More good news for travel simplicity in the region, with the Government of Australia confirming that it is lifting all COVID-19 border restrictions on Wednesday 6th July 2022, allowing unvaccinated foreign travellers to enter the country and removing the requirement to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration prior to departure.
This marks the end of Australia’s COVID-19 border restrictions, first implemented over two years ago on 20th March 2020, as the pandemic took hold, though national carrier Qantas will continue to insist on all its international passengers being fully vaccinated.
In summary, from 6th July 2022:
- Passengers travelling to Australia will no longer be required to provide evidence of vaccination.
- Unvaccinated visa holders, including foreign tourists, will not require a travel exemption.
- Passengers will not be required to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).
- Passengers departing Australia will not be required to provide evidence of their vaccination status.
Australia started reopening its borders to its own citizens and permanent residents in November 2021, also allowing some other nationalities including Singapore Citizens to enter, with vaccination and testing mandates in place.
Border opening was later expanded to all vaccinated visitors from February 2022, with pre-departure testing eventually ditched in April, though fully vaccinated status has remained a requirement.
Vaccination requirement removed
Under this new border policy, those arriving in Australia from 0.01am (AEST) on Wednesday 6th July 2022 will no longer be required to declare their vaccination status prior to departure.
While unvaccinated Australian citizens have been free to return to the country, unvaccinated foreign travellers have been required to obtain an exemption for specific reasons. This will no longer apply from Wednesday.
Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific there is also no requirement for visitors to be fully vaccinated to make quarantine-free trips to Vietnam (no PDT), the Maldives (no PDT), South Korea (with a PDT), Thailand (with a PDT) or Laos (with a PDT).
Mask-wearing will still be mandated on inbound international flights to Australia. In any event, it also remains a requirement for all inbound and outbound flights from Singapore.
Qantas will retain its vaccine mandate
If you’re travelling to Australia on Qantas, do note that the airline requires all passengers aged 18 or over who are medically eligible to be fully vaccinated, regardless of their nationality, when travelling on its international flights.