Travel advice


Official University travel and the Travel Approval eForm

Reconsider the need to travel

It is recommended that you reconsider any business related travel at this point of time. If you do need to travel, please keep up to date regarding local conditions as things are changing rapidly.

The ANU Travel Approval eForm has been re-instated for travel requests.

Refer to the sections below for guidance on travelling within Australia and internationally.

What travel can be approved?

Please check the controls in place for University travel under the current level of the COVID-safe campus alert system.

Travelling within Australia

Stay up to date with the latest ACT Health travel advice and travel in a COVID-safe way.

Be aware of restrictions in your destination and when you return to the ACT. Check ACT Health's advice per state and territory for more information.

Travelling to and from overseas

Australia's borders remain effectively closed to all but Australian citizens and permanent residents. All returning travellers must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Australia. Information on health screening, quarantine requirements and exemptions is available on the Australian Government website.

International students

Visit our page for international students currently overseas for relevant information for our international student community. This includes the latest advice on the pilot program and international student return, and visas.

ANU airline travel principles

Guidance from our Public Health Lead, Professor Tracy Smart

  1. If you have COVID-19 like symptoms travel is not permitted. 
  2. Strict adherence to COVID-safe protocols and any relevant public health restrictions is required during travel.   
  3. It is mandatory for you to wear a face mask in all domestic airports and on all commercial flights. Masks should be worn at all times while travelling to the airport, at the airport, on the plane and disembarking. Face coverings should be worn except when required to eat or drink. 
  4. Travellers must participate in all any screening required by local authorities when disembarking.

If you travel to a hotspot, please speak with your supervisor about the impact to your local area COVID-safe plan. If you need advice on this, please contact the COVID Response Office:

After travelling 

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 after travelling, please isolate and get tested. You need to notify the Community Wellbeing team if you are isolating or have been tested for COVID-19:
  • ACT Health provides up to date public health advice and information on symptoms and getting tested.
  • If you meet the ACT Health criteria for quarantine, you must still complete your full 14-day quarantine period as advised by ACT Health, even if you get a negative test result. 

Risk Assessments

If you are travelling for University work purposes, you must conduct a risk assessments when planning your travel.

The risk assessment should identify all WHS hazards associated with your travel including COVID-19 exposure hazards and can be included as a part of your fieldwork/research activities risk assessment on the WHS Hazards and Risks Assessment Template.

Home Affairs travel exemptions for HDR students

There are certain circumstances in which travel exemptions will be granted by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs to HDR students. 

The Commissioner of the Australian Border Force has released guidelines on decision making about individual exemptions from Australia's inwards travel restriction policy, available here

Specific reference to students is made in items 1.2 and 1.4 (extract): 


  • People who are enrolled in an Australian education institution as a higher degree research student (including Masters by research and PhD students), who provide evidence of a current research grant from a Commonwealth agency, such as the Australian Research Council or National Health and Medical Research Council; or evidence they are in receipt of Research Training Program funding administered by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. Note: the ABF Commissioner will personally consider requests from higher degree research students without a Commonwealth funded research grant (see 1.4 below).
  • Students who are in their final three years of study of a medical university degree, and who have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice that commences within the next two months, and will provide medical services to the Australian public.
  • Students who are in their final two years of study of a dental, nursing or Allied Health Profession university degree, where they have evidence of a confirmed placement in an Australian hospital or medical practice which commences within the next two months. Allied Health Professions include: Arts therapy, audiology, chiropractic, diagnostic radiographer/medical imaging technologist, dietetics, exercise physiology, genetic counselling, music therapy, occupational therapy, optometry, orthoptics, orthotics/prosthetics, osteopathy, perfusion, physiotherapy, podiatry, psychology, rehabilitation counselling, social work, sonography and speech pathology.

1.4 Further, the Commissioner will personally consider all requests for:

  • People who are enrolled in an Australian education institution as a higher degree research student (including Masters by research and PhD students) without a Commonwealth funded research grant, regardless of the visa type held. Any request from a higher degree research student should include evidence of support from a relevant government agency outlining why the research is considered essential and/or in Australia's national interest and how their role is critical to the research.

For more information on travel restrictions and exemptions, including how to apply, visit the Department of Home Affairs website

ANU will support students who choose to apply for an exemption.

Please note the ANU is not a government agency so the candidate would need support from an Australian Government Agency, for example Australian Research Council (ARC), prior to the ANU providing a letter of support for the candidate to apply for an exemption.

For NHMRC and ARC candidates must contact their local Research Management team to request a letter of support on their behalf.

For other government agencies, candidates should seek a letter of support from the agency directly.  

Candidates or supervisors should forward the following to ODHDR for approval:

  • Candidates name and UID;
  • Letter of support from the local area (School / College) indicating:
    • the nature of research;
    • why the research is considered essential and/or in Australia's national interest; and
    • why the PhD candidates' role is essential.
  • Letter of support from Government Agency (if applicable)

Enquiries and complete documents, should be addressed in the first instance to the Dean HDR at

N.B. International HDR candidates who remain onshore in Australia should not assume that they may travel home for personal leave and will then be able to request an exemption for return to Australia, as above.