Australia is planning to bring international students and TR visa holders back
Australia is ready to take its next steps to safely reopen to the world, with changes coming to the international border.
The government is setting out the framework for how international travel will look in coming months.
With first dose vaccination rates at over 78 per cent and double dose rates nationwide at 55 per cent and on track to reach 70 per cent in some jurisdictions over the next week, our government has been finalising plans so Australian families can be reunited, Australian workers can travel in and out of our country, and we can work towards welcoming tourists back to our shores.
Within weeks, large parts of the country will be moving to Phase B and then to Phase C of the National Plan to safely reopen Australia and to stay safely open. Under Phase C, international travel is on track to reopen safely to fully vaccinated Australian travellers. Many countries around the world have now safely reopened to international travel and it will shortly be time for Australia to take the next step.
To enable fully vaccinated Australians to travel, the government is finalising new arrangements.
Following completion of home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia, it is anticipated that states and territories that are ready to do so will roll out:
7-day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or ‘recognised’ by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who cannot be vaccinated - for example if they are under 12 or have a medical condition - will be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of their travel.
States and territories will begin this program at different times given their varying vaccination rates but we expect the system to commence in November.
Under Phase B and C of the National Plan, 14-day managed quarantine caps apply to unvaccinated arrivals. These will return to previous levels at Phase B of the National Plan. We will work with states and territories to remove all travel caps on vaccinated Australians.
In line with the National Plan, our government is balancing the need to minimise the risk that the spread of COVID-19 presents, with the need to live with the virus.
Australian citizens and permanent residents who have been vaccinated with a TGA-approved vaccine overseas can already visit their GP or local pharmacist in Australia to have their COVID-19 vaccination status updated in the Australian Immunisation Register, to be able to show proof of vaccination in Australia.
Today, the TGA has published its initial assessment of the data on the protection offered by the Coronavac (Sinovac) and Covishield (AstraZeneca/Serum Institute of India) vaccines and has advised that these vaccines should be considered as ‘recognised vaccines’ for the purpose of determining incoming international travellers as being appropriately vaccinated.
Declaring certain COVID-19 vaccines as ‘recognised vaccines’ is separate to a regulatory decision on whether they are approved for use for vaccination in Australia, which has not been made by the TGA.
The recognition of these two additional vaccines is a major milestone towards more Australians vaccinated overseas getting home sooner.
The TGA will continue its assessment of other vaccines for the purpose of determining ‘recognised vaccines’ based on the available data and data that is provided.