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  • The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issues new travel advice for several countries as Australia’s international borders begin to open for the first time in 18 months
  • Smartraveller’s blanket “do not travel” advice has been lifted in favour of country-specific advice for 177 different countries
  • The move comes as Australia’s borders are set to open on November 1 for the first time since March 2020
  • Under the new travel rules, fully vaccinated Australians can leave the country without an exemption and return to NSW, Victoria, or the ACT without needing to quarantine
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne says the new rules are a “vital next step in re-uniting Australian families and safely re-opening Australia to the world”

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has issued new travel advice for several countries as Australia’s international borders begin to open for the first time in 18 months.

Under the new rules, fully vaccinated Australians will be free to leave the country at will from November 1 for the first time since March 2020. For the past 18 months, Australians have needed an exemption to leave the country.

Ahead of the relaxed travel rules, the DFAT’s Smartraveller advice service removed its blanket “do not travel” advice to be replaced by country-specific advice for 177 other countries.

Under the new advice, no destination is set lower than “level two: exercise a high degree of caution” for willful Australian travellers.

Of course, those wishing to head overseas will still need to take into account the restrictions in place at arrival destinations, which could include mandatory COVID-19 tests and self-quarantine mandates.

It’s also important to note that upon returning from overseas, many states in Australia still require two weeks of hotel quarantine; only Victoria and New South Wales have announced plans to scrap hotel quarantine rules for fully vaccinated Australians returning home from overseas.

Still, the end of hotel quarantine in these states means Australians who have been stranded overseas may have an easier way into the country.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said fully vaccinated Australian travellers will be able to leave the country if they show proof of vaccination through the government International COVID Vaccine Certificate.

“We know it has been a difficult 18 months for Australians overseas trying to return, and for Australians with family and friends overseas,” Ms Payne said.

“The changes announced today are a vital next step in re-uniting Australian families and safely re-opening Australia to the world.”

She added, however, that the new rules could still be subject to change given the uncertainty of COVID-19 situations.

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