Australians have long prided themselves on a ‘fair go for all’. In practice, that means ensuring the same rules apply to everyone – no matter your wealth, fame or where you are from.
This fundamental fairness is what underpins our democracy – and it’s absolutely crucial when it comes to managing Australia’s international border.
Commonwealth border management has been the foundation for ensuring we have one of the lowest death rates from COVID-19 in the world. So the Morrison Government makes no apologies for setting and enforcing our strong border protection arrangements.
Every single person seeking to enter Australia must comply – no one gets special treatment.
Of course, this has been tough for those with loved ones abroad, which is why we’ve been working to safely reopen the border in a carefully managed way.
Fully vaccinated Australians have been free to travel again since November 1 last year – providing they meet certain conditions, including a negative PCR test on return to Australia and proof of vaccination.
And since mid-December fully vaccinated eligible visa holders can travel to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption – again, providing they also meet certain entry criteria.
That criteria is pretty simple: alongside holding an eligible visa, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within three days before your flight’s scheduled departure, you must be fully vaccinated, and you must complete an Australia Travel Declaration – to declare you meet these requirements.
If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. The paperwork required for this medical exemption is not a mystery – it’s spelt out on the Home Affairs website.
If these criteria are not met, then a traveller can expect to be stopped at the border and not allowed into the country.
As we’ve seen, the Australian Border Force continues to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our strict border rules. Their job is to apply the rules to everyone – and the Morrison Government will always back them to do that.
That’s the only way we can ensure a fair go for all – especially those Australians and their families who have made sacrifices over the past two years in order to abide by various pandemic rules.