Covid-19 IOT Travel Information

Travelling to the Indian Ocean Territories

IOT COVID-19 subcommittee update

The Indian Ocean Territories (IOT) COVID-19 sub-committee has agreed that fully vaccinated travellers from Queensland can travel to Christmas or the Cocos (Keeling) Islands from 12.01am on Wednesday, 3 November 2021.

This risk-managed approach recognises the health and screening resources available on Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, and is undertaken in consultation with Western Australian (WA) authorities and expert medical advice.

Given recent history of positive cases in the Queensland community, the requirement for travellers to be fully vaccinated supports opening up to this state while still affording Christmas and the Cocos (Keeling) islands the highest levels of protection.

It is also a timely reminder that we are still seeing a very dynamic situation with community COVID-19 transmission across mainland Australia. Travellers leaving Christmas or the Cocos (Keeling) islands are reminded that future travel back to the islands may be impacted by travel restrictions as the situation evolves.

Our rigorous and stringent processes, which include mandatory application processes and detailed travel history for all travellers to Christmas and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, are in place to protect our communities.  The travel application form now requires evidence of applicants’ vaccination status. The updated form also allows a parent or guardian travelling with children (under 18) to apply under one application.

The COVID-19 subcommittee continues to develop the roadmap for travel to the IOT, which is guided by both WA and national protocols, expert health and legal advice. 

 We will keep you informed as planning progresses, as we have at every stage in our pandemic response – while keeping the health and safety of our vulnerable and remote communities the top priority.

 

Australia map showing NSW, ACT and VIC as restricted.

IOT travel application forms

All travellers – regardless of whether they are IOT residents or visitors – must complete a travel form. Christmas Islanders travelling to Cocos must complete the form for travel entry into Cocos. The same applies for Cocos residents travelling to Christmas Island.

Anyone travelling to both islands will be required to complete forms for both CKI and CI.

These forms 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.

I am travelling to Cocos Keeling Islands

I am travelling to Christmas Island

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.

 

Masks on domestic flights

On Friday, 8 January 2021, National Cabinet agreed to additional aviation measures to strengthen protection of Australians from COVID-19.

Effectively immediately, for domestic air travel, including flights to the IOT, all passengers (excluding children 12 and under or those with particular exemptions) and air crew must wear masks on flights and in airports.

Virgin Australia has implemented these requirements across all its flights, including the IOT service. Passengers will be required to wear masks unless eating or drinking, or unless a medical exemption applies.

In accordance with the current process, any passengers who do not have a mask will be supplied one by the on-ground VARA team, with masks also available on board all aircraft.

See links for further information:

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.

For those travelling to Perth on a re-scheduled flight, you will need to log in and update your G2G with your new arrival date yourself. This is a Western Australia Police requirement.

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

Travel to WA

Information about entering WA from interstate or overseas.

Controlled interstate border

Information on WA’s controlled interstate border arrangement, conditions of entry and quarantine.

Be COVIDSafe, stay COVID-free

There are still no cases of COVID-19 in the IOT. However, with the ongoing community transmission on Australia’s east coast, it is a timely reminder to be COVIDSafe.

COVIDSafe means maintaining at least 1.5 metres between you and others at all times, regularly washing your hands with soap, staying at home if you’re sick and getting tested if you have cold or flu-like symptoms.

If you have previously been tested for COVID but start to feel sick again, get re-tested. Stay at home while you wait for your results.

Wash your hands to stop the spread – clean hands keep you healthy and help stop the spread of germs.

Regularly wash your hands for 20–30 seconds with soap. Remember to wash in between your fingers, the back of your hands and your thumbs.

Always wash your hands after using the bathroom, when you’re preparing food, before or after eating, and after you have been out.

Hand sanitiser is a good alternative when soap and water aren’t available.

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