As we know, the disruption to travel caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing this autumn.
So, here are the facts as we understand them, and as they exist on 4 September 2020 if you are considering travel to, or from, Australia. Please also see the link to the current UK guidance and Australia guidance relating to COVID-19.
Currently, with the exception of the State of Victoria, Australia is exempt from the list of countries to which the UK government recommends you not travel. However, border restrictions apply in Australia.
Can I visit Australia legally?
Currently the Australian border is closed to nearly all travellers. Only citizens, residents and immediate family members can enter the country. Everyone who arrives in Australia will be quarantined for 14 days, and additional restrictions may apply at the State or Territorial level.
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Will I need to quarantine when I get there?
Yes, you will need to quarantine for 14 days in designated accommodation such as a hotel at your port of arrival during the quarantine period. You can read the current information for international travellers to Australia here. You can read about additional restrictions currently in place in the State of Victoria here.
Will I need to quarantine when I return?
At present, you will not have to quarantine when you return. You will need to complete an online form to re-enter the UK, providing details of your journey and contact details.
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Looking at current infection rates, how likely is it that the UK government will impose a quarantine?
There is currently an active cluster of COVID-19 in the State of Victoria. In the rest of the country, cases are increasing slowly. You can monitor COVID-19 cases in Australia here. On this basis, we don’t know whether a quarantine will be established in the near future.
Are flights still going?
There are very limited flights to Australia at the moment.
If I’m buying property, what can I do in Australia – e.g. viewing properties? Seeing a lawyer?
The State of Victoria currently has curfews and lockdowns in place, and you may only leave your home for a limited number of essential reasons such as shopping and exercise. You may not be able to visit Victoria from other areas of Australia. In New South Wales, people are advised to wear a face mask where social distancing isn’t possible.
In the rest of Australia, social-distancing and good hygiene practices are advised.
Further information on these and the wider situation in Australia is available from the Australian Government website.
On this basis, and with the exception of the State of Victoria, you could visit properties or consult a lawyer but should follow the Australian government’s guidelines on social distancing.
What are the prospects for property prices in Australia, post-COVID-19?
According to this report from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, property prices will be flat or fall as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What are the prospects for further restrictions and lockdowns in Australia?
There is currently a cluster of COVID-19 in Victoria, and the State is currently or partially locked down. The number of new cases in the rest of the country remains relatively small.
It’s not possible to say at the moment whether there will be further restrictions and lockdowns in Australia.