COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 questions, below.
Updated at 29 July 2020
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Returning to Australia
You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. National Cabinet agreed to caps on international passenger flows. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time.
Travel restrictions are subject to change and flexibility remains within these caps to as much as possible minimise disruptions to returning Australian citizens and permanent residents. National Cabinet agreed to inbound passengers contributing to the costs of hotel quarantine — there are measures to support those in financial difficulty.
It’s up to the airlines, not the Government, to decide who it sells tickets to -- and it's up to the airline who it boards. Restrictions on outbound travel by Australian citizens and permanent residents remain in place, in accordance with the health advice to the Government.
Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents can travel to Australia. You will need to complete a form first and provide evidence of your relationship. Read this box.
The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempted from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians.
Prior to travel you will need to submit this form and they should not travel until they receive advice that they can. You will need to provide evidence of your relationship.
Please note that all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities (e.g hotels), in their city of arrival before they can go home. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions for more information.
While the High Commission is unable to assist with your travel arrangemments, we're aware of flights that are still operating. Read this box.
If you wish to return to Australia you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent and make immediate arrangements to fly back to Australia by commercial means. Please check with airlines directly to confirm flight options.
A number of airlines are still operating flights from the UK to Australia, discover your options here.
The High Commission is not able to assist with travel arrangements. Should you require emergency consular support, please call the London Consular Emergency Line on +44 020 7887 5555 or the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.
If you need financial assistance, in the first instance talk to your travel insurer. If they won’t help, talk to family or friends.
Flights remain availiable, if you wish to return to Australia — you should do so immediately. Read this box.
On 25 March 2020, the Australian Government announced travel restrictions to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Australians can still return to Australia, and if you wish to do so, you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent to make immediate arrangements by commercial means.
Should you wish to remain in the UK, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities. Check out the information further down this page.
It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in the UK for an extended period of time.
Contact the Department of Home Affairs. Read this box.
Please visit the ‘Visa Holders’ page on the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ website https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/all-visa-holders for more information.
If you are flying directly back to Australia, Australian citizens may be permitted to enter Australia without a valid Australian passport.
Before you go to the airport, leave additional time and ensure you take all relevant identity and Australian citizenship documents with you to present at check-in. The following documents may assist you:
- Expired Australian passport
- Driving Licence
- Australian birth certificate
- Australian citizenship certificate
- If a dual national, foreign passport
At check-in, advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia (even if you are a dual national).
Airline staff will then need to contact Australia’s Border Operation Centre (your airline will have the phone number) to obtain approval for you to board the plane.
It is important that you get to the airport early to avoid delays.
Departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country. Please note - all passport services have been suspended until further notice.
Yes, the High Commission in London is still open.
Find out more, here.
- Australian Government Department of Health website
- Australian Government Department of Home Affairs
- Australian Foreign Minister’s Announcement regarding Australians abroad during COVID-19
- New South Wales: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
- Queensland: www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions
- Victoria: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
- Australian Capital Territory: www.covid19.act.gov.au/home
- South Australia: www.sa.gov.au/covid-19
- Northern Territory: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel
- Western Australia: www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus
Staying in the UK
Should you wish to remain in the UK, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities (please see below). It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in the UK for an extended period of time.
- NHS Health information and advice - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- UK Government Coronavirus Information webpage - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
You should also read the Smartraveller information linked below:
We know how stressful this time has been for Australians in the UK and we've been working hard to support you. That's why we are very pleased to share that the UK Government will provide a grace period until 31 August 2020 for you to make necessary arrangements to leave the UK if you have a visa that was due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020.
During the grace period, your conditions of stay will be the same. That means you can work, study or rent accommodation ahead of your departure. You do not need to contact the Home Office to access these measures.
Furthermore, if you can't leave before 31 August 2020, there are new measures to support you.
We are working on further measures to support Australians in the UK and will keep you posted.
More information on UK visas can be found here.