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International travel updates: French Polynesia, New Caledonia, Thailand, Japan

Posted: 1 June 2022 1:18 pm

Farewell to pre-departure tests and hello to more countries reopening.

At this rate, it won't be long before international travel will be as it was before the pandemic (fingers crossed). Here are the major changes to overseas travel that have happened this month.

1. French Polynesia

Seascape at the beach in Tikehau island in Tahiti.

What's changed?

French Polynesia has scrapped pre-departure tests for vaccinated visitors. Visitors must be triple vaxxed if their second dose was over 9 months ago.

Unvaccinated Aussies over 12 must do an RT-PCR test 72 hours before departure or an antigen test 48 hours before departure. They must also provide a compelling reason for not being vaccinated.

Unvaccinated minors under 12 do not need to undergo any tests or provide a compelling reason.

While Aussies can't fly directly to Tahiti, they can fly via Auckland, New Zealand. Flights are available on Air New Zealand.

Things to do while you're there:

Book flights to Tahiti Book your hotel

2. New Caledonia

Amedee Islet, South Province, New Caledonia, Pacific

What's changed?

New Caledonia has followed in the footsteps of other Pacific Island nations and removed pre-departure testing. This applies to vaccinated travellers from "green" or "orange" countries.

Australia is orange at the moment.

An on-arrival RAT is still required for travellers 12 years and older. It needs to be taken within 48 hours of landing. This is free at pharmacies.

The 7 days of self-isolation have also been scrapped.

Things to do while you're there:

Book flights to New Caledonia Book your hotel

3. Thailand

Exploring by longtail boat - Cheow Lan lake in Khao Sok National park, Thailand

What's changed?

Thailand's restrictions are easing again with the country now removing quarantine or sandbox stays from 1 May.

Vaccinated travellers only need to do an entry screening without any pre-departure or on-arrival tests. Unvaccinated children under 18 years old can skip quarantine when travelling with vaccinated parents.

All other unvaccinated persons must provide proof of a negative RT-PCR or professional rapid antigen test kit (ATK) within 72 hours prior to arrival. Otherwise, they must do a 5-day mandatory quarantine.

All international travellers still need to apply for a Thailand Pass prior to arrival. This includes showing proof of vaccination and a US$10,000 health insurance policy.

Things to do while you're there:

Book flights to Thailand Book your hotel

See our guide to travelling to Thailand from Australia.

4. Japan

Cherry blossoms and tourists in the boat on the Sumida river enjoying Hanami at day time, Koto ward, Tokyo, Japan, Spring.

What's changed?

At the end of May, Japan held a small tourism trial accepting 50 visitors from low-risk nations to test the waters.

Now, the Prime Minister has announced it's expanding this, allowing visitors from 98 nations, including Australia, into the country from 10 June.

However, tourists will have to be booked onto a group tour to enter.

To facilitate the influx of visitors, the number of international arrivals permitted daily will increase from 10,000 to 20,000 on 1 June.

Things to do while you're there:

Book flights to Japan Book your hotel

See our guide to travelling to Indonesia from Australia.

5. Germany

Picture not described

What's changed?

In the lead-up to the European summer break, Germany is relaxing its entry restrictions from 1 June. But there is a catch: it's only for 3 months.

Until the end of August, visitors will no longer have to show proof of vaccination, a negative test result or proof they've recently recovered from COVID-19.

Masks are still required on flights into Germany.

Things to do while you're there:

Book flights to Germany Book your hotel

Other updates

  • Philippines: Following relaxed restrictions for fully vaccinated travellers, Cebu Pacific is resuming its Sydney-Manila route, offering flights 3 times weekly from July. Flights are on sale for $299 until 9 June for travel between 1 November 2022 and 31 May 2023. Find your flights through Skyscanner here.
  • New Caledonia: Qantas is resuming direct flights from Brisbane and Sydney to New Caledonia from 4 June. Brisbane flights will be weekly and Sydney flights 3 times weekly. Flights from Sydney will increase to 4 times weekly from 13 August.

Missed last month's updates? Get caught up.

Ready to head overseas? See where to book PCR tests for travel and all of our latest travel deals.

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