COVID-19 – MUST READ INFORMATION AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR AUSTRALIA AND THE FRENCH PACIFIC
New measures for all travellers coming to Australia have been announced: all travellers aged five years or older, departing on flights to Australia on or after 22 January 2021, will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken 72 hours or less prior to boarding a flight (some exemptions apply). Passengers transiting Australia on onward international flights will also be required to present a negative test result prior to boarding their plane for Australia. Passengers who will have had a COVID-19 vaccine will also be required to present a negative test result prior their departure for Australia and will also need to carry their vaccination certificate.
Most international travellers to Australia must be tested 72 hours or less prior to departure and present a negative result when checking in prior to boarding their flight, though travellers from New Caledonia, French Polynesia and Wallis and Futuna can be tested up to 96 hours prior to departure (see below). If flights to Australia are delayed by more than 72 hours passed the scheduled departure time, passengers will require new tests results. Travellers should contact their airline on the requirements for their specific flight, including for itineraries prior to 22 January 2021. Local foreign authorities may also have additional requirements in place for international departures from their country. Locations were to go to in the French Pacific for COVID-19 pre-departure tests are available under the country travel information below.
Masks are mandatory on all international and domestic flights, including within airports.
Anyone who has a negative test result and enters Australia, will still need to complete the mandatory 14-day quarantine on a user-pay basis for quarantine fees at designated facilities in the port of arrival.
International arrival caps on the daily number of passengers coming into Australian airports from overseas will be reduced until 15 February 2021. This could affect your flight into Australia. If you’re scheduled to fly to Australia in the coming weeks, confirm your itinerary and travel plans with your airline or travel agent.
Please note the Australian Department of Home Affairs manages entry and travel restrictions to and from Australia, including visas and travel exemptions. The Health Departments of each Australian State and Territory manage health regulations, including quarantine exemptions and fees. All Australian States and Territories have travel restrictions relevant to their jurisdiction that must be adhered to.
Travellers needing assistance with their Home Affairs (e.g. visa or travel exemption) or health (e.g. quarantine advice and exemptions) enquiries must contact the relevant competent authorities in Australia directly. Alternatively, travellers (e.g. dual nationals or third country nationals seeking to transit Australia) should also contact Australian authorities directly or seek consular assistance from their nearest diplomatic or consular mission in Australia or contact their airline, cruise line, port agent, travel provider or employer as appropriate.
Australian authorities recommend submitting applications as early as possible and at least two weeks, but not more than 3 months, prior to the intended departure. The Australian Consulate-General is unable to escalate Home Affairs or State and Territory related enquiries or applications, including those relating to exemptions.
If you need to travel in Australia or overseas, make sure you know the facts about COVID-19. Travellers to Australia should contact their airline regarding any current requirements relating to COVID-19 measures and testing.
All travellers should regularly check all the website links provided for the most up-to-date information regarding their situation and contact relevant authorities in Australia and overseas for assistance applicable to their circumstances. Travellers should also keep up to date with all travel restrictions and regulations both in Australia and overseas and should follow the advice of local authorities, including in the French Pacific, as measures and regulations can be subject to change at short notice.
Travelling to/from Australia
Please refer to:
- Smartraveller information on Coronavirus (COVID-19) for Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia, including on the ban on overseas travel from Australia which requires an Australian Border Force exemption if you do not meet the criteria for automatic exemptions. Supporting documentation may be required, including a statement from foreign authorities confirming you are also a citizen of or a resident in the foreign country you intend travelling to.
- Department of Home Affairs updates on immigration and entry requirements for those coming to Australia, including for the immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia and foreign nationals needing to come to Australia or transit Australia. Please also refer to COVID-19 – Your visa and travel questions answered to understand the visa and travel options available to you.
- COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance for Australians and permanent residents of Australia who are unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and who are experiencing financial distress, including eligibility criteria and application process.
- All travellers must check the website of the Australian Department of Health for COVID-19 advice for international travellers and COVID-19 FAQs for international travellers, as well as information on getting ready for quarantine, including on recommendations before you depart and what to expect on arrival as well as recommendations for when you’re in quarantine and how to look after your health and wellbeing.
- Smartraveller information on new measures for return to Australia and the requirement, from 22 January 2021, for all travellers aged 5 years or older, including transit passengers, to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to airlines at the departure point prior to boarding a flight to Australia, which also includes FAQs for International Passengers. Travellers should contact their airline for advice on requirements for their specific flight.
- Masks are mandatory for all international and domestic flights, including within airports. All travellers must read the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on safe air travel – enhancing end-to-end mitigations – international.
- All travellers must also check the information on the new Australian Travel Declaration (ATD) requirement and fill out their online ATD declaration no later than 72 hours prior to departure and no earlier than one week before departure. Your declaration will help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Australia and assist Australian authorities in their contact tracing and quarantine planning. The ATD declaration is not mandatory, however, failure to complete it may cause delays at check-in and on arrival in Australia. Airlines will prompt you to complete your ATD declaration prior to boarding. Once an ATD application is submitted, applicants should receive a response within hours detailing their COVID-19 risk rating which will range from Green (eligibility for a quarantine-free flight), Blue (requiring to undertake mandatory quarantine on arrival) to Red (travellers who will have answered yes to either having COVID-19 symptoms or being in contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days). For more information for travellers arriving in the green and red travel zone, please see the advice for international travellers available on the website of the Australian Department of Health.
- Foreign nationals currently in the French Pacific and who are seeking to travel to or transit through Sydney must also check the website of the Department of Home Affairs for the most up-to-date information regarding their situation and apply for a visa where required and an exemption to come to Australia or transit Australia. All travellers arriving or transiting in Sydney also need to check the website of the New South Wales Department of Health and apply for an exemption to the 14-day mandatory quarantine to facilitate their onward travel. Australian States and territories can apply their own travel restrictions and you should check the latest information on the websites of relevant State authorities before travelling.
Travelling to/from New Caledonia
- Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia, as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada still in New Caledonia, seeking to return to Australia or Canada are encouraged to register their details with us at [email protected]. Stay up to date with and follow the advice of local authorities. Stay also up to date with the Australian travel advice for New Caledonia on Smartraveller and the Canadian travel advice for New Caledonia and monitor news on our Facebook page at L’AustralieEnNouvelleCaledonie.
- New Caledonian borders remain closed to all non-residents and all commercial flights, cruises and private yacht arrivals remain suspended. Aircalin is the only airline currently authorised to travel to and from New Caledonia, with flights currently operating to Australia (Sydney) and Japan (Tokyo). Entry to New Caledonia requires the joint approval of the French High Commission in New Caledonia and of the Government of New Caledonia. All travellers arriving in New Caledonia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at facilities designated by the Government of New Caledonia and fees may apply.
- People needing to travel to or leave New Caledonia should register their details with the New Caledonian Government through its formulaire de recensement (registration counting form). They should also email Aircalin airline ([email protected]) and the Government of New Caledonia ([email protected]) for advice on required authorisations to board Aircalin planes. People needing to travel for business or work purposes should also email the Government of New Caledonia at [email protected] for advice. Medical treatment and evacuation related enquiries need to be sent to CAFAT-Evasans (email: [email protected] - phone: +687 25 58 08). Sailboats and other private vessels needing further information or assistance must contact the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in New Caledonia (MRCC NC) (email: [email protected] – phone: +687 29 21 21).
- All travellers aged five years or older, travelling to or transiting through to Australia on or after 10 February 2021, will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken 96 hours or less prior to boarding a flight at the departure point. COVID-19 (PCR) pre-departure tests can be undertaken in New Caledonia at the COVID-19 Testing Centre (Centre de dépistage COVID-19) located at the Gaston Bourret Hospital at the Koutio Medipole in Dumbea (address: 110 Boulevard Joseph-Wamytan – email: [email protected] – phone: +687 20 99 76). The Centre is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 12noon. The Centre advises to email the COVID-19 Testing Centre with a copy of passports and itineraries (e-tickets) so that an appointment can be made. The Centre advises PCR tests are currently priced at XPF 10,400 (prices subject to change). Further information is available under Instructions for Air Travellers leaving New Caledonia on the website of the Government of New Caledonia. Travellers should check with their airline and the authorities of the other countries they are travelling to which type of test they require.
- For further information on, and assistance with, entry and quarantine conditions to New Caledonia, please check the websites of the French High Commission in New Caledonia and of the Government of New Caledonia (including main facts in English). Please also contact the nearest French diplomatic or consular mission in Australia or the French diplomatic or consular mission in your country of residence for further advice where required. Please also contact your airline, cruise line, port agent, travel provider or employer as appropriate.
Travelling to/from French Polynesia
- Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia, as well as Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada, still in French Polynesia and seeking to return to Australia or Canada are encouraged to examine commercial flights in the first instance. If you are in need of specific consular assistance in order to depart French Polynesia, you can contact us at [email protected]. Stay up to date with and follow the advice of local authorities. Stay also up to date with the Australian travel advice for French Polynesia on Smartraveller and the Canadian travel advice for French Polynesia and monitor news on our Facebook page at L’AustralieEnNouvelleCaledonie.
- Travel to French Polynesia is only allowed under certain circumstances and if you have the relevant documents from local authorities prior to travel. Strict pre-departure processes and measures on arrival and in country apply and may be subject to change at short notice. Masks are mandatory on planes and at airports. All travellers arriving in French Polynesia must undertake a mandatory 14-day self-funded quarantine at facilities designated by the Government of French Polynesia. Fines apply for non-compliance to these regulations. Further information is available on the website of the Health Department of French Polynesia and of the French High Commission in French Polynesia.
- Authorities require all travellers entering French Polynesia by air to submit the results of a COVID-19 test and to register on the Government’s Electronic Travel Information System (ETIS) website at least within 3 days (72 hours) before their flight. Other tests may be carried out by airlines and airport authorities prior to boarding. Sailboats and other vessels seeking to come to French Polynesia must contact the Joint Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in French Polynesia (JRCC PF) (email: [email protected] – phone: +689 40 54 16 16) and the Maritime Affairs Directorate of French Polynesia (email: [email protected] – phone: +689 40 54 45 00) for advice on entry conditions to French Polynesia by sea, noting additional quarantine or health measures may apply.
- For further information on requirements to enter French Polynesia, including departure processes and timeframes, please check the websites of the French High Commission in French Polynesia, the Ministry of Health of French Polynesia and of the French Ministry for the Interior. Please also contact the nearest French diplomatic or consular mission in Australia or the French diplomatic or consular mission in your country of residence for further advice. Please also contact your airline, cruise line, port agent, travel provider or employer as appropriate.
- All travellers aged five years or older, travelling to or transiting through Australia on or after 10 February 2021, will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken 96 hours or less prior to boarding a flight at the departure point. COVID-19 (PCDR) pre-departure tests can be undertaken in French Polynesia at the Institut Malarde – Fare COVID (location: corner of Rue des Poilus Tahitiens and Rue du 5 Mars 1797 - email: [email protected] – phones: +689 40 41 64 72 or +689 40 41 64 16). The Fare-COVID is open Monday to Saturday from 7.30am to 3pm, and on Sunday from 7.30am to 12noon. Local authorities advise tests do not require an appointment and travellers should present at the Fare-COVID, with their passport and itinerary (e-ticket), 3 days prior to their departure for a RT-PCR test or the day prior to their departure (or on the morning of their departure if their flight is scheduled on the same evening) for a antigenic test. Test results will be made available to travellers through internet with login details provided by Institut Malarde personnel. Local authorities also advise tests are currently priced at XPF 17,100 per person for RT-PCR tests and at XPF 5,700 per person for antigenic tests (prices subject to change). Further information is available on the website of the Institut Malarde. For other COVID-19 PCR testing centres in French Polynesia, including prices and processes, please check the COVID-19 testing information for travellers returning from the Islands of Tahiti on the website of Tahiti Tourism.Travellers should check with their airline and the authorities of the other countries they are travelling to which type of test they require.
- Please note the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea is unable to travel to French Polynesia to provide Australian passport and notarial services at this time due to COVID-19 restrictions. We continue to work with relevant transport providers and local authorities on options to assist persons in need of these services. If you require Australian passport or notarial services, please contact us at [email protected].
Information on COVID-19 vaccinations in Australia and in the French Pacific
Australia – Up-to-date information about Australia’s national roll-out of COVID-19 Vaccination Program is available on the website of the Australian Department of Health. The COVID-19 vaccine will be voluntary and free and, if you choose not to have a COVID-19 vaccine, your eligibility for Government payments won’t be affected. Information on vaccines approved for use in Australia is available on the website of the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program will prioritise the rollout of vaccines in Australia and will not extend to Australian citizens while overseas. The Australian Government cannot provide advice on vaccines that have been approved for use outside of Australia’s regulatory process. Australians overseas should consult their local health professional or local health authorities for advice on vaccine options that may be available locally. The Government’s Australia.gov.au website has been launched with details of Australia’s approach to COVID-19 vaccination, including FAQs on COVID-19 vaccines for Australians overseas. Information is also available on Smartraveller. Australian authorities advise that, irrespective of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine, international travellers will still be required to quarantine upon arrival to Australia and meet other travel restrictions sur as pre-departure COVID-19 testing.
New Caledonia – Information on COVID-19 vaccination programs in New Caledonia, including FAQs, is available on the website of the Government of New Caledonia at Info-Vaccination. Local authorities advise COVID-19 vaccination is currently free and not mandatory. Please check with local authorities on the availability of vaccines should you wish to be vaccinated.
French Polynesia – Information on COVID-19 vaccination programs in French Polynesia is available on the website of the Health Department of French Polynesia at Vaccination COVID-19. Local authorities advise COVID-19 vaccinations are currently free and not mandatory. Please check with local authorities on the availability of vaccines should you wish to be vaccinated.