Currently, there’s a travel ban in place for all overseas travel from Australia. There are no definitive plans to lift this ban as of yet. This ban also restricts the entry of cruise ships into Australia.
Department of Health Secretary Dr. Brendan Murphy states that Australia’s borders might be closed to international travel for most of 2021, depending on the status of Australia’s nationwide vaccination program. Dr. Murphy told ABC, “I think that we’ll go most of this year with still substantial border restrictions… Even if we have a lot of the population vaccinated, we don’t know whether that will prevent transmission of the virus.”
The travel ban means you cannot leave Australia for non-essential reasons (i.e. a holiday). If you do have an essential reason, you must obtain permission from the Department of Home Affairs.
Australia may not open its borders to international travellers until the vaccine has been widely rolled out. Vaccination for at-risk Australian residents and frontline workers is likely to begin around March 2021, according to the Australian Department of Health. Health Minister Greg Hunt says the goal is to have community vaccination in Australia by October 2021, beginning late February 2021. However, quarantines may still be a mandatory prevention measure throughout the year.
Qantas plans to restart its international flight schedule from July 2021 onwards, but it’s unknown whether or not the borders will be open by then.