After the many months of lobbying national, state agencies and politicians by the OCC, The Down Under Rally and a supportive senior politician, the OCC has received a letter from the Australian Border Force advising that the Australian Government has agreed to an additional exemption category to the COVID-19 inbound travel restrictions as follows:
"Persons who reside on a vessel that seeks safe port at the closest appointed port for reprovisioning or safety reasons for a limited duration, supported by the relevant State/Territory where safe haven is sought."
We are clarifying the application process which we understand will involve at least four steps including QLD Border Exemption, Visa, Commonwealth Border Exemption Application and Queensland Quarantine Exemption. Once clarified the application process will be published.
At this stage Queensland is the only state that has indicated it will accept foreign yachts/nationals under this criteria. It is likely that Bundaberg will be the best port of entry given recent arrival procedures for Australian Yachts facilitated by Bundaberg Port Marina and The Down Under Rally.
The four consecutive application processes are expected to take at least 4 -6 weeks to complete.
Yachts in the South Pacific Cyclone zone that are still seeking safe haven and are wanting to sail to Queensland this year or early in 2021 are invited to contact the Down Under Rally to receive updates regarding the application process.