Australian Embassy
Saudi Arabia

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

 

COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to some frequently asked COVID-19 questions, below.

Updated at 29 July 2020

 

 

Keeping updated

We recommend you subscribe to updates from Smartraveller regarding travel advice for  Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.  You will be sent updates by email and critical updates by text message. We will issue any Australian Government advice about health and safety in your country on Smartraveller and send it to subscribers.

We recommend you also follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will post regular updates.

Returning to Australia

Flights 

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident or are a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia. All travellers arriving into Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.​

I have seen the travel ban and want to go back to Australia.  Can the Embassy offer any support?

While the Embassy is unable to assist with your travel arrangements, we are regularly advising the Australian community of flight opportunities as they become known.

The caps on the number of flights and passengers arriving into Australia, as well as the lack of demand for passengers on the reverse routes from Australia to Saudi Arabia and Oman, mean that special commercial flights directly to Australia are not possible.

We continue to highlight options to depart the region on social media, including flights through Europe. If you are interested in booking one of the flights we advertise, please contact the airline directly.

The Embassy is not able to make your travel arrangements.  Should you require emergency consular support, please contact the Consular Section at [email protected] or by phone on +966 11 2500993/0.  Alternatively, you can contact the Consular Emergency Centre (CEC) in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.

If you need financial assistance, in the first instance talk to your travel insurer.  If they won’t help, talk to family or friends.

 

I am an Australian citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents can travel to Australia. You must provide evidence of your relationship and you must hold a valid visa before you travel. Read this box.

The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19.  

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempt from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians.  

Refer to https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/immediate-family-australian-citizen-or-permanent-resident for further information and the link to apply provide evidence of your relationship

Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents should not travel to Australia until they receive advice from the Department of Home Affairs that they can.  

Please note that all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities (e.g hotels), in their city of arrival before they can go home.  See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions-0 for more information.

 

I am a Saudi/Bahraini/Omani on an Australian visa which is nearing expiration and encountering difficulties leaving Australia due to travel restrictions. Who can I contact to seek more information?

Please visit the ‘Visa Holders’ page on the Australian Department of Home Affairs’ website https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/all-visa-holders for more information.

 

State and Territory Quarantine Rules

Caps on international passenger flows

Australia has reduced international flight arrivals to manage coronavirus risk. All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.

These arrangements remain subject to regular review by the National Cabinet. It’s up to the airlines, not the Government, to decide who it sells tickets to -- and it's up to the airline who it boards. 

Restrictions on outbound travel by Australian citizens and permanent residents remain in place, in accordance with the health advice to the Government.

National Cabinet has also announced a nationwide review of hotel quarantine, and states have begun to charge travellers for hotel quarantine. Further details about the arrangements in each state and territory are provided below.

 

New South Wales

There are some border controls in NSW.

There is a cap on arrivals into Sydney. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

 Learn more

 

Victoria 

There are significant border controls in Victoria.

Melbourne International Airport is currently closed.

Learn more 

 

Queensland

There are some border controls in QLD.

There is a cap on arrivals into Brisbane. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more

 

South Australia

There are some border controls in South Australia.

There is a cap on arrivals into Adelaide. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more 

 

Western Australia

There are significant border controls in WA.

There is a cap on arrivals into Perth. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more 

 

Tasmania 

There are significant border controls in Tasmania. 

You’ll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more

 

Australian Capital Territory

There are some border controls in the ACT.

There is a cap on arrivals into Canberra. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more 

 

Northern Territory

There are some border controls in the NT.

There is a cap on arrivals into Darwin. 

You'll need to contribute to the cost of quarantine.

Learn more

 

Passports

I need to fly back to Australia but my passport is close to expiration/expired.  What do I do?

The Australian Embassy in Riyadh is not currently accepting in-person passport appointments due to the COVID-19 situation in Saudi Arabia.

If you have an urgent need for a passport, you may apply for a limited validity passport by mail. Further information on how to apply is available here.

Please note departure from the country you are in is subject to the rules and decisions of authorities in that country.

 

Is the Australian Embassy still open? Am I still able to come in if I have questions or concerns?

The Australian Embassy remains open but public access is limited due to COVID-19 restrictions.

If you believe that you have an urgent passport or notarial case that cannot be deferred, please email [email protected] and outline your requirements. Emergency cases will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Further information about passport arrangements during the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

 

Australian Government Response to COVID-19 

I want to learn about the Australian Government response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Where can I find it?

 

Returning to the region

I am an Australian on a working visa in Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/Oman. I left but now need to return to that country to recommence work. Who can I contact for assistance?

If you are required to return to Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/Oman for work purposes, your employer will need to work with the relevant government authorities to obtain the necessary approvals on your behalf.

Your employment in Saudi Arabia/Bahrain/Oman is a private arrangement between you and your employer and the Australian Embassy cannot obtain these approvals for you.

Please note, borders in some of these countries remain closed. It is a matter for the governments of individual countries to determine when they will reopen.