On Monday 7 February 2022 the Australian Prime Minister announced in a joint media statement that the Australian borders will officially be reopened on 21 February 2022. Since COVID-19 forced Australia’s border closure in early 2020, tourism and migration have arguably been the most affected industries and contributed heavily to Australia’s economic suffering. The tourism sector proves itself time and again to be a driver of the Australian economy, with an estimated generation of $61 billion in 2019. Allowing entry into Australia again is a significant and important step in its economic recovery. However, only fully vaccinated individuals will benefit from this change.
Up until now, Australian citizens, permanent residents and temporary visa holders have had to apply for a travel exemption to enter Australia. To enter Australia from 21 February, this requirement is removed for individuals that are double-vaccinated. If you’re thinking of travelling to Victoria, there is legislative movement towards triple-vaccination. The vaccine must be Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved or recognised vaccines for the purpose of travel.
Thinking of traveling to Australia? Here’s what you need to know
From Monday 21 February 2022, all fully vaccinated individuals may enter Australia without a travel exemption. However, if you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to seek a travel exemption. Strict entry requirements in Australia mean that if you are not vaccinated, you must provide valid evidence of an exemption from being vaccinated known as a medical contraindication. To demonstrate valid medical contraindication:
- You had a previous anaphylactic reaction after a previous dose of a vaccine where no appropriate COVID-19 vaccine was available.
- For an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, you experienced inflammatory cardiac illness within the past 3 months. Examples include myocarditis, pericarditis, acute rheumatic fever or acute rheumatic heart disease (i.e. with active myocardial inflammation) or acute decompensated heart failure.
- For all COVID-19 vaccines:
- Acute major medical condition (e.g. you are undergoing major surgery or hospital admission for a serious illness).
- Treatment with anti-SARS-CoV-2 monoclonal antibody or convalescent plasma therapy in the previous 90 days.
- Any serious adverse event attributed to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, without another cause identified, and with no acceptable alternative vaccine available.
- The vaccine is a risk to you or others during the vaccination process and may warrant a temporary vaccine exemption. This may include underlying developmental or mental health disorders.
Conditions that will not qualify as a contraindication for vaccination for travel to Australia include chronic symptoms following COVID-19 (“Long COVID”), pregnancy or a previously contracting COVID-19 (confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection).
Should you have any questions about these arrangements, please contact our migration lawyers in Melbourne.