Australia Temporarily Re-Closes Borders but VTL Remains Open

Australia Temporarily Re-Closes Borders but VTL Remains Open

Oh well, we win some, we lose some...

News of the Omicron Variant of COVID-19 has left many shaken up and the possibility of travel is once again up in the air. It seems like every day we hear that borders are closing once more. Most recently, Australia announced that it will be re-closing its border to students and foreign workers. As alarming as that sounds, travellers who are looking forward to flying to Australia under the VTL can rest easy knowing that you are still permitted to enter the land Down Under, albeit with some additional caveats. 

Also read: Sydney Travel Requirements: What to Do Before Visiting Australia

Updated Australia Travel Requirements

Image credit: Photoholgic

Currently, only the following people are permitted to enter Australia: 

  1. Permanent residents of Australia
  2. Immediate family members of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  3. New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia and their immediate family members
  4. People who have been in New Zealand or Australia for 14 days or more immediately prior to arriving by air in Australia
  5. Fully vaccinated Singaporean citizens travelling from Singapore
  6. Fully vaccinated Japanese citizens travelling from Japan (from 15 Dec 2021)
  7. Fully vaccinated South Korean citizens travelling from South Korea (from 15 Dec 2021)
Australia closes borders, VTL still open

Image credit: Benjamin Punzalan

Of these people, those who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, or Malawi 14 days prior to arriving in Australia must serve a mandatory 14-day quarantine period. 

For those travelling through travel lane schemes like Singapore’s VTL, they may be allowed to arrive quarantine-free in states that permit it. However, as of 28 Nov 2021, fully vaccinated travellers arriving into New South Wales and Victoria from overseas must go straight to their place of residence or accommodation and self-isolate for 72 hours. Additionally, they must get a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. 

Image credit: Victor 

Despite the delays that arose due to the Omicron Variant, there is minimal disruption to those who have plans to visit Australia through the VTL. While it is unfortunate that quarantine-free travel to Victoria and New South Wales is no longer on the table, 72 hours of self-isolation seems a fair price to pay for a long-awaited holiday!

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Elyssa is always on the lookout for something interesting to do (or eat). When she’s not out looking for trouble, she can be found at home trying out a new recipe, curled up with a mystery book, or watching a crime documentary.