Australia is set to lift a ban on its citizens travelling overseas from next week, following 19 months of strict border closures.

Fully vaccinated citizens and permanent residents will no longer need to apply for an exemption to leave the country from November 1, according to government authorities. This comes as Australia’s national vaccination rate approaches 80 per cent.

As it stands, people can only leave Australia for exceptional reasons such as essential work or on compassionate grounds.

Karen Andrews, the country’s Home Affairs Minister, said:

“Our first priority is Australian citizens and permanent residents and today we are delivering on that by removing restrictions on fully-vaccinated Australians travelling out of Australia. The easing of these restrictions is possible thanks to our impressive national vaccination rates, and I thank all those who have done the right thing and rolled up their sleeve.

“I look forward to further easing restrictions over coming weeks and months as more and more Australians become fully vaccinated. Before the end of the year, we anticipate welcoming fully vaccinated skilled workers and international students.”

Travellers will need to provide evidence of their vaccination status at airport check-in when departing Australia.

Children under the age of 12, and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, will also be able to travel overseas without an exemption.

Unvaccinated travellers will still need to seek a travel exemption and will be subject to quarantine arrangements, which are managed by states and territories, when returning to Australia.

The news comes as Singapore plans to open a quarantine-free travel corridor with Australia, allowing fully vaccinated Australians, permanent residents and their families to enter the country without having to quarantine from November 8.

Meanwhile, Qantas has brought forward its resumption of selected international flights due to the decision by Federal and New South Wales governments to open borders from the start of next month:

Qantas brings forward international flight resumptions