International travel is back on the cards. Here’s what you need to think about before booking that ticket – Hack

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Ditch those passports and be careful: Australia has finally reopened its borders after nearly 600 days.

Fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents can now freely leave the country to reunite with loved ones, attend birthdays, weddings and funerals, or just take a vacation (how new) – but there are still heaps of risks and travel will look a little different.

What are the new rules?

Before you hop on that plane, you’ll need to provide proof that you’ve received both vaccine shots that are TGA-approved (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson) or recognized (Chinese Sinovac and India’s Covishield). The second dose must have occurred at least seven days before travel.

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Some countries and airlines require a negative PCR test for COVID-19 at check-in in order to leave Australia. This is different from the standard free test we’ve been getting throughout the pandemic. It can cost anywhere from $150 to $170 and is performed in private clinics.

On your way back to Australia, everyone must have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure. If your flight is more than 72 hours late, a negative PCR test is still valid. But if your flight is rescheduled or canceled, you will have to take a new one.

If you are in NSW, Victoria or the ACT, you will not have to go through any quarantine once you return. But other states are being more cautious, and still require quarantine at home or in a hotel for up to two weeks.

People who are not immune will have to wait until December 1 to avoid needing a travel waiver. It would also be inconvenient to return to Australia, as you would still be subject to passenger restrictions and 14 days of hotel quarantine.

So where can I go?

Australians can now travel without quarantine to the UK, US, Canada, Italy, Greece, Germany and South Africa.

Starting next week, Singapore will also be on that list – and it should grow over the next few weeks and months.

Dominic Michaelis, a travel agent in Sydney, said you also have to comply with the rules of which country you’re going to and which airline you’re flying with, which aren’t always easy to find.

“Once you can travel to Thailand, leave from the other side of Asia and make your way as you like through countries, we will definitely see more restrictive processes on how we move between places,” he said. .

Dominic said he has seen a huge increase in inquiries because people are desperate to travel but also cheated by all the rules.

“It is very difficult to find information but also to trust that it is an actual source of information that will be used at the time of travel, and not just something to be reported.”

Dominic said the most important things to consider when booking are the costs of PCR tests, extra time at airports, and masks on flights.

The good news is that many countries are eager for tourists to return, and there are some really great deals.

“Where the deals are found are the countries that rely on tourism, so we’ve been talking about Singapore and Thailand,” Dominic said.

Travel writer Ben Groundwater said that while young people with poor breathing may not be really worried about getting sick from COVID19, it’s worth considering how difficult it can be to get home.

“You can’t go back to Australia unless you test negative with a PCR test, as people will have a problem,” he told Hack.

“Suppose you test positive while trying to get back to Australia, that means you can’t leave anymore, so you have to stay in this country wherever you are, you have to take care of where you live, you have to rebook flights, you have to pay for anything until you test negative Or prove that you have recovered from the virus.”

What should I take with me?

You still need your passport, the usual visa for the country you are visiting, a negative PCR test, and an international proof of vaccination certificate. Here’s how to download your file.

Travel insurance is a bit more complicated.

If you’re looking to book a flight, find out if your insurance will cover you if you get COVID and need treatment abroad, said Erin Turner, campaign manager for consumer group Choice.

She said, “Call the insurance company and ask directly – ‘Does this policy cover me anything related to COVID?’

Erin also recommended asking questions like what would happen to your flights and accommodations if you were stuck in a lockdown and had to change things up.

“What is the cancellation process? What will you get back? If anything? Does it give you a credit or a voucher?”

“Unfortunately, there are no uniform laws covering consumer rights in this scenario.”

What about quarantine once I get back?

Exciting as the prospect of traveling again – not every Australian can benefit.
Our borders are open, but state and territory governments still differ in their rules around quarantine.

Australians completely broke into and returning to NSW, Victoria and the ACT do not need to be quarantined in hotels or at home.

If you arrive from abroad directly to one of the other states, you still have to perform a mandatory hotel quarantine. Tasmania will open its borders on December 15 and South Australia will begin easing restrictions from November 23.

To avoid hotel quarantine, you may have to make some strategic reservations: if you live in Queensland, for example, book a flight back to Australia to Sydney or Melbourne, then spend two weeks in one of those states (stay anywhere you want), Not in hotel quarantine) prior to entering Queensland.

Queensland said it will not open international travel without quarantine until it reaches 90 per cent in full. The Northern Territory has a home quarantine plan starting November 23.

Western Australia has not yet had a reopening plan, and will not allow anyone from New South Wales or Victoria to enter the state without exemptions, two vaccines and 14 days of quarantine.

Flexible bookings, such as the ability to change dates in the event of a travel ban, should be a major consideration.

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