COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 questions, below.
Updated at 6 May 2020
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Returning to Australia
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
|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.
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|
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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Australian Government Department of Health website
- Australian Government Department of Home Affairs
- Australian Foreign Minister’s Announcement regarding Australians abroad during COVID-19
- New South Wales: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19
- Queensland: www.qld.gov.au/about/newsroom/queensland-border-restrictions
- Victoria: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus
- Australian Capital Territory: www.covid19.act.gov.au/home
- South Australia: www.sa.gov.au/covid-19
- Northern Territory: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel
- Western Australia: www.wa.gov.au/government/covid-19-coronavirus
Staying in the UK
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.
- NHS Health information and advice - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
- UK Government Coronavirus Information webpage - https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
You should also read the Smartraveller information linked below:
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)
- 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.