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7 Destinations Where Vaccinated Australians Could Enjoy Quarantine-Free Travel

7 Destinations Where Vaccinated Australians Could Enjoy Quarantine-Free Travel

Brighter days are ahead for Australians as the travel ban finally lifts on 8 November 2021. The easing of border control in the Land Down Under means that fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents who are 12 years old and above are allowed to travel overseas without applying for an exemption. 

A word of caution: this travel ban may have been lifted, but it doesn’t mean that things are back to their pre-COVID-19 conditions. Restrictions will only be more laid-back than what it was more than a year ago, and there are borders you can cross without any trouble as long as you comply with the requirements.

Speaking of requirements, these are the qualifications to be able to leave Australia without exemptions:

  • You have to be fully vaccinated with shots recognized or approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Moreover, you need to have had two doses of the vaccine (or one dose if it’s Johnson & Johnson/Janssen-Cilag) taken at least 14 days apart.
  • You must have a printed or electronic copy of your International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate at check-in when leaving Australia. Get your certificate from your myGov account.
  • Travelers who are five years old and above should present proof of a negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) molecular test no more than 72 hours before your scheduled departure of the first leg of their return flight to Australia.
  • Children under 12 years old who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons can travel abroad without an exemption.

If you are itching to get on a plane and go on a travel splurge, here are seven destinations that are open to travelers from Australia and other select countries. Make sure to check the requirements of each before you book your flights!

1. Fiji

Photo: Jeremy Bezanger on Unsplash

Now that the country is set to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travelers aged 18 and above, Australians can book tickets to Fiji from 1 December 2021.

However, tourists who are 12 years old and above need to have proof of a negative RT-PCR result from a test taken within three days of departure. Upon arrival, you will be asked to download the careFIJI app to your phone. Afterward, you have to go straight to your hotel, where you will spend your first two days. You will be asked to take a rapid antigen (swab) test and show negative results after 48 hours to be allowed to resume your holiday. 

2. Singapore

Photo: Hu Chen on Unsplash

Australia is one of the countries included in Singapore’s Vaccinated Travel Lane, which will allow entry to Singapore without the need to quarantine upon arrival. Do also note that you need to apply for a Vaccinated Travel Pass if you’re a short-term visitor and show proof that you are fully vaccinated at least two weeks before travel. 

You will also be required to take a PCR test when you arrive at the Changi Airport and stay in isolation until a negative result is confirmed. Travel insurance that covers COVID-19 hospital costs and medical treatment will also be required.

Don’t know how and where to take the PCR test? Download the SmooveX app here to book one seamlessly.

3. Thailand

Photo: Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

If you’re planning to go to the Land of Smiles, monitor the country’s travel advisories closely since changes are being made regularly. There are currently limited direct flights, but Thai Airways plans to increase their flights starting 17 November 2021. 

Non-stop flights from Sydney to Phuket will be available three times a week. Starting 8 December 2021, there will be daily flights from Sydney to Bangkok up for bookings. 

Another thing: you’ll need to register your details at the Thailand Travel Pass website at least seven days before departure. You also need to buy a minimum of S$50,000 travel insurance per person to cover your medical expenses, including COVID-19 treatment.

Lastly, you have to show proof of vaccination no less than 14 days before departure upon arrival, plus a medical certificate with a negative result of a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before. You will also need proof of a fully-paid booking for your first night’s stay at a government-approved hotel, where you will wait for a negative result from a PCR test taken upon your arrival.

4. United States

Photo: Joseph Barrientos on Unsplash

Health protection agency Centers for Disease Control requires all non-US citizens 18 years old and above coming into the United States by plane to be fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel with any of the vaccines approved by the Federal Drug Administration. 

All travelers who are two years old and above should also show a negative COVID-19 test result. Upon check-in, you have to prove a negative PCR result for COVID-19 from a test taken three days before departure. This rule also applies to accompanying children aged between two and 17.

5. Canada

Photo: Neil Rosenstech on Unsplash

Starting 1 December, Air Canada flights from Sydney to Vancouver will resume. Canada is open to Australian tourists who are double-vaccinated for discretionary travel. Travelers who are five years old and above must provide a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours before departure. Before boarding your flight to Canada, you must also submit the required information using the ArriveCAN app and show your ArriveCAN receipt when entering the country.

6. United Kingdom

Photo: Heidi Fin on Unsplash

All fully vaccinated international travelers going to the UK will no longer have to quarantine in a hotel. There’s also no need to show a negative test result before departing for the UK, but remember that all airlines operating in and out of Australia currently require passengers to take PCR tests before leaving. 

Before arriving in the UK, you have to fill in a contact locator form and pre-book a COVID-19 test to be taken before the end of day two after your arrival. Also, keep in mind that rules between England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland may vary.

7. Spain, Italy, and Portugal

Photo: Johan Mouchet on Unsplash

It makes sense to lump these countries together since they are close and share the exact requirements. Fully vaccinated Australians can enter as tourists without the need to quarantine, although there are varying testing requirements pre-departure.

Wherever the destination you decide to fly to, check the complete list of vaccines recognized and approved by each destination — as well as the exemptions and additional guidelines — to make sure that you’re fully qualified to enter their borders. Remember to consider the requirements added by each airline, too. 

Masks are here to stay, so expect to be required to wear one at the airport and during your flights. And while you’re overseas, make it a habit to keep your eyes and ears peeled for updates!

If one could make a living making and sharing memes, Justine would have done so and with utter relish. But alas, no such job exists (at least to her knowledge), so here she is, digging the deep trenches of the Internet to back up the words she strings for posterity and public service. Her current passion for memes is relegated to pastime status, but she hopes that one day, she can sit back with a dirty martini and scroll and share memes like a beast without having to worry about next month's rent.