Australian High Commission
United Kingdom
Australia House, London

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 questions, below.

Updated at 6 May 2020

We recommend you subscribe to updates from Smartraveller regarding travel advice for the United Kingdom.  You will be sent updates by email and critical updates by text message. We will issue any Australian Government advice about health and safety in your country on Smartraveller and send it to subscribers.

We recommend you also follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will post regular updates.

Flights 

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia. From 23:59 AEDT on 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.​

I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents can travel to Australia. You will need to complete a form first and provide evidence of your relationship. Read this box.

The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19.  

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempted from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians.  

Prior to travel you will need to submit this form and they should not travel until they receive advice that they can.  You will need to provide evidence of your relationship.

Please note that all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities (e.g hotels), in their city of arrival before they can go home.  See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions for more information.

I have seen the travel ban and want to go back to Australia. Can the High Commission offer any support?

While the High Commission is unable to assist with your travel arrangemments, we're aware of flights that are still operating. Read this box.

If you wish to return to Australia you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent and make immediate arrangements to fly back to Australia by commercial means.  Please check with airlines directly to confirm flight options.

A number of airlines are still operating flights from the UK to Australia, including:

  • Qantas Airways — who are operating as part of the Australian Government International Aviation Network — are operating double weekly services from London to Melbourne. Find out more here
  • Qatar Airways, continue to operate some services. Find out more here.

The High Commission is not able to assist with travel arrangements.  Should you require emergency consular support, please call the London Consular Emergency Line on +44 020 7887 5555 or the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.

If you need financial assistance, in the first instance talk to your travel insurer.  If they won’t help, talk to family or friends.

 I am an Australian on a working/studying visa in the UK. Should I go back to Australia or is it too late to leave now?

Flights remain availiable, if you wish to return to Australia — you should do so immediately. Read this box. 

On 25 March 2020, the Australian Government announced travel restrictions to help stem the spread of COVID-19. Australians can still return to Australia, and if you wish to do so, you should contact your preferred airline or travel agent to make immediate arrangements  by commercial means.  

Should you wish to remain in the UK, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities. Check out the information further down this page. 

It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in the UK for an extended period of time. 

I am British on an Australian visa which is nearing expiration and encountering difficulties leaving Australia due to travel restrictions.  Who can I contact to seek more information?

Contact the Department of Home Affairs. Read this box.

Please visit the ‘Visa Holders’ page on the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ website https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/all-visa-holders for more information.

State and Territory Quarantine Rules

The following links are provided for Australians leaving the United Kingdom and returning to Australia.

The Australian Government has introduced rules to protect Australians from COVID-19. All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

At the successful conclusion of quarantine, travellers may continue their journey to other states and territories — but you must take into consideration the rules of each state. A database of information is provided below. You should always consult the latest advice before making a decision on travel arrangements.  

Accurate as at 6 May 2020

State Overview More information
New South Wales There are no current border controls in NSW. Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice.
Northern Territory There are some restrictions on entry into the Northern Territory. 

Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice.

Queensland There are some restrictions on entry into Queensland. 

Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice.

South Australia There are some restrictions on entry into South Australia. 

Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice.

Tasmania

There are some restrictions on entry into Tasmania. All travellers coming to Tasmania must complete an Arrivals Form.

Up-to date advice, here: COVID-19 advice.

 

 

Victoria There are no closures or restrictions on Victoria’s borders. Non-essential domestic travel is restricted and Victorians are being urged to stay at home where possible, but key services, like health, freight and logistics – including those that travel across state’s borders, will continue. Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice
Western Australia

There are some restrictions on entry into Western Australia. 

Passengers on the International Aviation Network travelling from London to Melbourne or Melbourne to London will not be entering Western Australia — and as such — do not need to apply for an exemption.

Up-to-date advice, here: COVID-19 advice

 

Passports 

I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired. What do I do?

If you are flying directly back to Australia, Australian citizens may be permitted to enter Australia without a valid Australian passport. 

Before you go to the airport,  leave additional time and ensure you take all relevant identity and Australian citizenship documents with you to present at check-in. The following documents may assist you:

  • Expired Australian passport
  • Driving Licence
  • Australian birth certificate
  • Australian citizenship certificate
  • If a dual national, foreign passport

At check-in, advise airline staff that you are an Australian citizen and do not require a visa to enter Australia (even if you are a dual national). 

Airline staff will then need to contact Australia’s Border Operation Centre (your airline will have the phone number) to obtain approval for you to board the plane. 

It is important that you get to the airport early to avoid delays.  

Departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country.  Please note - all passport services have been suspended until further notice.

Is the High Commission in London still open? Am I still able to come in if I have any questions or concerns?

Yes, the High Commission in London is still open, however due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation and recommendations from local authorities, we have reduced the number of staff working in the office.  The Passport, Notarial and Consular walk-in service has been suspended until further notice. Should you require emergency consular support, please call the London Consular Emergency Line on +44 020 7887 5555 or the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.

If you are calling in regard to a passport application or enquiry, our passport team can be reached via email at passports.lhlh@dfat.gov.au

I want to learn more about the Australian Government response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Where can I find it? 
I am an Australian on a working/studying visa in the United Kingdom (UK) and have seen the updated travel recommendations.  I do not wish to leave the UK at this time, am I allowed to stay for the time being?

Should you wish to remain in the UK, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local health authorities (please see below).  It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay in the UK for an extended period of time.

You should also read the Smartraveller information linked below:

 I am an Australian on a UK visa which is nearing expiration and encountering difficulties leaving the UK due to travel restrictions.  Who can I contact to seek more information?

On 24 March 2020, the UK Home Office made an announcement concerning individuals who are in the United Kingdom legally. In their announcement, the Home Office indicated that if your visa has already expired -- or is soon due to -- and you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation requirements related to COVID-19, your visa can be extended to 31 May 2020

Individuals must contact the Coronavirus Immigration Team email to advise of their situation. The Coronavirus Immigration Team contact details are: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk or telephone 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm).  Individuals should include the following in their email:

  • Full name (include any middle names)
  • DOB (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality
  • Existing visa details
  • Reason that has required them to extend their stay (eg suspension of all flights to their place of permanent residence)

More information on UK visas can be found here.