their status.
More than 45,000 people are stuck overseas waiting to come home with the NSW government indicating it wants to welcome thousands into the country when borders reopen.
Clear as mud?
Rest assured - we will keep you up to speed as we navigate the unanswered questions and unknowns for everyone to start reconnecting all the pieces.
If you do require assistance in relocating to Australia or have questions on how to relocate during this pandemic, please contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org