Australia’s Department of Health has extended emergency Covid-19 restrictions for a further three months, effectively banning overseas travel from the country until mid-December.

The so-called “human biosecurity emergency period” has been in place since March 18, 2020, and will now run until at least December 17, 2021.

The move follows advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee, which concluded that “the international Covid-19 situation continues to pose an unacceptable risk to public health”.

Among the restrictions imposed during the emergency period includes a requirement “generally forbidding Australian citizens and permanent residents from leaving Australian territory by air or sea as a passenger”, although there are exemptions.

The ruling also “forbids the operator of an outgoing aircraft or vessel from leaving Australian territory with an Australian citizen or permanent resident on board as a passenger”.

Qanta recently outlined plans to resume international flights from mid-December, stating that “On current projections Australia is expected to reach National Cabinet’s ‘Phase C’ vaccination threshold of 80 per cent in December 2021, which would trigger the gradual reopening of international borders”.

Australia has been on the “green list” in the UK’s traffic light travel systems since it was introduced in May 2021, meaning that travellers from the country (whether fully vaccinated or not) do not need to quarantine on arrival.

Portugal, Gibraltar and Israel among England’s “green list countries”