Australia to Scrap Covid-19 Vaccination Requirements for International Arrivals
From 6 July 2022, all travelers will be able to travel to and from Australia without needing to declare their coronavirus vaccination status.
The decision to welcome unvaccinated travelers in Australia marks the end of strict covid-based regulations introduced in the country during the pandemic and maintained for more than 2 years.
Until now, Australia has allowed entry for unvaccinated travelers only in some exceptional circumstances, including Australian citizens who could arrive without presenting the Covid-19 vaccination certificates. Most unvaccinated foreign travelers had to seek a vaccination exemption to enter Australia.
The decision to remove the vaccination requirements was based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. According to Mark Butler, travelers no longer should declare their vaccination status.
There were relatively few requests made from unvaxxed travelers seeking travel exemption for entry to Australia. In May, only 158 out of 1000 applications were approved, while most of them concerned compassionate travel reasons.
Incoming arrivals still need to meet the remaining requirements to enter Australia, including having a valid visa.
Latest changes to Australian travel requirements
From 6 July 2022, all travelers arriving in Australia will not be required to:
- declare their Covid-19 vaccination status
- complete the Digital Passenger Declaration or Maritime Travel Declaration
Moreover, unvaccinated visa holders will not need to have a travel exemption to enter Australia, while all travelers leaving Australia will no longer be required to provide evidence of their vaccination status.
Masks are still mandatory to use for international flights to Australia. All passengers should also note that airlines, vessel operators as well as other countries may have their own specific rules that all travelers must follow during international travel.
Removal of Digital Passenger Declarations
Until recently, all international arrivals coming to Australia have been required to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration, which recorded their vaccination status.
The Australian Government introduced the DPDs earlier this year with the aim of controlling the spread of the coronavirus within the country.
With the latest changes in Australian travel regulations, the country will no longer require travelers to use the system.
Nevertheless, the DPD system is expected to be replaced with paper arrival cards, which are currently filled out by everyone arriving in Australia.
Australian visa policy
Australia offers different visa types depending on travelers' nationality, travel purpose, and desired length of stay in the country. Currently, there are two different visa types for Australia obtainable entirely online, i.e., the eVisitor Visa and the Australia ETA. Both visas are granted for business and tourism-related purposes. It is the traveler’s nationality that determines the visa type one should apply for.
The eVisitor visa is issued for nationals of over 40 European countries and territories, while ETA is dedicated only to citizens of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States of America.
Both electronic visas allow multiple visits to Australia and remain valid for one year from the date of their issuance. Every single stay can be as long as 3 months.
Check here if you are eligible for an eVistor visa or ETA for Australia.