Australia Is About to Make It Easier to Visit — Here's What's Changing

Although travelers to Australia are still required to be vaccinated, the country is lifting its requirement of a pre-departure COVID-19 test.

A family leave to board a plane at Sydney's International Airport
Photo: Saeed Khan/Getty Images

Australia will eliminate its pre-arrival test requirements for international travelers next month, just weeks after reopening its borders to the world.

The requirement will be lifted on April 17, Greg Hunt, the minister for health and aged care, said in a statement.

"The emergency period was a crucial early decision in Australia's pandemic response," Hunt said, adding, "Shutting the international borders early was a tough but decisive action, which enabled Australia to manage the pandemic and minimize the loss of life."

Australia fully reopened to international visitors on Feb. 21 and currently requires travelers be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days of their flight or show proof of a negative rapid antigen test taken under medical supervision within 24 hours of their flight.

Going forward, international travelers will still have to be vaccinated and must wear a mask while on international flights, according to Hunt.

Additionally, on April 17, Australia will also drop restrictions on cruise ships into and within Australian territory. Following that announcement, Royal Caribbean announced several Australian cruises for 2023 and 2024 sailing out of Brisbane and Sydney.

Australia has become the latest country to drop pre-arrival testing for international tourists, joining popular tourist hotspots like South Africa, Canada, the Netherlands, and Thailand. Others have gone even further and eliminated COVID-19-related border protocols completely, including Iceland, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

In the United States, all international travelers, including U.S. citizens, are still required to get tested within one day of flying to the country, but airlines and travel groups have urged the Biden administration to lift those pandemic-era restrictions.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

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