Tips & News

Australia Has Made It Easier to Visit — Here’s What’s Changed

Although travelers to Australia are still required to be vaccinated, the country is lifting its requirement of a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

By Alison Fox

Apr 18, 2022

AUSTRALIA HAS ELIMINATED its pre-arrival Covid test requirements for international travelers as of April 17, just weeks after reopening its borders to the world.

“The emergency period was a crucial early decision in Australia’s pandemic response,” Greg Hunt, the minister for health and aged care, said in a statement, adding, “Shutting the international borders early was a tough but decisive action, which enabled Australia to manage the pandemic and minimize the loss of life.”

Hobart city from Mount Wellington Lookout at sunrise, Hobart, TAS, Australia, no covid test
Hobart city from Mount Wellington Lookout at sunrise, Hobart. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia fully reopened to international visitors on February 21, and now requires travelers only to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask while on international flights, according to Hunt. Previously, arrivals to Australia were required to show proof of a negative Covid PCR or ATK test, taken within varying time periods shortly before the departure time.

Additionally, on April 17, Australia also dropped restrictions on cruise ships into and within Australian territory. Following that announcement, Royal Caribbean announced several Australian cruises for 2023 and 2024 sailing out of Brisbane and Sydney.

Sailing on Sydney Harbour, Australia, no covid test
Sailing on Sydney Harbour, Sydney, NSW. Courtesy of Tourism Australia

Australia has become the latest country to drop the pre-arrival Covid test requirement for international tourists, joining popular tourist hotspots like South Africa, Canada, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Others have gone even further and eliminated coronavirus-related border protocols completely, including Iceland, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, are still required to get tested within one day of flying to the country, but airlines and travel groups have urged the Biden administration to lift those pandemic-era restrictions.

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