Covid Vaccine Requirements For Travel

The global Covid-19 pandemic is far from over, but the Australian Government has decided not to renew the Biosecurity Emergency Determination relating to COVID-19, which lapsed on April 17. This follows medical advice, according to Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (1). 

Also, negative pre-departure tests for travellers entering Australia and restrictions on the entry of cruise ships into and within the Australian territory no longer apply. So to reiterate, as of April 18, 2022, it is no longer an Australian government requirement for travellers to Australia to have a COVID-19 pre-departure test before boarding their flight or cruise ship, however be aware that individual countries (destination and transit) and carriers may have their own requirements (2).

Proof of Covid-19 Vaccination Needed

Unless you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons (provide a certificate indicating a medical contraindication as evidence), proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is recommended for international travel. Masks are no longer a requirement for international flights and maritime travel. Cruise ships must follow the same guidelines as airline travellers.  

So, as mentioned, fully vaccinated Australians and permanent residents can now travel in and out of Australia without an individual travel exemption. However, all travellers must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (or a certificate indicating a medical contraindication to vaccination) if requested by border officials and transport providers on leaving Australia. For entry (or re-entry) into Australia, residents and international travellers must declare their vaccination status and show acceptable supporting proof to the transport provider (3). ATAGI (the Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation) (4) has provided guidance for people returning from overseas travel and for those who are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Digital Passenger Declaration

Unvaccinated visa holders will still need to be in an accepted medically exempt category to enter Australia. The Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) must be completed by all passengers arriving by air into Australia and those arriving on cruise ships.

​​​You can begin your DPD within seven days of your departure and submit it within 72 hours before leaving Australia. The reason for submitting your health information and declaration (vaccination status and COVID-19 test result if that is a requirement of your carrier or destination country) is that it must be done within 72 hours before you board your flight or ship.​

What Does Fully Vaccinated Mean? 

Should you have completed a primary course (or a mixed dose) of TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration) approved or recognised vaccines, then Australia considers you fully vaccinated for international travel purposes.

At present, the recognised Covid-19 vaccines accepted for travel purposes are:

Two doses at least two weeks apart of either:

  • AstraZeneca Covishield
  • AstraZeneca Vaxzevria
  • Pfizer/BioNTech Comirnaty
  • Sinovac Coronavac
  • Moderna Spikevax
  • Bharat Biotech Covaxin
  • Sinopharm BBIBP-CorV (for those under 60 on arrival in Australia).
  • Biocelect Novavax
  • Gamaleya Institute Sputnik V

Or one dose of:

  • Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag COVID Vaccine.

Provided all vaccines are approved or recognised by the TGA, mixed doses are accepted.  And seven days after the final dose of vaccination, you will be deemed fully vaccinated.

Border restrictions apply to unvaccinated travellers for both inbound travel and outgoing. If travellers from overseas fail to meet Australia’s definition of fully vaccinated for international travel (or fail to produce a medical certificate if unvaccinated), they risk visa cancellation and being denied entry and removed from the country. 

Before You Book and Depart, Check Everything 

With Covid-19 outbreaks still occurring both in Australia and internationally, it’s best to check the latest government travel requirements both in Australia and your destination. 

If you’re leaving Australia and don’t check vaccination requirements in other countries (unless you cannot be vaccinated and are exempt and can provide evidence or acceptable proof), you may have to return home. If your destination suddenly mandates face masks, vaccinations, health declarations, pre-approval, entry permits, and self-isolation or quarantine requirements, you could be denied entry. So, remember to check in for any restrictions in the places you plan to travel to, including any changes to Australian Federal or State/Territory requirements. 

What About Children and Vaccines?

Children aged  under 12 years and three months do not need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination for entry into Australia, however states and territories have varying requirements. Check with the individual jurisdiction’s health departments for details (5). 

Choose Travelvax For All Your Travel Health Needs

At Travelvax Australia, we aim to make sure travellers are healthy and knowledgeable about the medical needs and products they will need to keep them safe and well during their time trip away.

Travelvax offers a convenient, one-stop travel health consultation tailored to your personal needs and itinerary for corporate and individual travellers, with plenty of information and advice to keep you safe. 

Find a Travelvax clinic near you in most capital cities and some regional areas of NSW, Queensland, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.

Our information line on 1300 360 164 can provide further information and answers to general travel questions or a direct connection to the nearest Travelvax clinic for both travellers and agents.

References:

  1. https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/australias-biosecurity-emergency-pandemic-measures-to-end
  2. https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/easing-restrictions-travelling-overseas
  3. https://www.health.gov.au/health-alerts/covid-19/international-travel/proof-of-vaccination#vaccination-exemptions-and-medical-contraindications
  4. https://www.health.gov.au/sites/default/files/documents/2021/12/atagi-advice-on-the-definition-of-fully-vaccinated.pdf
  5. https://www.health.gov.au/about-us/contact-us/local-state-and-territory-health-departments
Covid Vaccine Requirements For Travel