Last updated August 18, 2021
The sixth-largest country in the world, Australia boasts one of the most diverse landscapes on Earth, with deserts, tropical rainforests, mountains, plains, and breathtaking beaches all in one place. Whether you're planning to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, take in Sydney's history and nightlife or road trip across the Outback, a trip to Australia has something for everyone to explore.
Travel insurance isn't mandatory, but it's recommended
If you're visiting Australia for tourism purposes, travel health insurance for Australia isn't mandatory. However, it's highly recommended to purchase Australia travel insurance. If, however, you're trying to obtain a visa for living or working in Australia, then obtaining travel insurance is a required part of obtaining this visa.
With a wide range of plans on the market, it may be difficult to select a plan. That's where VisitorsCoverage can help. To find the plan that's best for you, first assess the condition of your health then take a look at your travel plans. From there, you can compare plans side by side with our compare tool. For travelers with pre-existing conditions, senior travelers and those looking for more complete coverage, a comprehensive plan is the best option. If you are looking for basic coverage at an affordable price, a limited plan may be the way to go.
COVID-19 in Australia
As of May 2021, Australia's borders are closed. The only people who are allowed to travel to the country are Australian citizens and permanent residents. It's been rumored that Australia may not open its borders until late into 2022. Until then, only individuals with extremely special circumstances are allowed to enter the country.
If you have to visit the country or are granted permission from the government, consider Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance so that you may recoup some of your costs if you need to cancel, postpone or cut short your original travel plans for any reason, including COVID-19-related concerns.
If travel is a must, here are some precautions to take:
Before you travel:
- Get tested with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your trip
- If you were exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or test positive for the disease, do not travel
- Follow all entry requirements for Australia and be sure you have all required documentation
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing protocols
- Wash your hands often
- Be vigilant. If you experience any symptoms take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you
After you travel:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days after you return to your home country
- Stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days
- If you don't get tested, it's best to self-quarantine for at least 10 days
Traveling from the United States:
- If you have a return flight to the U.S., you must get a viral test in Australia no more than 3 days before your flight, and the test results have to be negative
- Keep your test results on hand in case you're asked for them
- Follow all United States guidelines and airline protocols
Health & Safety Tips
Australia is generally very safe for residents and visitors and has a low national crime rate. However, it is always a good idea to be cautious and aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in large cities. If you are taking public transportation, be sure to keep your purse, backpack or bag closed and in your hands at all times. If you are wearing a backpack, take it off and hold it in front of you to avoid bumping other passengers and not being aware if someone attempts to open your bag. Phones, wallets and cameras are particularly at risk of being stolen.
Because the sun in Australia is so strong, it's advisable to always wear sunscreen whenever you are planning to go outside, even if it is cloudy. Also take extra precaution when swimming in the ocean, hiking or participating in other outdoor activities, as sharks, crocodiles, snakes and spiders are common in Australia and can be a danger to humans.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for Australia: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis, rabies, meningitis, polio, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
Visas and Documentation
All visitors, except for Australian and New Zealand citizens, must acquire an Australian visa prior to their visit. There are several different visa options for different purposes and lengths of stay, including the eVisitor, Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), Working Holiday and Visitor visas.
The ETA is the most common visitor visa for tourists. Citizens of Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States can apply for this visa online prior to their trip. Others must apply for a visa through an airline, travel agent or visa office. The eVisitor visa is also available online to European Union citizens and citizens of Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland and Vatican City. All visitors must have a valid passport to enter the country.
Do some research on which visa is right for your visit before you book your trip.