What you need to do before you board an international flight

Q. Teresa

I want to visit my son and daughter-in-law overseas in the new year but am concerned about everything I need to do before I’m able to step on a plane. Is there a website that clearly outlines the rules and regulations of the different countries we’re able to travel to?

A. Borders are open and the floodgates are too – or they’re about to be.

One of the issues preventing older Australians from travelling is the confusion around COVID requirements, such as vaccination status, quarantine and the restrictions still in place in the states and territories.

The same goes for Aussies travelling overseas.

Anyone planning to travel overseas faces a daunting task of deciphering rules and restrictions and the steps required before boarding a plane.

Read: What you need to do to be vaccination passport ready

Basically, you can’t go anywhere without being fully vaccinated at least seven days prior to an international journey.

You’ll need an international vaccination certificate before you book your flight. You can get one from your online Medicare account via the myGov website, or from the Express Plus Medicare mobile app on your smartphone.

If you can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may qualify for an exemption but you’ll need to jump through some hoops to get that, and then be able to provide proof of your medical exemption before you book.

Read: Travel tool helps you see what countries are safest

Once you have this documentation you can book flights and get visas and travel insurance, which you will need in some countries.

While Australia doesn’t have predeparture testing requirements, some countries have testing requirements upon arrival.

In the UK, you’ll need to have a COVID-19 test before the end of your second day in the country and you’ll have to fill out a passenger locator form 48 hours before arriving, which you can do online.

Read: Flight modelling could inform decision on international travel

Travellers to the US need to return a negative test within three days of travel to the States.

Aussie travellers are advised to check out the Smartraveller website for country specific requirements.

Once you return, you’ll need to check out the specific state or territory to which you are returning to see if you’ll need to undergo quarantine. In some states, those who are fully vaccinated and have supplied proof of a negative test prior to re-entering the country will not need to undergo quarantine, while unvaccinated travellers will.

Bon voyage!

Do you have any trips planned for the Christmas period? Do you think all the extra steps will be worth it or are you tempted to stay at home? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Written by Ben

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