Coronavirus USA travel from Australia: When can I travel to the United States? Do I need to quarantine? | Explainer

Many Australians had been fantasising about returning to one of our favorite pre-pandemic travel destinations long before international borders reopened. But even with US travel back on the table once again, it’s evident the rules aren’t so clear-cut.

Will travelers have to quarantine? Will AstraZeneca be accepted? We answer some of your top questions.

When can I travel to the US from Australia?

Pack your bags because travel to the US is finally a reality. Although airlines such as Qantas had flights departing Sydney to Los Angeles from early November for ‘eligible passengers’, the White House officially gave travel for fully vaccinated tourists the green tick from November 8.

READ MORE: When can I travel to Fiji? All your travel questions answered

For those who have asked, ‘Will I have to be quarantined if I travel to the United States?’, The good news is travel to the States is quarantine-free. What you will need to do, however, is provide proof of full vaccination, as well as complete a pre-departure negative COVID-19 test to be taken within three days of travel in order to board your flight to the United States. All travelers aged two and older will need to undergo testing, and in addition to pre-departure testing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends travelers get tested again within three to five days after arriving in the States, and staying home for seven days post-travel.

Of course, each state has its own set of requirements and these can be found here.

Australians can now head back to their favorite US cities, including New York and LA. (iStock)

Which vaccines are accepted in the US?

Australians need have no concern; under the new travel system only those with vaccinations approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) will be allowed to enter the United States. Although there was some murkiness surrounding AstraZeneca and whether it would be accepted in the States, it has since been confirmed it will be accepted along with Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson. Other vaccines with WHO approval include Sinopharm and Sinovac, although these are not used in Australia.

READ MORE: Explainer: How does international travel work now Australian borders are opening?

What is the current travel advice for the United States?

The Department of Foreign Trade and Affairs (DFAT) has recently changed its previous Do Not Travel warning for the United States to Exercise a High Degree of Caution. Previously, travel insurance policies didn’t provide cover for COVID-19-related expenses if a country carried a DFAT Do Not Travel warning. Now that this has changed, travel insurance policies will adapt accordingly, although you will need to compare products to ensure you’re covered for everything from cancellation costs to illness.

Downtown Los Angeles at sunset
Travelers will need to be extra prepared while traveling to the US. (Getty Images / iStockphoto)

Is it safe to visit the United States?

It’s worth monitoring sites such as Our World In Data and the World Health Organization before you make up your mind about whether to book a flight or not. At the time of writing, the data shows only 59.2 per cent of Americans are fully vaccinated, and there are currently over 95,000 new infections a day. Bear in mind some states such as California, Hawaii and Massachusetts are much higher than others.

Something else to consider about travel throughout the United States is that medical care is eye-wateringly expensive, so you will need to purchase a travel insurance policy with all the bells and whistles to help provide a buffer should you become ill. Check out comparethemarket.com.au to compare travel policies and be sure to call the provider if you have any questions.

Can US citizens travel to Australia?

Unfortunately not. Australia remains closed to international tourism, although there is talk that this could change by the end of 2021.

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