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Returning home when borders are closed


Many countries, including Australia, have closed their borders in light of Covid-19.  However, for citizens that are abroad, closed borders don't necessarily mean you can't go home.

"We can't stop Australians coming home.

When you close the borders, you can't close them to Australians."

-Scott Morrison, Prime Minister of Australia

On March 20, Australia closed its borders meaning only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can enter the country.  

On March 28, it was decided that all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (eg hotels), in their port of arrival. The travellers will be transported to their designated facility - decided by each State - after appropriate immigration checks. Read more here.  

Understandably, this is an uncertain and anxious time for Australians wishing to return home from the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions.  However, the good news is that as an Australian citizen or resident you have the right to travel back to Australia. 

To assist travellers returning to their home countries, Qantas, Malaysian Airlines and Qatar Airways have reinstated and in some cases added a number of flights between the United Kingdom and Australia. 


Qantas will operate flights between Australia and the UK to support the Federal Government in bringing Australians home. Read more here

Malaysian Airlines

Malaysian Airlines has reinstated a number of flights to/from Australia for April and May and they will still be operating daily out of London.  Read more here

Qatar Airways

Qatar Airways will be adding an additional 28 flights (approx. 48,000 extra seats) to the main gateways of Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney from London. Read more here 

Qatar Airways is also offering flexibility to change travel plans for those who have booked or planned to book travel up to 30 September 2020, by giving following options: 

1. Change your travel date free of charge
2. Exchange for a future travel voucher with 10% additional value
3. Refund your ticket

Useful travel advice links and information for Australians:  

  • For Australians in the United Kingdom, the best place to seek advice and consular assistance is through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) at the Australian High Commission, find their website here
  • For more travel restrictions to Australia visit the Government of Australia’s Department of Home Affairs website here
  • Throughout this emergency, the Australian High Commission consular service will remain open. If you need assistance, call the Australian Consular Crisis Line on 020 7887 5555.
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