The long-hated international travel ban is finally going but Aussies keen to get overseas will need to jump a number of hurdles first.

It’s been almost two years, but the long-hated international travel ban is finally on the way out.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced yesterday that the travel ban, that’s stopped Aussies going overseas since March 2020 would be dropped in November, when Australia is expected to hit 80 per cent double dose vaccination.

“It’s time to give Australians their lives back. We’ve saved lives. We’ve saved livelihoods but we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country,” Mr Morrison said.

NSW is expected to be the first state to welcome back international travel, with the state hoping to hit 80 per cent double dose vaccination before November.

The ACT, Victoria and Tasmania aren’t far behind that rate, with the prime minister and airlines hoping international travel will be widespread in Australia before the end of the year.

But Aussies hoping to get overseas or back home before Christmas have a few hurdles to jump first.

Doubly vaccinated against Covid

Any Aussie hoping to go overseas or return home and complete seven days home quarantine, instead of spending $3000 to stay in a hotel for 14 days, must have received two doses of a Covid vaccine.

The vaccine must also have been recognised by the TGA.

The TGA currently has four Covid vaccines approved in Australia – Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen).

It also recognised two extra vaccines yesterday – Coronavac (Sinovac), developed and used in China; and Covishield (AstraZeneca-Serum Institute of India), developed and used in India.

The recognition of Sinovac and Covishield will assist universities getting foreign students back into Australia.

Travellers will also need an international recognised vaccination certificate.

Proof you’ve tested negative to Covid

Aussies must also test negative to Covid prior to entering the country.

Pre-flight testing is expected to part of the international travel framework, with other countries already implementing systems that require a negative Covid test within 48 hours of travel.

Most international airlines already require a negative test prior to getting on the flight.

Australians will likely need to be tested a number of times during or after their seven-day home quarantine however the exact details around that are still being worked out by the government.

Home quarantine trials to be completed successfully

Both NSW and South Australia will need to successfully complete their home quarantine trials and prove the program can be easily and safely managed for the masses.

South Australia was first to trial home quarantine last month and a separate trial is currently underway in NSW.

An app already used successfully in South Australia, that uses geolocation and facial recognition to ensure returned travellers are staying home, will be used in NSW too.

South Australia has already home quarantined hundreds of fully vaccinated residents and it’s hoped the findings from NSW, due to be handed down early next month, will be similar.

“We’re also offering facilitated commercial flights for Australians overseas into states and territories that agree to commence the home quarantine trials,” Mr Morrison said yesterday.

Aussies to revert back to Smartraveller system

Mr Morrison said the traffic light system – that ranks nations’ risks by their Covid vaccination levels and positive cases – would also likely be dropped.

The PM said Australia would instead revert back to its Smartraveller system – that lists countries as “do not travel” or “exercise caution”.

“If there are places that we don’t believe — based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer — that we should be giving that ‘do not travel’ advice in relation to travel for vaccinated Australians, then we will provide the advice that way,” he said.

Australia is also working on establishing quarantine-free travel with a number of safe countries including New Zealand, Singapore and nations in the South Pacific.

Arrival caps to lift

The government has not made any announcement on when unvaccinated Australians, visa holders and foreigners will be freed from hotel quarantine yet.

It’s expected the arrival caps implemented by each state and territory will be lifted, considering fully vaccinated Australians will no longer need to take up a hotel spot.

However it’s hoped fully vaccinated tourists and visa holders could soon be afforded the same freedoms as fully vaccinated Australians.

Flight Centre boss Graham Turner yesterday called for the quarantine arrangements to be dropped for tourists.

“The main thing is tourists won’t want to isolate at home for seven days, I don’t think any other country does that, that is quite an onerous thing, it should be one or two days until you receive a negative test,” he said.

What can Aussies expect next month?

It’s a bit of a waiting game now until Australia hits 80 per cent double dose, but airlines have already begun making moves to restart international travel.

Qantas brought forward flights to some of its biggest destinations, changing its restart date from December 18 to November 14.

The airline will start operating three weekly return flights between Sydney and London and three weekly return flights between Sydney and Los Angeles from November.

Qantas has already added two extra flights in the second half of November to meet the demand.

Flight Centre boss Graham Turner told that things would likely “get back to normal very, very quickly” once Australia hits Phase C.

“There’s still 18 international airlines flying into Australia … they don’t all have the same seat availability they did before but once you can travel without hotel quarantine things will go back to normal,” he said.

Mr Turner predicted fares wouldn’t be “that expensive” and would likely be in line with the usual pre-Christmas rush prices.

“Everyone want to see family at this time so there’ll be a fair bit of demand because everyone wants to see their family . but I think it’ll be normal, pre-Covid, high season prices once everything comes back on the market.”