IMPORTANT UPDATES FOR THOSE WISHING TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA
In an Australian National Cabinet meeting on 10 July, the Prime Minister and State and Territory leaders discussed increased COVID-19 cases in Victoria. As part of the response, the leaders agreed to reduce by half the number of arrivals on inbound flights into Australia.
The Prime Minister also indicated that State and Territory governments are expected to make announcements shortly about charging for hotel passengers for hotel quarantine.
Unfortunately the announcements impact the six postponed Air India flights. The flight from Delhi to Sydney scheduled for 4 July (postponed to 15 July) will have a reduced passenger cap. The airline has said it will allocate tickets to those who were first to book.
The four flights from Delhi to Melbourne scheduled for 4, 7, 10 and 13 Jul (postponed to 15, 17, 18, and 19 Jul) and the flight from Delhi to Sydney scheduled for 5 Jul (postponed to 17 Jul) will not carry passengers into Australia, with Air India advising passengers will be eligible for a refund.
We know these changes taken by Australian Federal, State and Territory governments to manage COVID-19 risks are frustrating for many of you who want to return to Australia. We will continue to update registered Australians about options to return to Australia as they become available.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR AUSTRALIANS
The Indian Government has announced a gradual reduction of COVID-19 restrictions as part of “Unlock v1.0”. A number of activities will be allowed from 1 June outside of containment zones with further measures lifting from 8 June. Please ensure you are aware of any State specific regulations and adhere to these.
The Indian government and states governments are maintaining, however, a number of measures in the fight against COVID-19. Australians should follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of getting the virus.
High Commission staff will continue to update our website with relevant information as quickly as possible, including links to the latest available information and advice.
We can all help slow the spread of COVID-19. To protect yourself and others you must:
· practise good hygiene
· practise social distancing
· limit contact with other people
· understand how to isolate if you need to
· look after your mental health
If you need urgent consular assistance (for example you have been attacked, arrested) please call +91 11 4139 9900.
REGISTER WITH US FOR UPDATES
If you have not yet done so, we urge you to register with the Australian High Commission – this will enable us to contact you should the need arise including advising when flights to return to Australia are available.
Click on this link to register with us: https://covid19.dfat.gov.au
If you have any problems with hotels, including hotels accepting bookings, please contact the 24/7 Indian Government tourism hotline on 1800 11 1363 (available in 12 languages).
If your visa has expired after 1 February 2020, the Indian Government will extend your visa without a fine for a period of up to 30 days after the travel ban is lifted. To extend your visa apply online through FRRO/FRO.
EXTENSION OF INDIA'S FLIGHT BAN
India has extended its ban on regular scheduled international passenger flights and will review this decision as part of Phase III. A calibrated number of domestic flights between various cities resumed from 25 May. We have prepared responses to frequently asked questions, including covering existing flight bookings, charter options, visa extensions and tips for the lockdown in India. Read more...
ATTENTION: Be careful when choosing charter fights
Many people are asking us about other private charter options being promoted. Be aware: only flights we notify to those registered with us have the approvals required to operate. Please be cautious about other options.
RETURING TO AUSTRALIA
The Indian Government's ban on international scheduled flights has been extended until further notice. India resumed domestic flights in a calibrated manned from 25 May.
On 25 March, the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne issued a statement about Australians trying to return to Australia.
They made clear:
- Where local authorities will allow, consideration is being given, on a case by case basis, to supporting airlines willing to operate non-scheduled services to bring Australians home
- There are no plans for assisted departures such as those conducted to the epicentre of the COVID-19, Wuhan in China and Japan.
We are sending updates on flight options to Australians who have registered with us (see above on how to do so). We will update this website when there is any change in this advice or if new airline information becomes available.
The Australian government continues to investigate commercial flights options to repatriate those wanting to return to Australia. The planning and coordination of these flights will affect consideration of privately-organised charter flights.
If you have sought approval for a privately-organised charter, you can expect to be contacted by the Australian Border Force. The AHC New Delhi is unable to provide any assistance for private charter flights until such approvals have been provided in Australia.
We continue to assess all such requests against a range of factors, including the need to manage and sequence the return of Australians into our international airports so that Commonwealth, State and Territory authorities can successfully implement reception arrangements, including mandatory quarantine requirements.
If you have purchased a ticket on a flight to Australia a movement pass from the Indian government to travel to the city from where your flight is departing is no longer required. However, you should contact and consult the state governments you need to pass through to confirm what if any requirements they may have and comply with these.
All travellers returning to Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities at their port of entry. You will be directed to a facility such as a hotel on arrival in Australia and required to stay there for 14 days before you can complete any onward travel or return to your home. The accommodation, along with food, water and any medical support will be provided by the Australian Government. See the Smartraveller website for more.
Should you then wish to travel to another state or territory governments you may be subject to an additional period of quarantine or other restrictions. You should keep up with the latest with the relevant State and Territory Governments:
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
New South Wales
FOOD AND MEDICINE
As you know, the Indian Government has announced further relaxaions to restrictions on activities outside of containment zones. Indian authorities advise that people will have access to food and medicine in containment zones.
For those staying in hotels, you should be able to drive or walk to nearby shops and pharmacies. If you are having problems, we suggest asking your hotel, local authorities or friends to help you get essential supplies.
If you have any problems. Contact us: (Business hours: +91 11 4139 9900, [email protected]; For outside of business hours: +612 6261 3305).
You can also call the Police on 100.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS IN AUSTRALIA
The Australian Government recognises that COVID-19 is affecting international students in Australia, who are friends, colleagues, classmates and members of the Australian community. On 4 April, the Australian Minister for Education, the Hon Dan Tehan MP, said the Australian Government had agreed that:
- international students who had been in Australia for longer than 12 months who find themselves in financial hardship would be able to access their Australian superannuation
- international students would be able to work up to 40 hours per fortnight
- the Government would increase flexibility for a number of regulations to make it easier for international students to continue their studies in Australia should they wish to do so
- the Government would be flexible in cases where COVID-19 has prevent international students from meeting their visa conditions (such as not being able to attend classes).
International Students in Australia Factsheet
See also the Australian government's portal on support available for international students in Australia during COVID-19.
- Australian High Commission consular assistance
- Business hours: +91 11 4139 9900, [email protected]
- For outside of business hours: +612 6261 3305
- Australian High Commission
- Australian Consulate General Chennai
- Australian Consulate General Kolkata
- Australian Consulate General Mumbai
- Key Indian Government contact points: