Travel between Australia and the United States

Travelling has changed, and you may need to do a little more planning and preparation before take-off. Ensure you check and comply with all airline and government travel requirements before arriving at the airport.
 

Last updated: 3 December 2021
 

Icon

Many countries are taking precautionary steps in relation to the new COVID-19 variant of concern (Omicron). See Travel Updates for more information.

On this page

Qantas vaccination requirements

All passengers on international flights operated by Qantas are required to be fully vaccinated (some exceptions for children and medical exemptions apply). In accordance with Australian Government guidelines, a traveller is not fully vaccinated unless at least 7 full calendar days have elapsed since the last dose of vaccine in a course of immunisation. Learn more about our vaccination requirements.

Customers with a COVID-19 vaccination medical exemption must submit their documentation to Qantas at least 7 days before your flight. We're not able to process exemptions at the airport on your day of departure. See more on applying for clearance to travel.

This requirement relates to flights operated by Qantas on a Qantas aircraft, including those booked via another airline or third-party travel arranger. If you're travelling on a Qantas codeshare flight which is operated by another airline on their aircraft, you'll need to contact them directly to understand and meet their requirements.

You should always check the vaccination requirements for the country you're travelling to, and comply with the most stringent requirements that apply to your trip.

You'll be required to present proof of vaccination at the airport. 

Travel requirements

Before booking and before departure, ensure you check the latest United StatesOpens external site and AustralianOpens external site government conditions for travel, including any applicable Australian State Government restrictions and requirements, which may include mandatory travel and health declarations, vaccinations, use of face masks, and immigration and entry requirements (which may include renewing your passport, or applying for a visa), or you could be denied entry. This information is subject to change and we recommend you check these websites frequently for any updates.

Tick

From 1 November 2021, fully vaccinated Australians are eligible for international travel without first seeking a travel exemption to leave Australia. Passengers who do not meet the eligibility requirements must continue to follow the current border processesOpens external site.

Visit the Centers for Disease ControlOpens external site (CDC) website for more information on travel requirements, including entry eligibility and completing the Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America, vaccination requirements, COVID-19 testingOpens external sitewearing of face masksOpens external site onboard and in airports, and quarantining on arrival.

Effective from 12:01am (US East Coast time) on November 29, non-US citizens who have been in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Nambia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Mozambique and Malawi in the prior 14 days will be banned from travel to the United States. US citizens returning from these countries will need to present a negative COVID test within 24 hours of departure to the United States.

If you're fully vaccinated

Before departure you'll need to:

  • Check if you're considered fully vaccinatedOpens external site in a new window according to the CDC guidelines, which includes completing a course of an approved vaccine at least 14 days before you fly.
  • Have valid evidence of your vaccination (or exemption) status. You will need approved documentation for travel - see more about International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates.
  • For departures after 12:01am (EST) 6 December, you'll need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before departure (instead of the prior 3 day timeline). Children under 2 years old do not need to have a test. If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you may still be able to travel in certain circumstances. Learn more about these requirementsOpens external site in a new window from the CDC. You’ll also need to submit your medical clearance documents to us at least 7 days before departure.
  • Print and complete a Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America form.
  • Print and complete a Contact Tracing form.
  • Bring physical copies of your attestation, COVID-19 test and vaccination certificates (or relevant exemptions) to the airport.
  • Apply for your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), if you’re a non-US citizen or non-US immigrant and eligible for the visa waiver program. Other immigration or border control requirements may apply.

If you're travelling on a Qantas aircraft and cannot be vaccinated for approved medical reasons, you'll also be required to submit your exemption documents to us 7 days prior to departure, and show evidence of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test result at the airport. Your pre-departure test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to departure, or as per the government guidelines of the destination country.

If you're not fully vaccinated

Before departure, you'll need to:

  • Provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test, taken no more than one 1 day before departure. Children under 2 years old do not need to test.  If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, you may still be able to travel in certain circumstances. Learn more about these requirementsOpens external site from the CDC. You’ll also need to submit your medical clearance documents to us at least 7 days before departure.
  • Print and complete a Passenger Disclosure and Attestation to the United States of America form.
  • Print and complete a Contact Tracing form.
  • Attest that you meet the criteria for exceptionOpens external site from the requirement to present Proof of Being Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19, if you're a non-citizen or non-immigrant.
  • Bring physical copies of all attestations, COVID-19 test and vaccination certificates (or relevant exemptions) to the airport.
  • Apply for your Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), if you’re a non-US citizen or non-US immigrant and eligible for the visa waiver program. Other immigration or border control requirements may apply.

If you're a non-US citizen or non-US immigrant that meets the criteria for an exception, after arrival you'll be required to:

  • Get tested with a viral testOpens external site 3-5 days after arrival, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • Stay at home or in your hotel room and self-quarantine for a full 7 days, even if you test negative, unless you have documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days.
  • IsolateOpens external site if your test result is positive or you develop COVID-19 symptomsOpens external site.
  • If you intend to stay in the United States for 60 days or longer, you must become fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within 60 days of arriving in the United States or as soon as medically appropriate, unless you have a medical contraindication or are too young to be vaccinatedOpens external site.

If you’re a US citizen or US immigrant, the CDC recommendsOpens external site that you also follow the testing and isolation requirements above.

Unvaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents wishing to travel overseas (apart from some exceptions for children and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons) are required to apply for a travel exemptionOpens external site to leave Australia and will not be able to travel on a Qantas aircraft.

Applying for clearance to travel

If you're unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons or you return a positive pre-departure COVID-19 test result, you may still be able to travel with us in some circumstances:

  • You can request a vaccination exemption due to a medical condition that prevents you from being vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine. You'll also be required to show proof of a negative pre-departure COVID-19 PCR test when you check-in. Your pre-departure test must be taken no more than 3 days prior to departure, or as per the government guidelines of the destination country.
  • If you've previously had a COVID-19 infection, you can apply for a medical clearance based on a past positive infection, provided you're no longer infectious and don’t have any symptoms.

We're not able to process any COVID-19 vaccination exemptions or medical clearances at the airport on your day of departure, therefore you'll need to ensure you submit your request at least seven days in advance. Otherwise you may not be able to board your flight.

See more information on COVID-19 vaccination exemptions and past positive medical clearance.

Keep up to date with the latest requirements

It’s important to continue to check the relevant government websites for the latest travel requirements, as these may change closer to your departure date and more information may become available.  

 

children running on beach with toy plane

Fly Flexible

Peace of mind means changing your travel dates as often as you need, fee-free. Or simply put into credit for when you are ready to rebook. A fare difference may apply, terms and conditions apply.

Find out more

Inflight and airport services

Find out about any changes to your airport and inflight experience.

See inflight and airport services for more information.