Press 30.11.21

COVID-19 UPDATE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW AS LOCKDOWNS EASE ACROSS PARTS OF AUSTRALIA



Australia is starting to reopen to non-Australian visitors as the country reaches a national milestone and its roadmap to living alongside COVID-19 is in place.

Talk to the Ausfilm Team

The Ausfilm team in LA and in Sydney continues to work very closely with international productions seeking entry into Australia. We remain committed to supporting international productions with accurate information and relevant contacts.

International productions continue to receive exceptional support and advice from Australia’s state and territory screen agencies and the industry’s leading immigration/legal and travel companies. All of whom are at the forefront of this ever-changing environment.

If you have questions about filming or post-producing (picture post, sound and music post, VFX or animation) in Australia, please reach out to an Ausfilm team member in either our Sydney or Los Angeles offices:

Sydney
T: +61 2 9383 4192
[email protected]
Los Angeles
T: +1 310 229 2362
[email protected]

Latest information regarding COVID-19 in Australia

Australia’s vaccination rollout has increased significantly in recent months with the country reaching high vaccination levels.

As of 7td Dec 2021 (AEDT), 88.1% of Australia’s estimated population aged 16 and over are now fully vaccinated and over 92.6% have received their first dose. 

Review the full breakdown of Australia’s vaccination rollout on the Australian Government Department of Health website.

30 November 2021, Border Update

The Australian Government has deferred planned easing of border restrictions for eligible temporary visa holders until 15 December 2021. This means the current arrangements for travel exemptions for temporary visa holders will remain in place until 15 December 2021.

The government says the temporary pause will allow it to gather further information about the new Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Quarantine and Isolation

Due to the Omicron variant, NSW, VIC and ACT all now require fully vaccinated international arrivals to self-isolate for 72 hours on arrival. Please review specific requirements for each state here.

New travel restrictions from certain Southern African countries

Travel restrictions are now in place for people who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days.
 
Australian citizens, permanent residents or their immediate family members entering Australia who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days must enter supervised quarantine for 14 days in line with state and territory requirements, irrespective of their vaccination status.
 
Any other travellers who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Eswatini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days are not permitted to enter Australia, even if they hold a travel exemption, eligible visa or are seeking to enter under a Safe Travel Zone arrangement.

Australian Visa Holders

From 15th December 2021, fully vaccinated Australian visa holders, will be able to travel to Australia, without the need to first seek approval from the Australian Border Force, with the exception of those travelling from the countries of concern (mentioned above). This will also apply to those visa holders who are already in Australia but who have been unable to depart and return without that approval. 

This change applies to those coming to Australia on either a 408 or 482 visa to work on film and television productions.

Reduced quarantine travel arrangements apply only to NSW, Victoria and the ACT. If visa holders wish to travel onward to another state or territory, may require an exemption or may be subject to a quarantine period.

Changes to NSW, Victorian & South Australia Quarantine from 1st November 

The NSW and Victorian Governments have both announced that from the 1st of November, travellers entering Sydney or Melbourne who have received two doses of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved vaccination will no longer need to undertake 14-days quarantine. However, 72 hours of self-isolation is currently required upon arrival. For a list of TGA approved vaccinations, visit here.

Arrivals will be required to test negative to COVID-19 within 72 hours of their departure and will be required to undertake testing again when they arrive.

Entry into South Australia from overseas currently requires the completion of an EntryCheck SA application. In addition, upon arrival all overseas arrivals will be required to attend a medi-hotel, to allow for assessment of your country of origin, suitability of housing and for a COVID-19 swab to be undertaken to confirm your negative result.

Currently, all other states and territories still require 14-day quarantine for international arrivals and more information will be provided as this changes. Those looking to travel to states other than New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are encouraged to contact Ausfilm to discuss their options.

Australia’s quarantine systems continue to be managed by state and territory governments.

Unvaccinated Travellers

Travellers who are unvaccinated, or who have received a vaccine that is not recognised by the TGA, will still be required to undertake 14-days hotel quarantine. NSW will retain a passenger cap for unvaccinated arrivals of 210 passengers per week and Victoria will cap the number of unvaccinated or unverified international travellers at 250 a week.

There will be no caps on the number of fully vaccinated arrivals into either state.

Airlines flying to Australia

As a result of these changes, in New South Wales from 1st November, Qantas will recommence flying from London and Los Angeles into Sydney. Singapore Airlines has also announced they will increase services as have United Airlines and Delta with American Airlines expected to in February 2022.

For expert support on international and domestic travel and quarantine, please contact Ausfilm’s travel members:
Showfilm
Stage and Screen
TAG

For support around visas and immigration, please contact Ausfilm’s legal and business affairs members:
Ajuria Lawyers
Simpsons Solicitors

Australian Screen Production Industry COVID-SAFE Guidelines

The Australian screen industry released COVID-Safe Guidelines in July 2020. The Guidelines detail both mandatory controls, informed by the latest government medical advice and State Work, Health & Safety legislation, and a detailed, department-by-department range of control measures that each production can draw on to create its own COVID-Safe plan, covering guidance on the number of people on set, shooting in close proximity, use of personal protective equipment, hygiene control measures, medical advice, and travel and transport.

The guidelines are updated regularly. Access the Guidelines here.

Australian Screen Production Incentives

The Government remains committed to securing a long-term pipeline of international production to Australia. That includes physical production, visual effects, digital animation and post-production.

The Location Offset and Incentive program and the PDV Offset continue to operate as usual and the Screen Industry team within the Office of the Arts (Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications) is continuing to receive and process applications. For enquiries, please read here

The Producer Offset also continues to be operational and Screen Australia who administers this incentive program is continuing to receive enquiries. Visit Screen Australia to read more about their COVID-19 response here.

Location Enquiries

Ausfilm is still able to support productions with online location pitches for Australia. Please contact Ausfilm’s EVP of International Production, Erin Stam.