COVID-19 TRAVEL FAQ
The following guide provides links and information for Australians planning to tour overseas, with specific FAQ for those heading to the US and the UK.
We will be updating this information regularly, however we recommend that you refer to the relevant government and airline websites for the most up to date information – as rules change regularly.
What websites should I refer to before, and during the trip?
This website is a fantastic resource that allows you to enter your travel details to access detailed information on what is required on every step of your journey. Remember some countries require negative tests even if you’re transiting through them. Have a look here: https://apply.joinsherpa.com/travel-restrictions
Always check Smart Traveller before leaving Australia:
You can also check individual pages for your destinations:
For the UK:
This website will update with any new advice for Australians travelling to the UK. Also refer to the UK Government website which provides the latest information on border requirements.
While fully vaccinated travellers will not be required to undertake any COVID tests before or after arrival, nor submit to any quarantine, all travellers should refer to your airline’s website to ensure you are meeting all boarding requirements.
For the USA:
This website will update with any new advice for Australians travelling to the US. Also refer to the CDC’s website for the latest rules around travel into the US.
You should also refer to your airline’s website to ensure you are meeting all boarding requirements.
What insurance will I need?
In short: it depends on who you are! But everyone will at least need travel insurance, pandemic or not.
We have put together a guide to insurance here: https://soundsaustralia.com.au/export/insurance/
Your normal insurer may not be operating like it once was – so be sure to take the time to research the best options – especially in regards to COVID-19 coverage. You may have to work with a new insurer.
Also keep in mind that while the UK has a reciprocal health care agreement with Australia, this should not replace insurance. The care provided under this agreement “must be urgent and medically necessary”, and they still require a co-payment from the patient.
Before you book your trip, ensure the country(ies) you are travelling to is not listed with the advice “DO NOT TRAVEL” from the Australian government. If this advice is posted, your travel insurance may not cover your trip. You can see the full list of destination advice on Smartraveller. At the time of writing this document, the UK is not one of these countries. The official advice is: Exercise a high degree of caution in the UK due to impacts of COVID-19.
What do I need before I get on an international flight?
It’s possible this is your first international flight in some two years, so you may not have looked at your passport for a while. Don’t forget it should be valid for at least 6 months from departure and valid for the duration of your trip.
Ensure you are fully vaccinated and have proof of vaccination* (including an international certificate^), your Visa or ESTA (and like your passport, ensure these aren’t set to expire during your trip), and have met your pre-flight testing requirements.
*In accordance with Australian Government guidelines, a traveller is not fully vaccinated unless at least 7 full calendar days have elapsed since the last dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation.
^You can get details on the new International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate here: https://www.passports.gov.au/.
And make sure to bring on board some hand sanitizer, and find yourself a comfortable and reliable mask – as you’ll have to wear it the entire flight. And bring many of them for the trip! Refer to this guide of different mask types here.
What are the international arrival requirements into the USA?
Expect to once again show your vaccination status, your visa or ESTA, and your exit flight to prove you won’t be overstaying your visa.
Effective 12 June 2022, you no longer need to test negative for COVID-19 prior to travelling to the US. Travellers aged 18 and over still need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provide proof of vaccination, unless they are US citizens, US permanent residents, or qualify for one of the exceptions to this requirement. COVID-19 remains a health risk. Various restrictions and public health measures remain in place and vary by location. Follow the advice of local authorities and take care to protect yourself from exposure to COVID-19. (From Smartraveller).
Do the rules change if I go via another country, like Canada?
No, the US rules apply for both citizens and visitors, no matter where you are flying in from.
Here’s an example from Delta, who flies into the US from all over the world, as to what they list the US entry requirements: https://www.delta.com/us/en/travel-planning-center/know-before-you-go/us-entry-requirements
However, keep in mind that if you go via another country, you may be subject to their arrival rules, even if you’re just in transit – so refer to the requirements for that country.
This is a handy guide for up-to-date requirements for all countries internationally, including the USA: https://www.iatatravelcentre.com/world.php
What happens if I test positive – before my flight?
If you test positive before your flight, you will not be able to board and you’ll have to reschedule your flights until you’re able to test negative – usually a minimum of 5 days. However, if you recently have recovered from COVID-19, it’s possible this is a false positive and there is an alternative.
From the CDC: If you recently recovered from COVID-19, you may instead travel with documentation of recovery from COVID-19 (i.e., your positive COVID-19 viral test result on a sample taken no more than 90 days before the flight’s departure from a foreign country and a letter from a licensed healthcare provider or a public health official stating that you were cleared to travel).
Refer to your airline for any additional rules.
What happens if one of our band or crew tests positive?
That member will need to isolate for at least 5 days.
If isolating in a hotel, and they have insurance which can cover some of the costs of a requisite isolation period, they may have an insurer who would request you stay in a “preferred hotel”. Be sure to look into this before you arrive at the destination.
As per CDC guidelines, if you are fully vaccinated (the CDC definition of fully vaccinated can be found HERE), you technically don’t have to isolate unless you have symptoms, however depending on who tests positive, it could mean putting your remaining shows on hold, or cancelling them outright.
Refer to Quarantine and Isolation Guidelines recommended by the CDC.
If I have to quarantine and miss my flight back to Australia – is there funding available to cover these costs?
There is no funding that will cover these costs, however it may be possible to find insurance that will. Even if you have insurance which would cover these costs, however, you’ll still need to pay for accommodation up front – so either way, ensure you have the budget put aside for a minimum of 5 days of accommodation and isolation.
In the U.S., CDC guidelines state that any customer who tests positive should self-isolate for at least 5 days and delay travel until they have recovered from COVID-19.
What do I have to do before flying home to Australia?
You do not need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test to meet Australian inbound travel requirements. Some countries, airlines and vessel operators may require a pre-departure test result at check-in before you can board your flight or ship. Check the entry requirements of the country you are travelling or transiting through, and your airline or vessel operator’s requirements.
You do not need to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination to travel to and from Australia.
Masks are mandatory on inbound international flights. You must also meet the mask requirements of the airline or cruise vessel you travel with.
What is expected on arrival in Australia?
Further details can be found here: