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Update as at 29 March 2020
From 29 March 2020, all travellers entering Australia (including Australian citizens and permanent residents) are required to undertake a mandatory quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. Travellers will be transported directly from the airport of arrival to designated facilities. The designated facilities where the quarantine will take place (for example a hotel) will usually be in the city of arrival in Australia. This mandatory quarantine requirement is in place until further notice.
Updates as at 25 March 2020
From midday 25 March 2020, Australian citizens and permanent residents are restricted from travelling outside Australia (by air or sea or the operator of an outgoing aircraft or vessel), unless an exemption is granted to them. This Determination is in force for an initial period of 4 weeks.
If an Australian Citizen or permanent resident must travel, they are required to make a request in writing only if one of the following exemptions apply:
An exemption must be granted to the Australian Citizen or permanent resident prior to them departing Australia. A person who fails to comply with the travel restriction may commit a criminal offence and be imprisoned for a maximum 5 years, or be fined 300 penalty units ($63,000).
PwC's immigration team can assist with travel exemptions for individuals travelling inbound to or outbound from Australia, if there are compelling or compassionate reasons. Please contact your PwC immigration advisor for further details.
Updates as at 23 March
The Australian Department of Home Affairs will consider requests from temporary visa holders affected by the travel ban to travel to Australia. Please note only travellers who have compassionate or compelling reasons to travel to Australia should contact the Department for an exemption. Please find a link to the exemption form here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/covid19-enquiry-form
Travellers should wait for the Department's response about whether an exemption is granted before arranging travel to Australia. If granted an exemption to travel, travellers should ensure they carry evidence of adequate accommodation arrangements in Australia to comply with the 14 day self isolation requirement.
Updates as at 20th of March
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has confirmed the Australian travel ban is for all international travellers to Australia. The only exemptions are for:
Please note the travel ban takes effect from 9pm AEDT on Friday 20 March 2020. Restrictions are in place until further notice. Please bookmark this website for further updates.
Those exempt from the travel ban will continue to be subject to a 14 day self isolation period upon arrival in Australia.
You should consider the following at this time:
These are challenging times, and we are here to support you in any way we can. Please contact PwC Australia's immigration team if you need help or advice.
Update as at 19th of March
The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has announced a travel ban on all non-residents and non-Australian citizens coming into Australia. This will be effective from 9pm AEDT on Friday 20 March 2020. More details on how this will impact existing Australian visa holders to follow.
Update as at 18th of March
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has advised all Australians not to travel overseas at this time. This is the highest advice level (4 out of 4). The Department has urged all Australians who are overseas and wish to return to Australia to do so as soon as possible before global travel restrictions intensify. Australian consular support overseas may be limited due to the restrictions on movement and other services.
The Department's update can be found here: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/news-and-updates/coronavirus-covid-19
Update as at 16th of March
Over the weekend the Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a universal precautionary self-isolation requirement to halt the spread of COVID-19. From midnight 15 March 2020 onwards:
In addition, restrictions will continue to apply to travellers arriving from any part of mainland China, Republic of Korea, Italy and Iran. Australia will deny entry to anyone who has left or transited through one of these countries within the previous 14 days. Australian citizens and permanent residents, their immediate family members and New Zealand citizen residents of Australia are exempt, however are required to self-isolate at home for 14 days from the day they left mainland China, Republic of Korea, Italy or Iran.
Some state governments (including Queensland, NSW and Victoria) have already passed laws introducing heavy penalties for those who do not comply with self-isolation requirements.
Please contact your PwC immigration advisor if you have any questions or require further analysis on any of these or other visa situations.
These self-isolation requirements are temporary and will be reviewed frequently by the Australian government; we will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions or concerns about how these restrictions will impact your people, your visas or your business, please contact your PwC Immigration advisor below.