Student arrival plans and latest travel advice by Australian State
Despite this temporary pause in reopening, students can still work to ensure they have all paperwork and documents ready for their return to Australia and we encourage you to use this time to do so.
Due to the Omicron variant in southern Africa, travel restrictions are in place for South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi and Mozambique (please note, Seychelles is no longer on this list).
Student arrival plans by Australian state
The Northern Territory has announced all fully vaccinated arrivals into the Territory will be required to undergo rapid antigen testing from 20 December 2021. Fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer be required to quarantine from 20 December 2021 but an ongoing testing requirement will continue.
Western Australia has announced it will welcome fully vaccinated international students with no quarantine period once 90% of Western Australians are fully vaccinated. It is expected that this target will be reached in late January or early February 2022, in time for Semester 1.
Queensland will welcome back fully vaccinated international students from early 2022. Under Queensland's plan, once 90% of the state's eligible population (aged 16+) is fully vaccinated, there will be no quarantine requirement for international students arriving in Queensland from overseas.
South Australia will welcome fully vaccinated international arrivals (including international students) with no quarantine period once 90% of South Australians (aged 12+) are fully vaccinated. It is expected that the 90% target will be reached in late December 2021.
Fully vaccinated eligible student visa holders who have not been in a country of concern (currently South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi and Mozambique) in the past 14 days can travel to Australia from Wednesday 15 December 2021 without a travel exemption. Fully vaccinated eligible student visa holders are required to undergo 72 hours of home-based quarantine upon arrival. They will also need to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and between days 5 and 7 after entering Victoria.
For students looking to return to or enter Tasmania to resume or commence study, Tasmania's travel restrictions will relax from 15 December. Those arriving prior to 15 December (and arriving via a connecting flight from the Australian mainland) will need to undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days. From 15 December onwards, there will be no quarantine requirement for fully vaccinated arrivals who have a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before flying into Tasmania. If a student is coming from a 'hot spot' where there are COVID-19 cases, they will be required to return a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before their departure from mainland Australia.
The Australian Capital Territory has announced it will welcome back international tertiary education students, who are fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine recognised by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration, for the start of the 2022 academic year. UPDATE: In response to the discovery of the new COVID-19 variant Omicron, all international travellers into the ACT will need to quarantine for 72 hours after arrival and obtain a COVID-19 test. International travellers arriving into NSW or Victoria who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini or Malawi for the past 14 days from 1 December 2021, must not travel to the ACT until quarantine requirements have been completed at their point of entry into Australia. As of 15 December, provided students are fully vaccinated and meet the pre-flight 72 hour negative COVID-19 test requirement, they will be allowed in to the ACT without the need for a travel exemption.
New South Wales has announced plans for the staggered return of international students through a pilot program of 250 students every two weeks beginning Monday 6 December, then on 24 December, 2021, starting with student visa holders currently enrolled with a NSW education provider. Pilot plan flights will continue in January depending on what happens with the Omicron variant. If you are enrolled with an education provider in New South Wales, please refer to your provider's website for further details.
Further expansions to arrival programs across Australia are planned by other States and Territories and will be guided by expert health advice, we will keep you updated here.
Study Australia Update 30 November