Fully vaccinated Australians will not require an exemption to depart Australia from 1 November 2021.

With millions of Australians now fully vaccinated, and more joining them each and every day, the Morrison Government can safely welcome fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents across Australia’s international border in increasing numbers.

Minister for Home Affairs Karen Andrews said the Morrison Government was committed to easing restrictions for fully vaccinated Australians, in line with soaring vaccination rates and the National Plan to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response.

“Our first priority is Australian citizens and permanent residents and today we are delivering on that by removing restrictions on fully-vaccinated Australians travelling out of Australia. The easing of these restrictions is possible thanks to our impressive national vaccination rates, and I thank all those who have done the right thing and rolled up their sleeve,” Minister Andrews said.

“I look forward to further easing restrictions over coming weeks and months as more and more Australians become fully vaccinated. Before the end of the year, we anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students.

“Our system of border exemptions has kept Australia free from widespread COVID transmission for more than 18 months, but as Australia’s vaccination rate continues to climb, and the end of the year approaches, the Morrison Government stands ready to once more welcome a significant number of fully vaccinated people across Australia’s international border.”

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said increases in COVID-19 vaccination meant changes to the Human Biosecurity Determination on outbound international travel could now safely be made. These changes have been made on medical advice regarding the protection provided by COVID-19 vaccination for travelling Australians.

“Australian citizens and permanent residents who want to travel overseas, will need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, with the second dose occurring at least seven days prior to travel. These changes will also facilitate travel by children under 12 years of age,” Minister Hunt said.

“We want Australians to be able to reunite with their loved ones, whether it’s for births, weddings or just to visit family. Vaccination is the most effective way to protect our community against COVID-19 and I’d like to thank every single Australian who has come forward and received a COVID-19 vaccine, which has helped us get to this point.”

People who do not meet these eligibility requirements will continue to require a travel exemption to travel overseas, and will be subject to current passenger caps and quarantine arrangements (managed by states and territories) when returning to Australia.

More information can be found on the Department of Home Affairs website. Travellers should also familiarise themselves with state and territory quarantine arrangements.

New changes to the Human Biosecurity Determinations also clarify the arrangements for incoming international travel by creating clear exemptions for medical evacuation flights and people who are ‘persistent shedders’ of the COVID-19 virus.

They also simplify the pre-flight testing requirements to be three days (rather than 72 hours) and ensure that decisions on exemptions to testing are taken on the basis of recent medical advice.

The Australian Government is committed to protecting all Australians from COVID-19, and balancing the desire of international visitors to come to Australia.

Appropriate steps to mitigate the risk of existing or emerging strains of COVID-19 must be a part of our plan to reopen Australia to the world.

More information on pre-departure testing and requirements for masks during the flight is available on the Department of Health website.