Many parts of the globe are open again for international travel. One of the few remaining holdouts is Australia and the Oceania region in general. Here are the latest updates about when Americans can fly to Australia.

Australia Entry Requirements

The Australian government currently has a travel ban for all non-essential travel because of the Covid-19 threat. This border closure is one of the strictest in the world.

United States citizens are unable to visit Australia under most circumstances. This is unfortunate news for world travelers who love the Land Down Under (or have a stack of Qantas miles). However, it is possible to get a travel exemption to enter Australia for several reasons:

  • Escort an Australian citizen or permanent resident minor (only one escort per child)
  • You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • An immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident
  • New Zealand citizen who usually resides in Australia
  • Eligible business reasons

You can apply for an exemption at least two weeks but less than two months before your planned arrival date. It’s possible to apply within two weeks due to a close family member’s death or critical illness. A negative pre-arrival test within 72 hours of arrival is also necessary if you qualify for an exemption. You will also need to observe the local safety guidelines and quarantine requirements.

These entry requirements resemble what most countries had in the opening weeks of the pandemic. 

Can Dual Citizens Enter Australia?

The U.S. Embassy to Australia states that travelers with dual United States and Australian citizenship are not guaranteed entry. They will need to apply for an exemption just like non-residents and non-Australians but may have higher approval odds.

Just like it’s difficult to fly into Australia, it’s challenging for current Australian residents to depart the country. People with temporary visas may be able to leave the country but cannot return to Australia.

Australian Quarantine Rules

If you can enter Australia, you will need to observe the local quarantine policy and curfew restrictions to avoid legal fines and penalties. International visitors should anticipate self-quarantining for 14 days at a hotel or designated facility. The quarantine location is

SYDNEY, Sept 6 (Reuters) – The Australian and New Zealand dollars eased on Monday after data on Friday showed the world’s largest economy created the fewest job in seven months in August, but trade was expected to be subdued ahead of a Reserve Bank of Australia policy decision.

The Australian dollar was 0.15% lower at $0.7437 but remained near a two-month high of $0.74775 touched in the previous trading session.

Data on Friday showed U.S. nonfarm payrolls increased by 235,000 jobs last month, the smallest gain since January, as hiring in the leisure and hospitality sector stalled amid a resurgence of COVID-19 infections, though other details of the report were fairly strong.

“AUD will remain largely driven by U.S. dollar direction this week and the outlook for FOMC tapering,” analysts at Commonwealth Bank of Australia said in a client note.

Trading volumes would remain low with U.S. markets closed for the Labor Day holiday, traders said, while investors were also looking ahead to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy decision on Tuesday.

Most analysts polled by Reuters expect the RBA to leave the cash rate at 0.1%, but are split on whether the central bank will delay tapering plans as the economy struggles with the fallout of lockdowns in various states.

If the RBA sticks to its plans to taper bond purchases, the Aussie could temporarily jump higher, analysts said.

The risk-sensitive currency has support at $0.7400 and $0.7350, and could also benefit from record dividend payments from mining companies in the short-term.

Across the Tasman sea, the kiwi fell 0.29% to $0.7141, but remained close to its highest level in nearly three months hit on Friday at $0.7170.

New Zealand reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 for a third day in a row on Monday, ahead of a government decision on whether to lift restrictions enforced in most of the country.

New Zealand government bonds traded lower, pushing yields 3 to 4 basis points higher across the curve.

Yields on Australia’s 10-year paper also rose 3 basis points to 1.264%.

Editing by Ana Nicolaci da Costa

Adds details on outlook, cash flow, background

Aug 4 (Reuters)Air New Zealand AIR.NZ said on Wednesday its fiscal 2022 loss would be bigger than earlier expected due to suspension of a quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia, where COVID-19 cases are growing.

The travel bubble, which was launched in April as the two nations kept a tight leash on infections, was paused in July as Australia recorded an outbreak of the highly infectious Delta virus variant.

Air New Zealand said it now expects a loss before significant items and tax of as much as NZ$530 million ($371.8 million), compared with its prior forecast of a loss not exceeding NZ$450 million.

The company said that the suspension of the travel bubble had reduced its operating cash flow and that it expects to draw down further on a NZ$1.5 billion loan facility from the government.

While the carrier warned that demand in the Tasman region may be slower to recover following a reopening of the bubble, it said its cash flow was still positive, thanks to continued domestic performance and government schemes.

Australian airline Qantas QAN.AX said on Tuesday it would temporarily idle about 2,500 employees without pay for at least two months, as fresh COVID-19 restrictions in Australia slashed domestic travel demand.

($1 = 1.43 New Zealand dollars)

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

(([email protected];))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Despite a shocker run of lockdowns and Delta outbreaks, vaccination rates are ramping up across the country, and Aussies are getting pretty excited about the thought of international travel returning to normal.

Just last week, national carrier Qantas defiantly announced plans to kickstart international travel as soon as Christmas, with CEO Alan Joyce describing trading as “diabolical”.

RELATED: Aussies are losing it over Qantas’ new vaccination ad

First on the struggling airline’s hit-list are countries with high COVID-19 vaccination rates, with Singapore leading the short tally of eligible nations.

So far, Australia has only been able to successfully open a travel bubble with neighbouring New Zealand, although borders remain closed at the time of writing due to concerns over growing COVID-19 cases at home.

READ MORE: Qantas offers free points, flight vouchers, for fully vaccinated Australians

But with Singapore likely to be the next bubble on the cards, what will a travel pact with the sovereign nation look like?

Here’s everything you need to know about planning a trip to Singapore, and how the travel bubble will work when it opens.

SINGAPORE (9)
Singapore has been named as the most COVID-resilient country, taking out New Zealand who formerly had the top spot. (Getty)

When will Singapore be open to Australians?

Qantas is looking to open up travel by mid-December, 2021.

The Australian government is currently in talks to open up a travel bubble between Australia and Singapore, though there is no official date set yet. This bubble would allow residents from both countries to travel between the two without any mandatory quarantine.

Singapore has now vaccinated 80 per cent of the population against COVID-19, according to recent figures, making them a prime candidate once Australia can match their efforts on the jab front.

What countries are in the Singapore travel bubble?

Australia is currently deemed a ‘category two’ nation by the Singapore government, which means that you can at least, in theory, enter if you commit to undergoing a seven-day stay-home notice at your accommodation of choice.

RELATED: Tourism Australia’s new campaign isn’t about travel — it’s about vaccination

Of course, Australia will be looking to upgrade to a ‘category one’ once an acceptable level of vaccinations has been achieved, joining the likes of Hong Kong, Taiwan, Mainland China (excluding Jiangsu province), Macao, New Zealand and Taiwan. These nations currently aren’t required to quarantine, but do need to complete an on-arrival COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test. If the test is negative, travellers are free to holiday and go where they please.

While it’s unlikely our government will open the floodgates to all of the destinations listed above in one hit, they could all form part of our bubble in the later stages of reopening international travel.

Do I have to be vaccinated to enter Singapore?

Yes. There’s no doubt about it now. The privilege of international travel will demand you get the jab prior to boarding a flight, with many local carriers taking a hardline stance on the matter.

CNN Staff

If you’re planning a trip to Australia, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The basics

As one of the countries to have performed better in the pandemic, Australia’s borders are still closed. After murmurs that visitors may be allowed to trickle in by the end of 2021, the government is now suggesting it will be 2022 at the earliest. On May 12, Qantas announced it was canceling international flights (other than to New Zealand) until December 20, 2021. A travel bubble with New Zealand started April 19 — although on July 22 it was suspended for eight weeks. Travel from New South Wales is currently paused, and major cities are under lockdown as the country battles the Delta variant which is now taking a grip on a country that until now had been largely unaffected.

What’s on offer

Are you looking for wild open spaces? World-class beaches? A thrumming food and drinks scene? Australia has all of that in spades. From Uluru to the Sydney Opera House, its icons span the Outback to the cities, sacred spaces to cultural centers. Plus, of course, there’s laidback, beach-driven lifestyle in spades.

Who can go

Other than those traveling from New Zealand, only Australian citizens and returning permanent residents, their immediate family, and travelers with exemptions can enter. Those claiming exemptions must apply to the Australia authorities. Transit passengers are allowed, if connecting from the same airport. If your transit includes an overnight, you will be put up at a designated quarantine facility and must remain there until your next flight. You may need a visa for transits of more than eight hours.

The long-awaited “travel bubble” between Australia and New Zealand began April 19.

It is not indefinite, however — authorities made clear from the start that regional outbreaks could see the bubble curtailed. On July 22, New Zealand announced it was pausing the bubble for eight weeks.

For more information on the bubble, see here.

On June 2, Prime Minister Scott Morrison hinted that the travel bubble could be widened out to Pacific islands — possibly including Fiji.

But other than that, it looks like Australia will remain pretty closed. On June 1, an Australian court ruled that the stringent travel restrictions were valid. Going forward, on April 16, Morrison suggested that the priority in future would be to allow vaccinated Australians to fly in and out of the country.

But he added that even a partial border opening was still some time away, and would not be considered until the vulnerable have been vaccinated.

On June 10, Australia and Singapore held talks about the possibility of starting a travel bubble. However, the Singapore government has suggested that a majority of both states’ populations would have to be vaccinated before this begun. Currently, just over 25% of the population has been vaccinated.

Entry requirements

All arrivals and transit passengers other than those traveling from

Dan Tehan told federal parliament on Wednesday travel bubbles beyond New Zealand would be possible when 80 per cent of eligible Australians are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  

Australia could have travel bubbles with Singapore, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom once the nation’s 80 per cent COVID-19 vaccine target is achieved. 

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan told federal parliament on Wednesday extending travel bubbles beyond New Zealand would be possible when the vast majority of Australians are fully vaccinated. 

“When we get to phase C, where we see 80 per cent are fully vaccinated, outbound international restrictions will be lifted and travel bubbles will be expanded,” Mr Tehan said. 

“So not only will we have travel bubbles with New Zealand but the Pacific Islands, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, the US, the UK are all possibilities that we will be able to extend our travel bubbles to.

“It means dollars in tourism businesses and more importantly it means security for the 660,000 people who are employed in our tourism industry.” 

Australia’s tourism industry has been hit hard by the pandemic, with the closure of the international border coupled with internal border restrictions impacting businesses. 

“I think there is no doubt that the national plan will be greeted by the tourism industry, probably more so than any other industry across this nation,” Mr Tehan said. 

“Because the impact that this pandemic has had on the domestic tourism industry and on our international tourism industry has been severe.

“And the fact that we now have a national plan which details a way out of this pandemic, which lays out how we can learn to live with this virus, has been extremely welcomed by the tourism industry.”

Australia is currently in the suppression phase of the virus and will move to Phase B on the pathway out of the pandemic when 70 per cent of Australians aged over 16 are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and Phase C when 80 per cent have received both vaccine doses.

“When we get to phase B, which is 70 per cent vaccination rate, Australians will have more freedom to see their loved ones and go to sporting events, and that means travel,” Mr Tehan said.

“And that means dollars and the businesses, the tourism businesses, and it means jobs.” 

A trans-Tasman travel bubble with New Zealand  was cleared for take-off in April but has since been paused due to the escalating COVID-19 situation in both countries.  

Across Australia, 54.4 per cent of individuals aged over 16 who have received one dose of the vaccine and 31.6 per cent are fully vaccinated. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand ordered a pause on quarantine-free travel from Australia for at least eight weeks, citing coronavirus surges caused by the Delta variant that have left more than half of Australia under lockdown.

“This is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is, we believe, the right one,” Ms. Ardern told reporters at a news conference. “This will mean many people will find themselves for a time once more separated from friends and families in Australia, and I know this announcement will be a disappointment to them.”

The travel bubble was a rarity in Asia, where many countries have closed their borders during the pandemic, and had been largely successful as the two countries enforced strict controls to keep the virus at bay.

The emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant, however, has challenged the “Covid zero” strategy in both countries. And sluggish vaccination programs, which have stalled reopenings in much of the Asia Pacific region, have provoked deep frustration among residents of Australia and New Zealand who have been in and out of lockdowns since the pandemic began.

The Australian state of New South Wales on Friday reported 136 new cases, its highest daily total since the pandemic began, in an outbreak that on Friday was declared a national emergency. Separate outbreaks in the states of Queensland, Victoria and South Australia appear to be contained, according to health officials. New Zealand has not reported any community transmission of the virus for more than three months.

It is the first time that New Zealand has suspended quarantine-free travel from all of Australia since the bubble was introduced in April. The country had previously halted travel from certain Australian states experiencing localized outbreaks.

Travel from New Zealand to Australia will not be affected by the suspension, Ms. Ardern said, adding that the government would arrange return flights for New Zealand citizens and residents currently in Australia.

The announcement comes as both countries’ vaccination campaigns lag behind those in many rich nations. According to New York Times data, 19 percent of people in New Zealand have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and 29 percent in Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia apologized on Thursday for the slowness of the vaccine rollout. The country had planned to use a combination of locally produced AstraZeneca shots and imported vaccines produced by Pfizer and BioNTech. But mistrust in the AstraZeneca vaccine, stemming from concerns about the risk of extremely rare blood clots, prompted Australia to buy 20 million more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, about one-quarter of which are expected to arrive in August.

Later this month, New Zealand is expected to open up vaccinations to anyone over age 18. But limited supply of the Pfizer vaccine, the backbone of New Zealand’s inoculation effort, means that most residents will not receive a first dose until later this year.

Coronavirus is into its second year and has been disastrous for the travel sector. Everyone wants to travel to see new places, interact with others to exchange views and to get acquainted with new cultures. The virus became a stumbling block. Some countries were keen to launch air travel bubbles for the vaccinated people. However, the erratic nature of the disease was a major hurdle. This was because of the virus resurfacing when least expected. Dan Tehan is a Federal Minister of Australia. He is hopeful of opening up travel bubbles once the country reaches the vaccination target set by the government.

In his opinion, people might have to wait until 2022.

News AU quotes Tehan saying: “The next three to four months will be trying for all of us but there is still a strong ray of sunshine.” He hopes that it could happen by Christmas. He realizes the difficulties of the tourism sector. They have struggled for the last 18 months. For many businesses, the assistance packages kept them afloat. In December last year there were possibilities of starting air travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand by 2021. That may not happen.

Reopening of New Zealand travel bubble was on the cards

Dan Tehan admits that right now, tourism is passing through a difficult stage. The economy of many countries depend on tourism.

Outsiders come to a place to relax and enjoy the local cuisine, get acquainted with the culture and take back memories. The businesses do get some relief through the business relief package. However, there are problems. The benefits do not reach areas that are outside of lockdown. That has to be set right. He added that reopening of the New Zealand travel bubble was very much on the cards.

Discuss this news on Eunomia

It seems other countries like the Pacific Islands and Singapore are eager to welcome Australians provided there is a reduction in the number of cases and the vaccination targets are met. News AU adds that Dan Tehan mentioned about the travel bubble with New Zealand, which was a success.

Success of travel bubbles would depend on ability to deal with the virus

Travel has to take off and coronavirus is the obstacle. The Pacific Islands and Singapore would love to have a travel bubble with Australia. Similarly for the United States. These can succeed provided there is a joint effort to deal with the virus. The UK currently has Australia on a “green list.” It has also modified its entry rules for those who arrive from the US or Europe. It has done away with hotel quarantine requirements for the fully vaccinated. News AU quotes the Tourism Minister saying: “We would welcome Chinese tourists back to Australia once we have this pandemic fixed.” He wants Chinese tourism to go back to the pre-pandemic levels.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern talks about travel to New Zealand

According to 7News AU, New Zealand plans to welcome vaccinated travelers from low risk countries from

New Zealand on Friday suspended its quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks due to a growing COVID-19 cluster in Sydney.

New Zealand recently imposed quarantine restrictions on travelers from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia states, where lockdowns have been introduced to contain delta variant clusters.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said quarantine-free travel would be suspended from anywhere in Australia from 11:59 p.m. New Zealand time.

New Zealand suspended travel with Australia for at least eight weeks after New South Wales, Australia, reported 136 new infections in Sydney within a 24-hour period

New Zealand suspended travel with Australia for at least eight weeks after New South Wales, Australia, reported 136 new infections in Sydney within a 24-hour period
(iStock)

NEW ZEALAND TO DELAY ELECTION UNTIL OCTOBER, CITING CORONAVIRUS RESURGENCE

Ardern said she hoped to have all New Zealanders who wanted to return flown home from Australia with managed flights within a week.

The travel bubble has existed since April and has provided both countries with their only quarantine-free international flights.

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Both Australia and New Zealand have been among the most successful in the world in containing coronavirus outbreaks. But Sydney is failing to contain a cluster of the highly contagious delta variant, which has spread across the country.

On Friday, New South Wales state declared an emergency over the Sydney outbreak. Authorities reported one fatality and 136 new infections in the latest 24-hour period, the biggest daily jump since the outbreak began in mid-June.

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand on Friday suspended its quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for at least eight weeks due to a growing COVID-19 cluster in Sydney.

New Zealand recently imposed quarantine restrictions on travelers from New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia states, where lockdowns have been introduced to contain delta variant clusters.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said quarantine-free travel would be suspended from anywhere in Australia from 11:59 p.m. New Zealand time.

Ardern said she hoped to have all New Zealanders who wanted to return flown home from Australia with managed flights within a week.

The travel bubble has existed since April and has provided both countries with their only quarantine-free international flights.

Both Australia and New Zealand have been among the most successful in the world in containing coronavirus outbreaks. But Sydney is failing to contain a cluster of the highly contagious delta variant, which has spread across the country.

On Friday, New South Wales state declared an emergency over the Sydney outbreak. Authorities reported one fatality and 136 new infections in the latest 24-hour period, the biggest daily jump since the outbreak began in mid-June.

In other news in the Asia-Pacific region:

— Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam has extended a two-week lockdown with even tighter restrictions as confirmed COVID-19 cases climbed to a new record. Vietnam reported over 6,000 new cases, 4,200 of them from the southern metropolis, in the last 24 hours. The latest directive from the city authority says people in high risk areas are only allowed to go out twice a week for necessities including food and medicine. Only a handful of essential businesses are open, interprovincial public transportation is suspended while a limited number of domestic flights continue to operate from Ho Chi Minh City. Passengers are subjected to a three-week quarantine.

— Philippine officials say they have detected the highly contagious delta variant and announced tighter restrictions in the capital and a weeklong ban on the entry of travelers from hard-hit Malaysia and Thailand. The Health Department said it has been looking into at least 47 delta variant infections, including some in returning Filipino travelers. It said clusters “were seen to be linked to other local cases, therefore, exhibiting local transmission.” The Philippines reported 5,828 new cases and 17 deaths in the last 24 hours, bringing the total confirmed infections to more than 1.5 million and 26,891 deaths. Officials warned provincial and city governments to prepare for the worst by stocking up on medicine, oxygen tanks and critical care equipment. After recently easing lockdowns in Manila and outlying regions, the government announced that the capital region of more than 13 million people, along with four provinces, will be placed back under a general quarantine “with heightened restrictions” from Friday till the end of the month.

— South Korea is extending the toughest distancing rules imposed on the greater Seoul area for another two weeks. South Korea on Friday reported 1,630 new cases, marking a 17th straight day