COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 questions below.
Updated on 3 September 2020
For up-to-date advice on entering Australia, please visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/.
We recommend Australian travellers review advice on COVID-19 on Smartraveller and country specific advice for
Bosnia and Herzegovina
You cannot currently travel to Australia unless you are in an exempt category or you have been granted an individual exemption to the current travel restrictions.
Please see information on the different categories on the website of the Department of Home Affairs: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions-0
Australians in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia or Slovenia who are unable to return to Australia are encouraged to register their contact details with us: http://covid19.dfat.gov.au
If you’ve been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible to access financial support from the government. There are two types of interest-free loans available:
- Living costs: a one-off loan to cover emergency living costs until a commercial flight becomes available
- Flight back to Australia: a one-off loan to help cover the costs of a flight to return to Australia
The loans are only available as a last resort. You’ll need to meet strict eligibility criteria. Only those in genuine need will be provided financial support. You’ll need to demonstrate that you’re planning to return to Australia as soon as flights become available. All loans must be repaid.
For more information, please visit: https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19/covid-19-overseas-financial-assistance.
International travel restrictions
Australia has strict border measures in place to protect the health of the Australian community. The National Cabinet agreed to caps on international passenger flows. Very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia and you may not be able to travel at this time.
Travel restrictions are subject to change and flexibility remains within these caps to as much as possible minimise disruptions to returning Australian citizens and permanent residents. National Cabinet agreed to inbound passengers contributing to the costs of hotel quarantine — there are measures to support those in financial difficulty.
Current restrictions include:
- Melbourne – no international passenger arrivals;
- Sydney – limit of 350 passenger arrivals per day;
- Perth – limit of 525 passenger arrivals per week;
- Brisbane and Adelaide – limit of 500 passenger arrivals per week;
- Canberra and Darwin – passenger limits on each flight to be discussed with jurisdictions on a case-by-case basis;
- Hobart – no international flights.
It’s up to the airlines, not the Government, to decide who it sells tickets to - and it's up to the airline who it boards. Restrictions on outbound travel by Australian citizens and permanent residents remain in place, in accordance with the health advice to the Government.
Further information on interstate travel and quarantine restrictions
You can find information on interstate travel and quarantine restrictions here:
Q: I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?
A: Please visit the website of the Department of Home Affairs for information on entering Australia as an immediate family member of an Australian citizen.
Q: I have seen the travel ban and want to go back to Australia. Can the Embassy offer any support?
A: If you wish to return to Australia, please check with airlines directly to confirm flight options. While the Australian Embassy Vienna is not able to assist with making your travel arrangements, should you require emergency consular support, please call us on +43 1 506 740 or contact our 24/7 Consular Emergency Centre.
If you have been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and are experiencing financial distress, you may be able to access financial support from the government. This includes financial assistance for a flight to return to Australia or to cover emergency living costs for those who cannot return as quickly as they would like. The loans are only available as a last resort. You can find out more information about the program, your eligibility and how to apply here.
Q: I am in the process of applying, have applied or received a visa for a stay in Australia. How does COVID-19 impact the visa process?
A: For the latest information on Australia's immigration and border arrangements during the COVID-19 outbreak please visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/.
If you are currently in Australia and seeking advice about your options, please visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/staying-australia.
The best way to find out information about immigration and citizenship is by visiting the Department of Home Affairs website at www.homeaffairs.gov.au.
If you can’t find the information you are looking for, you can contact the Department of Home Affairs Global Service Centre on +61 2 6196 0196, Monday to Friday 0900 to 1700 local time in your country, or via https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-and-support/contact-us.
Q: I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired. What do I do?
A: If you have sufficient time to arrange for a new passport, we continue to process passport applications. If you are able to visit the Embassy in Vienna, you can make an appointment to submit a passport application here. If you cannot visit the Embassy in person, please contact us on +43 1 506 740 or at [email protected] to discuss alternative arrangements.
If you do not have time to obtain a new passport, please note Australian citizens may be permitted to enter Australia without a valid Australian passport if you are flying directly back to Australia. Please contact us on +43 1 506 740 or at [email protected] to find out more.
Q: I am in Australia on a visa which is nearing expiration and encountering difficulties leaving Australia due to travel restrictions. Who can I contact to seek more information?
A: Please visit the ‘Visa Holders’ page on the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ website https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/all-visa-holders for more information.
Q: Is the Embassy in Vienna still open? Am I still able to come in if I have any questions or concerns?
A: Yes, the Australian Embassy Vienna is offering passport and notarial services strictly by appointment. You can find out more and book an appointment here.
Q: I want to learn more about the Australian Government response to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Where can I find it?
Staying in Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia or Slovenia
Q: I am an Australian on a working/studying visa. I do not wish to or cannot leave at this time, am I allowed to stay for the time being?
A: Should you be unable or not wish to leave, we advise all Australians to follow the advice of local authorities. Please see the travel advice for Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Hungary, Slovakia or Slovenia for links to local health authorities and migration authorities. It is your responsibility to ensure that your visa eligibility will last for the foreseeable future and will allow you stay for an extended period of time.
You should also read related COVID-19 bulletins on Smartraveller on staying overseas.