Planning to travel during COVID-19: step by step

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Travel is more complicated now. There are more things Travel you need to think about when you’re planning your trip. 

Read through our step-by-step guide to see what you might expect, from the time you start planning your trip to the moment you arrive back in Australia.

1. Decide whether it’s safe to goRead our global COVID-19 health advisory.Read the travel advice for your destination and all your potential transit locations. Make sure you understand the risks for every place you’re planning to visit. Check the entry and exit requirements. Find out whether your destination and all your planned activities are covered by travel insurance. The advice level of your destination can affect whether you can get insurance, and what’s covered.Find out what to do if you test positive to COVID-19 when travelling overseas. It’s important you understand the risks of contracting COVID-19 in your destination, including any financial implications this may have for you and those travelling with you.Find out what state and territory requirements you need to meet when you return. Check with your transport operator for their vaccination and testing policy before you book your flights or cruise. 

The Australian Government recommends passengers departing Australia be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and travel with proof of vaccination status documentation. Unvaccinated Australians are strongly discouraged from international travel due to the health risks posed by COVID-19.

If you’re not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, understand that the risks might be different for you. You may face more difficulty finding flights. Airlines and cruise lines may have a vaccination policy that prevents you from flying with them.

More information:International travel (Australian Government)

2. Plan your tripRead our general travel advice before you go to help plan to stay safe and healthy. Find out what you need to do if you’re travelling with children.Get a health check and organise your travel vaccinations. Some vaccinations need to be done well in advance of your trip, particularly those that need several doses.Plan contingencies for what you would do if you end up overseas longer than expected due to flight cancellations or testing positive to COVID-19.Subscribe for updates and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.Check with your travel provider. They can help you understand rules and requirements specific to your planned trip. 

More information:Travel health advice (HealthDirect)

3. Get your passport and visas ready

4. Get travel insurance and other documents readyBook your travel insurance. Read the conditions carefully before you buy so you know what’s covered.Let your bank know where you’re going and organise your foreign currency. Check how much cash you can carry into your destination.If you’re vaccinated, download your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.Organise any other documentation your destination needs, such as COVID-19 entry declarations or international driving permits.If your destination or airline needs evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result, book a COVID-19 test. Make sure to check the test types accepted and timeframes they need the test done within, and plan ahead.

More information: CHOICE travel insurance buying guide

5. Leaving through Australian border control

Don’t forget your mask! Many airlines and destinations still have mask mandates in place.

When exiting Australia, you must provide proof of your vaccination status if requested by an Australian official. Carry your proof of vaccination status documentation with you. If you can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons you’ll need to provide proof of medical contraindication, if requested. 

Remember, your destination, transit locations and transport operators may have their own testing and vaccination requirements.

If your destination or travel provider requires it, have the following ready when you check in to your flightyour proof of vaccinationyour negative COVID-19 test results.

Your transport operator can refuse to allow you on board ifyou’re showing symptoms of COVID-19you don’t meet their vaccination requirementsyou don’t meet the requirements of your destination.

More information:Leaving AustraliaTravel for vaccinated Australians (Department of Home Affairs)Travel for unvaccinated Australians (Department of Home Affairs)COVID-19 and the border (Department of Home Affairs)

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