Covid-19 IOT Travel Information

IOT travel application form

All travellers – regardless of whether they are IOT residents or visitors – must complete a travel form.

Anyone travelling to both islands will be required to complete forms for both Cocos Keeling Islands and Christmas Island. Christmas Islanders travelling to Cocos Keeling Islands must complete the form for travel entry into Cocos. The same applies for Cocos residents travelling to Christmas Island.

The form support the Territory Controllers and health service in our COVID-19 response and contact tracing, in the event of a positive COVID case in the IOT.

Travelling to the Indian Ocean Territories

IOT COVID-19 subcommittee update

  • The IOT is open to travellers from all Australian states and territories
  • Requirements for rapid antigen tests (RATs) to be undertaken by all travellers when entering the IOT
  • All travellers 16+ yrs are required to be fully vaccinated including booster (Double dose for children 5-15yrs)
  • International arrivals can travel to the IOT without needing to undertake a 7-day period on the mainland first. International travellers will be required to be fully vaccinated.
  • Masks not required outside. Masks will not be required outside where physical distancing can be maintained. They will still need to be worn indoors and on public transport.

Travel Advisory for Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands

BEFORE TRAVELLING TO CHRISTMAS ISLAND AND THE COCOS (KEELING) ISLANDS…

You need to carefully consider what your travel and health needs may be. There is community transmission of COVID-19 in the Indian Ocean Territories.

Christmas and Cocos Islands are small and remote locations. The Indian Ocean Territories Health Service has only small facilities, with limited services and no Intensive Care or High Dependency Unit. Unstable patients are transferred to mainland Australia, which can take several days to coordinate based on hospital capacity, medical evacuation availability and weather conditions. Our entry and quarantine requirements are carefully designed for the unique circumstances of the IOT, based on expert health advice.

The ongoing COVID-19 situation means that travel plans can be disrupted and individuals personally affected by COVID-19 restrictions at any time.

If you arrive on Christmas or Cocos Islands and test positive for COVID-19 or are found to be a close contact, you are required to isolate at your accommodation until cleared for release.

Based on the latest public health advice and the current IOT COVID-19 situation, on flights where a COVID-19 positive case is identified, the row of the affected passenger plus the two rows in front and behind, will be deemed as ‘other contacts’ and required to undertake daily RAT testing for seven days after the identified exposure. Anyone returning a positive test will then be required to quarantine.

Extended accommodation is at guests’ own expense. You cannot fly back to the mainland until cleared for release from isolation. Virgin Australia, the airline servicing Christmas and Cocos Islands, does not allow close contacts to travel within their 7-day isolation period.

Travellers who have recovered from COVID-19 in the past twelve weeks prior to their travel to Christmas or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and who have been fully vaccinated, are exempt from the pre-and-post travel testing requirements. Recovered travellers who become close contacts of positive cases also do not need to quarantine if re-exposure occurs less than 12 weeks since their release from isolation, they remain symptom-free and are not immunocompromised.

Those who are at risk of serious illness if they contract COVID-19 (including older people and those with a range of underlying health conditions) should reconsider their travel to the Indian Ocean Territories at this time, given the local spread of COVID-19 on island (Groups at higher risk of developing COVID-19 | healthdirect, https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/covid-19).

Returning a negative PCR or RAT test is a good indicator but is not foolproof – if you feel unwell, please do not travel and instead postpone your visit to the IOT for a future date.

Reminder on Rapid Antigen Testing regime

A reminder to everyone on the importance of our rapid antigen testing regime which is part of the requirements of entry to the IOT. Not only the pre-arrival RAT screening but the post-arrival Day 3 RAT are critical elements in our COVID response and protection of the local communities. The obligation is on all travellers to complete their RATs on time and provide evidence as per guidelines. All travellers are given information on this as part of their travel approvals and entry processes.

The RATs have been invaluable in detecting recent COVID cases in the IOT and the regime needs to continue to be followed.

Extension of IOT State of Emergency

Due to the continuing COVID-19 situation on mainland Australia and now also in the Indian Ocean Territories (IOT), the Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories, the Honourable Nola Marino MP, is extending the declared states of emergency (SoE) in Christmas Island (CI) and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (CKI) up until 30 June 2022.

The IOT COVID-19 subcommittee and the IOT Health Service are working together to manage our current COVID situation, including the active cases and community transmission, with the health and wellbeing of our communities and visitors remaining our first priority.

As the recent positive cases have shown, the COVID-19 pandemic remains a significant concern for CI and CKI. Despite our very high vaccination rates, our remote location and limited medical facilities make the region vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.

Supported by the Territory Controllers, the Administrator continually reviews the need for the state of emergency declarations. This extension will provide certainty for the community and businesses, and will support decisions and arrangements for the safety and protection of everyone in the IOT and limited medical facilities with no Intensive Care of high dependency unit, make the region vulnerable to COVID-19. Unstable patients are transferred to mainland Australia which can take several days to coordinate based on hospital capacity, medical evacuation availability and weather conditions.

Our rigorous and stringent processes are in place to protect the Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) Islands community, which include mandatory application processes and detailed travel history for all travellers to Christmas or Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Rapid Antigen Test Information

Tuesday flight

Friday flight

Charter flights (non VARA flights)

Recovery flights and travel approvals

During the summer months, you may find your travel plans impacted by weather. If this occurs and your Virgin Australia flight to the IOT is re-scheduled, you do NOT need to submit a new travel application as your travel approval will be transferred to the revised flight date and Virgin Australia will be notified.

Another RAT test result will be required once confirmation from the airline on the rescheduled service is received. Please send through those test results during office hours the day prior to travel. Your day 3 test result date would also be pushed out accordingly.

Up-to-date information on travelling to WA with controlled interstate borders:

Travel to WA

Information about travelling into and out of WA.

Interstate travel

Information about entering WA from interstate.

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