Overseas travel

Vaccination information

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can depart Australia without requiring an outwards travel exemption.

For travellers seeking broader information on Australia’s border arrangements and COVID-19 requirements visit the Australian Government website.

For international travellers arriving in the ACT from overseas, you are considered fully vaccinated if:

  • you have received the number of doses required for a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or recognised by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • you have a medical contraindication certificate issued to you, or
  • you are aged under 12 years and 2 months and are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.

This includes:

  • two doses of the same recognised or approved vaccine, or
  • two doses of 2 different approved or recognised vaccines.

Please note that the vaccination course must have had the required number of days between doses, and at least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccination prior to scheduled departure from the overseas location.

Further information on TGA approved vaccines can be found on the Smartraveller website.

Individuals who have received a non-TGA approved or recognised vaccine are not able to receive a medical exemption (medical contraindication certificate) and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of travel to Australia.

There are currently no direct international flights arriving into the ACT.

The vast majority of travellers who wish to travel to the ACT arrive in Sydney, New South Wales.

Testing and restrictions on entry into certain high-risk settings apply, as outlined below.

Entering the ACT from overseas

FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELLERS

Vaccinated travellers arriving into the ACT within 7 days of their arrival to Australia are subject to the following requirements:

If the port of entry allows onward travel to the ACT, travellers will be required to:

  • Complete an online declaration form within 24 hours of arrival into the ACT
  • Undergo mandatory rapid antigen testing (RAT) for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Australia. PCR tests may be used if a RAT is not available
  • Travel directly to their ACT residence or other suitable accommodation and quarantine until receiving a negative test result
  • You may leave quarantine provided you have received confirmation of a negative test result, either via PCR test or RAT. You do not need to wait to be formally advised that you can leave quarantine by ACT Health.
  • All residents in the household where the returned traveller is quarantining must also quarantine during this period, if appropriate separation cannot be maintained.
  • Travellers aged under 12 years and 2 months do not require a separate declaration form and should be included on the form of their parent or guardian.

While you may leave quarantine after a negative test result, due to the increased risk associated with travel we strongly encourage you to limit your movement in the community for the first 7 days after your arrival to Australia.

During this period, ACT Health strongly recommends returned travellers to:

  • stay at home wherever possible and minimise their movement in public spaces to essential reasons only.
  • keep good records of where they have been, including dates and times and use the Check in CBR app wherever it is required.
  • avoid use of public transport, and if essential ensure a face mask is worn
  • practise good hand and respiratory hygiene and wear a face mask whenever in a public space.

COVID-19 testing is a critical tool to assist in the early identification and management of positive cases.

If at any time you experience COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested immediately and quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

There are additional restrictions on entering high-risk facilities and some other settings in the ACT for up to 14 days after arrival in Australia.

FULLY VACCINATED FLIGHT CREW, AIR AMBULANCE AND MEDEVAC CREW

Fully vaccinated flight crew, air ambulance and medevac crew who enter the ACT within 14 days following a flight that originated from a place outside Australia are subject to the following requirements:
  • Undergo mandatory RAT or PCR testing for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Australia and quarantine until you receive a negative test result, unless required to leave Australia on work duties during this period.
  • All residents in the household where the returned traveller is quarantining must also quarantine during this period, if appropriate separation cannot be maintained.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER

Unvaccinated travellers aged 18 years and over arriving from overseas are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

  • Complete a mandatory 14 day quarantine period at port of entry.
  • If travel to the ACT is required for exceptional or compassionate reasons an exemption will be required to be obtained from ACT Health.
  • Travellers may be required to seek approval from their port of entry to enter the ACT.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – 12 TO 17 YEARS

Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 years and 2 months to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated adult are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated adult are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

To apply for an exemption if you are not an unvaccinated traveller aged 12 years and 2 months to 17 years of age, please email COVID.Exemptions@act.gov.au

This email should include who you are, the reasons for requesting an exemption, where you propose to stay for your quarantine period, and how you plan to get to your quarantine accommodation.

Entry into high-risk and other settings

All returning overseas travellers must not enter a high-risk setting until 14 days have passed since their arrival into Australia.

This includes a hospital, residential aged care facility, correction and detention facilities, and residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to disease.

If travellers need to enter a high-risk setting within 14 days of their arrival, they must receive approval from the facility prior to entry.

Travellers can still access urgent medical care and urgent aged or disability care services, but must inform staff of their recent travel.

Travellers who are released from quarantine after a negative test result are not permitted entry into the following settings for 7 days following their arrival to Australia:

  • childcare or early childhood service
  • a primary school or school attended by children under 12 years of age, or a specialist school or flexible education program.

Public Health Directions

The Public Health (Returned Travellers) Emergency Direction 2021 (the Direction) sets out requirements for all travellers who are seeking to enter the ACT on their return from overseas. The Public Health Direction is available on the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website.

COVID safe behaviours and follow up testing will still be required in the community.

People seeking to enter the ACT from overseas who are not fully vaccinated must complete quarantine at their port of entry prior to being permitted entry into the ACT, unless an exemption is granted.

Further Information

Movement through airports
  • Face masks must be worn at all NSW and ACT airports and on flights into or out of these jurisdictions.  
    • You must follow the face mask rules while in an airport and in the community.
  • While moving around the airport and in the community, make sure to maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres from people who are not known to you.
  • Maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Seek help if you develop symptoms

You should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 on an ongoing basis.  Any person who is experiencing symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested immediately.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • fever (37.5 degrees or higher) or chills
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • new loss of smell or taste
  • runny or blocked nose
  • other reported symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

There are several COVID-19 testing centres in the ACT.

People arriving into the ACT with a medical contraindication

Persons who are arriving into the ACT with a valid medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination will be treated as a fully vaccinated travellers.

A medical contraindication certificate is defined in the Public Health Direction as a certificate issued by a medical practitioner:

  • Provided in a form approved by the ACT Chief Health Officer certifying that because of a specified medical contraindication, the person to whom the certificate has been issued cannot have any available COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Provided in a form approved by another State or Territory Government certifying that because of a specified medical contraindication, the person to whom the certificate has been issued cannot have any available COVID-19 vaccination; or

In addition, the ACT will accept evidence from an overseas medical practitioner or other authority, which has been accepted at point of departure.

Further advice
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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: January 08 2022