Australian High Commission
Papua New Guinea

Services for Australians

COVID-19: Key points

Papua New Guinea may impose additional restrictions due to COVID-19, including lockdowns, at short notice. Masks or face coverings are mandatory in enclosed public places, including on aircraft and public transport. There is a maximum limit of 50 people gathering in public spaces. Follow the advice of local authorities.

Domestic air travel is permitted but all passengers may be subject to a COVID-19 Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at the sole discretion of the provincial authorities.

Individual provinces may impose additional restrictions, including lockdowns. Follow the advice of local authorities.

We continue to urge Australians in Port Moresby who wish to return to Australia do so by commercial means while flights on Air Niugini are operating.

You need an exemption to enter PNG and a negative PCR test result for COVID-19. You need to undertake this test within a seven-day period prior to your flight – see the PNG Government’s COVID-19 website for more information. Travellers arriving in PNG must quarantine for up to 14 days at a designated hotel, at the individual’s expense. Travellers arriving in PNG who have spent the seven days prior to their arrival in Australia (with the exception of Victoria) may be eligible to quarantine (including at home) for seven days, subject to written approval by PNG authorities – see the PNG Government’s COVID-19 website for more information.

Travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.

The Queensland Government has announced that from 1 July, travellers arriving in Queensland from overseas will be charged fees for quarantining in government arranged accommodation - see the QLD Health website for more details.​

The current Australian travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check the Department of Home Affairs website regularly.

The situation is changing constantly and restrictions are altered regularly to contain the spread of COVID-19 globally. We strongly encourage you to read and subscribe to smartraveller.gov.au and follow the AHC on our social media accounts for the most up-to-date information.

Departing Australia

There is a ban on overseas travel from Australia administered by the Department of Home Affairs. You cannot leave Australia unless you seek an exemption from Home Affairs. Refer to the Home Affairs website for more information, including eligibility for an exemption to leave Australia.

Entering PNG

  • Australians seeking to re-enter PNG are required to obtain an exemption to enter PNG from the Controller under PNG’s National Pandemic Act 2020. Email [email protected] to apply.
  • You need an exemption to enter PNG and a negative Real Time Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result for COVID-19. You need to undertake this test within a seven-day period prior to your flight – see the PNG Government’s COVID-19 website for more information
  • Travellers arriving in PNG must quarantine for up to 14 days at a designated hotel, at the individual’s expense.
  • Inbound passengers who have spent the seven days prior to their arrival in Australia (with the exception of Victoria) may be eligible to quarantine (including at home) for seven days, subject to written approval by the PNG authorities – see the PNG Government’s COVID-19 website for more information.
  • Contact your airline for information on booking flights to (and within) PNG and see the PNG Government’s COVID-19 website for more information.

Entering Australia

Travel restrictions for entry to Australia remain in place, including:

  • Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
  • Exemptions to this restriction apply to New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia, immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents.
  • There is also an exemption for New Zealand and Pacific Island passport holders who are transiting through Australia on their way home.

All travellers arriving in Australia must undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at a designated facility (for example, a hotel) in their port of arrival.

No onward domestic travel is allowed within Australia without first completing the mandatory 14-day quarantine in your port of arrival.

From 1 July, travellers entering Queensland will need to self-fund their hotel accommodation – see the QLD Health website for more details.

For further information on entering or transiting Australia, see the Department of Home Affairs website.

If you’re in PNG and can’t or don’t want to return to Australia:

  • Subscribe to receive updates to the PNG Travel Advisory
  • Minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus
  • Follow the advice of the PNG Government and the World Health Organization.
  • Take care to minimise your risk of exposure to coronavirus, including by self-isolating.

If you choose to stay, note our ability to provide consular assistance may be extremely limited due to restrictions on movement or closure of services.

General tips for Australians who choose to remain in PNG are available on the Smartraveller COVID-19 page.

For urgent consular assistance contact +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas, or 1300 555 135 from within Australia. For non-urgent queries contact [email protected].

If your situation is or becomes life-threatening, or you have very serious concerns for your welfare, call the Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305.

Contact your airline, travel agent or insurance company to discuss your travel plans.

Travel advisory updates

Any new information affecting the safety and security of Australians in PNG will be communicated through the Smartraveller travel advisory for PNG.

Ensure you have subscribed to receive updates.

When we update a travel advisory you're subscribed to, you'll get an email about it. Simply choose all the destinations you want to receive updates for in the Destinations table under ‘Manage your preferences’. You can select individual or all destinations. Or you can subscribe to all destinations in a region in one go by choosing the Region tab. If you wish to receive SMS alerts for critical updates, check the box against the destination(s) and select ‘Receive critical updates by SMS’. Enter your Australian or overseas mobile number in the field below the table. Remember to update your number if you change to a local sim card overseas.

You should also refer to Smartraveller COVID-19 news and ensure you’re a friend of the Australian High Commission Papua New Guinea’s Facebook page and Twitter account as we will provide updates there as well.

PNG visa extensions

If you have been unable to depart PNG due to the international travel restrictions and your PNG visa has expired, or will expire prior to your intended departure date from PNG, visit the PNG Immigration and Citizenship Authority (PNGICA) website for information on the visa extension process.

View the PNGICA circular outlining the visa extension policy and processes [PDF].

If your visa has not yet expired but is likely to do so prior to your departure from PNG, we strongly recommend that you engage in the visa extension process sooner rather than later. If it’s possible for you to depart PNG before your visa expires, you should do so.

COVID−19 vaccines

How can Australians overseas access a vaccine as part of Australia’s domestic vaccine roll out plan?

Consistent with the Prime Minister's statements in his press conference on 7 January 2021 regarding Australia's COVID−19 vaccination rollout strategy, the rollout of the vaccine will be carried out in Australia. In the first instance, it is expected there will be limited doses available within Australia. There will also be specific storage and handling requirements for all vaccines, in order for them to remain safe and efficacious.

The Department of Health is continuing to work across government, and with medical and legal experts, to examine options for future vaccination sites. Find out more at COVID−19 vaccines.

What is the Australian Government’s advice on seeking/receiving a foreign vaccine overseas?

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), part of the Department of Health, formally assesses the safety, quality and efficacy of medicines, including vaccines, prior to their approval for use in Australia. To date, the TGA has received applications and is undertaking a rolling review of the data as it becomes available for several vaccine candidates. View updates on the current status.

The Australian Government cannot provide formal advice on the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines that have not been assessed by the TGA. The TGA however recognises that there are comparable overseas regulators, in which it has confidence in their assessment processes. Australian government agencies operating overseas also place considerable weight on the decisions of these agencies, in the absence of a TGA approval. Comparable overseas regulators include the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and the European Union’s European Medicines Agency (EMA). View the full list of comparable overseas regulators.

How will a vaccine impact international travel to Australia, including quarantine requirements and inbound and outbound travel restrictions?

At this time, vaccination against COVID−19 does not change the requirement for mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers to Australia at designated facilities in the first port of arrival.

Australia’s vaccination policy has more detailed information on vaccine delivery domestically once approved for use in Australia.

COVID-19 information and resources​

For the latest advice, information and resources on COVID-19, go to:

Consular assistance

Australians requiring consular assistance may call during business hours from 08:00 to 16:30 Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.

Australian High Commission
Godwit Road, Port Moresby
Tel: +675 7090 0100
Fax: +675 325 9239
Email: [email protected]

For urgent consular assistance out of hours please call +675 7090 0100 to be transferred to the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre.

Australian passport services

Passport applications must be lodged in person at the Australian High Commission in Port Moresby, National Capital District or the Consulate-General in Lae, Morobe Province. An appointment is not required. Lodge applications during business hours from 08:00 to 16:30 Monday to Friday excluding public holidays.

In Papua New Guinea, you are required to pay passport fees in PNG Kina by EFTPOS, direct deposit or bank cheque payable to the Australian High Commission, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Cash payments will not be accepted. Fees are subject to indexation. No GST is payable on passport fees.

Notarial services

Notarial services are available during business hours from 08:00 to 16:30 Monday to Friday excluding public holidays. In Accordance with Australia’s Consular Fees Act 1955, fees apply for notarial services. In Papua New Guinea, you are required to pay consular fees for notarial services in PNG Kina by EFTPOS, direct deposit or bank cheque payable to the Australian High Commission, Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. Cash payments will not be accepted. Fees are subject to change. No GST is payable on consular fees.

See Smartraveller for more information about legalising documents overseas.

Smartraveller

Smartraveller has the latest, authoritative travel advice so you can be informed and prepared about overseas travel. Subscribe to receive travel advice updates - by simply supplying your name and email address – straight to your inbox.

You can now also subscribe to the new SMS service - by supplying your mobile number – to receive critical alerts in the event of a crisis overseas.

In a crisis, Smartraveller will activate a crisis page on its website. It will make it easier for you or someone you know to contact the Australian Government if you need help. It will supplement the consular emergency hotline.

Visit smartraveller.gov.au to subscribe, or connect with Smartraveller on Facebook and Twitter.

Australian elections

You can amend your enrolment details or register as living overseas with the Australian Electoral Commission.

Living in Papua New Guinea

Former residents of Australia

A gateway to information about Australian benefits, payments and services

Returning to Australia

Handy information for Australians or residents returning from a holiday or moving back to Australia.

For more information on bringing items (including pets) into Australia go to www.border.gov.au.