Australians travelling overseas: What to know


Australians travelling overseas: What to know


Australians travelling overseas: What to know

For the first time since Friday, 20th March 2020, Australia has reopened its borders to the rest of the world and fully vaccinated Australians are now free to travel internationally.

With rules and requirements constantly changing, it can be difficult to keep up with what still applies. No longer can we simply book a flight and pack a suitcase; we need to be informed and aware of current restrictions in both Australia and overseas destinations.

With platforms such as Smartraveller and Visalink, international travel doesn’t have to be complicated.

Here are some things you need to know.

Before you fly

Before you book your international flight, it is important to plan ahead.

Smart Traveller offers a step-by-step guide on how to plan your international trip.

Proof of vaccination

Those over the age of 12 who are fully vaccinated and hold an International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) can leave Australia without the need for a travel exemption.

It is a requirement that all outbound passengers hold proof of vaccination, unless:

  • The passenger is a child under the age of 12
  • The passenger is medically exempt

Testing requirements

Pre-departure testing requirements are determined by the countries you are travelling to and will vary depending on your destination.

Some countries may require you to provide a negative COVID-19 test result prior to your flight check in, and so it is important to check the government travel requirements of your destination before your departure.

Isolating or quarantining upon arrival at destination

To ensure you are prepared, be aware of the entry requirements set by the country you are travelling to.

Some destinations may require you to isolate or quarantine when you arrive.

Visalink provides accurate, up-to-date information about the conditions of entry to international travel destinations through three easy resources:

Staying safe when you’ve reached your destination

Your travel plan doesn’t end when you reach your destination.

It is important that you consider the risk of contracting COVID-19 when you are overseas, so that you can be prepared for any financial impacts on you and those you are travelling with.

Be informed when selecting your travel insurance; check that it covers circumstances involving COVID-19.

Visit Smartraveller for a comprehensive guide to buying insurance, and for more information on staying safe when travelling internationally during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning to Australia: What you need  

Be aware of the entry requirements for the state or territory you will be returning to as they may have changed since you left.

Testing requirements

You must provide a negative COVID-19 test result before your departure. This is mandatory and a positive test result will mean that you cannot board the flight.

The test must be:

  • A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or nucleic acid amplification (NAA) within 3 days of your departure


  • A medically overseen rapid antigen test (RAT) within 24 hours of your departure to Australia

Digital Passenger Declaration

Before you return to Australia, you must complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).

This system has been newly introduced by the Australian Government in place of the Australian Travel Declaration.

The DPC can be completed seven days prior to your departure and needs to be submitted within 72 hours of your flight to Australia.

The DPD can be submitted online or as a hard copy, and will ask you to provide the following:

  • Contact details, including an Australian contact number
  • Flight details
  • A declaration of your vaccination status
  • A declaration of your travel history from the previous 14 days
  • A declaration regarding your awareness of quarantine and testing requirements relevant to the state or territory you are returning to
  • A declaration that you are aware of the penalties for transgression

If the passenger is a child under the age of 16 years, a parent or guardian must complete the declaration on their behalf.

For additional information, the Australian Government has provided a page for frequently asked questions.

Whilst it can be tempting to jump on a flight and begin that long-awaited getaway, being informed and aware of changing requirements will guarantee a safe and enjoyable international travel experience.

More information on returning to Australia is available on Smartraveller.

Pre-departure COVID-19 testing | Qantas

Outbound international travel | Australian Government Department of Health

Digital Passenger Declaration frequently asked questions (

Digital Passenger Declaration | COVID-19 and the border (