australia travel restrictions
With the Australian travel restrictions still in effect, international students need to be in the know with each state's border reopening updates. Source: Peter Parks/AFP

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt confirmed today that international students are “on track” to return to Australia from Dec. 15, 2021, but not into every area or jurisdiction. International students, however, may be confused with Australian travel restriction as each state and territory have different travel and quarantine requirements, while students under pilot plans have been able to return to the country sooner than others. Here’s what we know so far on Australian travel restriction updates, based on reports.


Queensland announced that it would reopen its border today to domestic hotspots, and international students are still expected to return from Dec. 15. “This does not change the easing of Australian border restrictions for international students from Dec. 15, 2021,” said Study Queensland.

New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia

All these states welcome fully vaccinated student visa holders and other eligible visa holders can travel to and from Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption effective Dec. 15, 2021.

For New South Wales (NSW), the two existing flights scheduled to land in Sydney on December 6 and 24 are still proceeding. These flights are part of a separate travel exemption process, under the NSW International Student Arrivals Pilot Plan.

The Tasmanian government has also provided a nifty factsheet for your perusal.

Australia travel restriction

We hope that there won’t be any more delays on the Australian travel restrictions and leave students in further agony. Source: Saeed Khan / AFP

Western Australia

On the same day that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the easing of Australian travel restrictions for international students from Dec. 15, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced that WA will reopen its borders to interstate and international travellers on Feb. 5.

Travellers must be fully vaccinated and will be required to return a negative PCR test result within 72 hours prior to departure; and return a negative PCR test within 48 hours of arrival to WA and on day six.

Northern Territory

Currently, only fully vaccinated people, Territory residents and people unable to be vaccinated (such as children under 12 years) can enter the Northern Territory.

According to, Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced that all interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will not have to quarantine from Dec. 20.

Gunner was quoted saying that the territory was now preparing for “its biggest step” towards COVID-freedom so far — the opening of its borders on Dec. 20. From then, all fully vaccinated arrivals — regardless of where they come from — will not have to quarantine. Travellers, however, are expected to be tested for the virus.

There was no mention of international students arriving in the territory in the report.

Stay tuned for updates regarding the Australian travel restrictions.