Foreign travel advice

Australia

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not leave home or travel, including internationally, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. Check the rules that apply to you in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

If you intend to travel to England, Scotland, or Wales from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.

Before you return to the UK you must provide your journey and contact details. You must self-isolate when you enter the UK from any foreign country except Ireland, unless you have a valid exemption.

If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.

Local laws and customs

The Australian authorities will take action against anyone who imports or is found to be trafficking illegal drugs. Prosecution can lead to a lengthy jail sentence and deportation.

The legality of using e-cigarettes in Australia differs between States. Liquid nicotine is classed as a poison and banned from sale nationwide, however some States allow importation for personal use and the use of e-cigarettes without nicotine. You should seek local advice on what restrictions are in place at your destination.

Australian federal law changed on 7 December 2017 to recognise same-sex marriages. Australia has an established tradition of tolerance towards homosexuality, but there are still isolated incidents of homophobic crimes. Take care when visiting rural communities. The Visit Gay Australia website is a useful travel planning resource and you can find more detail on LGBT issues on the Australian Human Rights Commission website. See our information and advice page for the LGBT community before you travel.

Quarantine

Australia has strict quarantine rules to keep out pests and diseases that could affect plant, animal and human health. All luggage is x-rayed on arrival. Any items of concern are further inspected, treated and if necessary confiscated and destroyed. Breaches of quarantine regulations can result in large fines.
 
You will be given an incoming passenger card on the plane, on which you must declare any food or goods of plant or animal origin, and sporting equipment (including camping gear). A full list can be found on the Department of Agriculture website.

You will also be asked to declare whether you have ‘visited a rural area, or been in contact with, or near, farm animals outside Australia in the past 30 days’.

Taxes

Different tax rules and rates apply to residents and non-residents. Working holidaymakers are usually regarded as non-resident for tax purposes; this means they do not qualify for any tax-free personal allowance on their earnings. Further advice on residency for tax purposes and income tax rates is available from the Australian Taxation Office website.