When you emigrate from South Africa to Australia, you probably don’t give much thought to when and how you will see your family and friends again. Most Saffas simply assume that the opportunity will arise to see loved ones and that they will deal with it as it happens. Thinking that travel to and from South Africa will be easy is pretty much the South African norm. Well, that was before COVID-19 struck the world, and new rules for travel to Australia were introduced! And it’s not just Australia’s new rules rocking the boat. South Africa and most other countries also have new travel rules and regulations imposed. The question begs to be answered: how do these new rules impact you?
When you think of new rules for South Africans emigrating to Australia or Aussiekaners trying to get back to the country to see loved ones, you probably automatically think of Australia quarantine rules. And while there is a relatively new quarantine rule in place, it’s not the only change to the travel rules to be expected. But wait, what quarantine rule is this? Here’s what you need to know: The Australian Government announced that all people traveling to Australia would need to take a COVID-19 test before travel and that wearing a mask while in the country is non-negotiable. Of course, you have to wear a mask while at the airport, so keep that in mind!
That’s the new Australia travel rules for mask-wearing and quarantining, but is there more? There is indeed more! The new travel rules limit the number of people who can travel to and from the country too – and the amount of travellers allowed into Australia varies from one state to the next. But wait, there’s more. Let’s take a closer look.
Travel rules Australia
If you’re living in Australia and want to head home, or if you are thinking about immigrating to Australia very soon, there are a few things you need to know. You must be aware of the following Australian travel rules set in place thanks to COVID-19.
- Travel caps have been imposed for each state.
- If you’re traveling to Western Australia (WD), Queensland (QLD), or New South Wales (NSW), you may be denied if the cap has already been reached. These areas have international passenger caps imposed at 50% of the usual. Western Australia will allow 512 international travellers per week, while Queensland will allow 500 and New South Wales will allow 1,505 per week. That’s not a lot of people, is it? Of course, all passengers will need to quarantine on arrival.
- UK travellers may be subject to “rapid testing” for COVID-19.
- International travellers departing the United Kingdom for Australia may have to take a rapid COVID-19 test before boarding the plane. The airline will provide the test. If you test COVID-19 positive, you may not be allowed to travel.
- Passengers must wear masks throughout the trip.
- You may think that planes work similar to restaurants (you know, masks off at your table), but that’s not quite the case when it comes to an international flight to Australia. While onboard a flight to Australia, you have to wear a mask for the flight duration. The only people exempted are people under 12 years old and those with special permission.
- All travellers must undergo a 14-day quarantine period.
- When you arrive in Australia, you must quarantine for 14 days in the city of arrival before continuing your trip. You may refuse a COVID-19 test, but the government may extend your quarantine period as a result. The quarantine requirements vary from state to state, and travellers may have to pay for the quarantine process.
Aussiekaners coming back to South Africa
If you’re already living in Australia and need to venture back to South Africa to visit family and friends, there are a few rules to be aware of too.
- Only certain airports will operate international flights.
- International flights that operate within the allotted Alert Level 1 in South Africa are permitted. Only OR Tambo International Airport, King Shaka International Airport, and Cape Town International Airport will be managing international flights.
- A negative COVID-19 test is required.
- On arrival, passengers must present a negative COVID-19 test. A traveller’s COVID-19 test must be done no more than 72 hours before the travel date. The World Health Organization must recognise the testation.
- Quarantine periods for passengers without a test.
- Passengers who cannot present a negative COVID-19 test must do an antigen test on arrival at their own cost and are required to quarantine for ten days. The quarantine can be carried out at a hotel or an address provided on arrival. Severe fines are imposed on travellers not adhering to the quarantine rules.
Be fully prepared for your emigration from South Africa with the help of FinGlobal
While travel rules and regulations are bound to be at the forefront of your mind, it’s important not to overlook other essential factors that impact your emigration, such as your tax and financial emigration from the country. Are you aware of your tax and financial obligations when leaving the country? Do you know the difference between a tax resident and a non-tax resident of South Africa (and other countries)?
Do you know the rules and regulations regarding the withdrawal of your pension fund when moving abroad? At FinGlobal, we aim to help our clients understand these sensitive matters better and ensure that they meet their financial obligations for a smooth and legal exit from the country. Do you want to chat about your specific emigration from SA to Australia? Simply get in touch with us. You can give us a call on +27 28 312 2764 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and advice.