Destinations

Federal government closes international travel loophole for Aussies living abroad

The federal government has changed the rules for how Australians who normally live abroad can travel overseas after paying a visit Down Under.

On 1 August 2021, Health Minister Greg Hunt amended the Biosecurity Determination 2020 so that Aussie citizens and permanent residents who are ordinarily residents in a country other than Australia are no longer automatically exempt from the country’s travel restrictions.

From 11 August 2021, Aussies who usually live overseas can still leave Australia, but they’ll need to apply for an exemption and demonstrate their links to the country where they usually live.

The rule change brings travel exemption requirements in line with those for other Australians, and is designed to prevent frequent travel between Australia and other countries.

The government said in a statement that the amendment will “reduce the pressure on Australia’s quarantine capacity, reduce the risks posed to the Australian population from COVID-19, and assist in returning vulnerable Australians back home”.

The Australian Border Force said Aussies living overseas can apply for an exemption before travelling Down Under.

Meanwhile, in domestic border news, south-east Queensland’s lockdown has been lifted, but Cairns and Yarrabah entered a snap three-day lockdown yesterday due to an “unexpected” community case of COVID-19.

In NSW, Armidale has entered lockdown until 15 August after two COVID cases were found there, and Tamworth will implement week-long stay-at-home orders from 5pm today after a woman who was COVID-positive travelled to Australia’s country music capital from Newcastle.


Featured image source: iStock/TRAVELARIUM



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