Starting from Monday, November 1, Australians will be permitted to leave the territory of Australia without the need to obtain an exemption first, and thus travel to the countries that permit entry for them, including here the European Union and Schengen Area countries.
The decision has been announced only this week by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, which also noted that the ‘Do not travel’ advisory has been removed once for all.
“And we’re updating travel advice levels for 177 destinations based on the latest assessment of risk – both COVID-19 and other threats to safety and security,” the Department also notes.
Just like the US, Australia also has four levels of advice on travel abroad for its residents as follows:
- Level 1: Exercise normal safety precautions
- Level 2: Exercise a high degree of caution
- Level 3: Reconsider the need to travel
- Level 4: Do not travel
Currently, all of the EU and Schengen Area countries are placed on Level 2, except for Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, which are placed on Level 3.
Commenting on the changes on travel abroad, the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said that Australians prove they have been vaccinated in order to be permitted to travel abroad.
“Australian citizens and permanent residents who want to travel overseas will need to provide proof that they are fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, with the second dose occurring at least seven days prior to travel. These changes will also facilitate travel by children under 12 years of age,” the Minister said.
While Australians haven’t been permitted to travel to Europe since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU, on the other hand, had permitted entry for Australians since June, when the list of epidemiologically safe third countries was first established.
Currently, all of the EU and Schengen Area countries permit entry for Australians, and the majority of them, permit vaccinated Australians to enter their territory completely restriction-free.
Yet, there are some countries that apply stricter entry rules on Australians, like Norway. On September 18, Norway removed Australia from the list of purple countries, which means that Australians could no longer enter for non-essential purposes.
According to a report co-funded by the European Union on EU travel trends, there were 22 million Australian guest arrivals in EU accommodation establishments in 2017 in the block. Australians also spent €28 billion in outbound trips in 2016, thus accounting for the sixth-largest market in spending.