Health and Travel Alert – Additional Brisbane to Los Angeles Flights for Immediate Return to the United States from Papua New Guinea
Location: Papua New Guinea
Event: U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea are advised that Virgin Australia recently announced it will operate once-a-week international air service between Brisbane and Los Angeles beginning on Saturday, May 16 for a period of four weeks.
U.S. citizens in Papua New Guinea who wish to return to the United States are urged to take advantage of these flights to the greatest extent possible—subject to the Australian federal and state entry requirements below—using the following possible itineraries. These itineraries are based on schedules available on Air Niugini’s and Virgin Australia’s websites as of May 13, 2020. They may change without notice.
Same Day Transit in Brisbane (less than eight hours transit time)
- Saturday, May 23 or 30 – Port Moresby to Brisbane via Air Niugini
- Saturday, May 23 or 30 – Brisbane to Los Angeles via Virgin Australia
For the same day transit route above, U.S. citizens will need:
- An approved exemption to Australia’s restrictions on transit and entry for non-Australian citizens and residents. S. citizens are advised to include in their request detailed information about their confirmed itinerary, their need to transit Australia, and any other information requested.Note: While U.S. citizens do not require a visa or Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for transits in Australia of fewer than eight hours, due to limited and shifting flight schedules, the Embassy recommends that all U.S. citizens transiting Australia secure an appropriate visa if they do not already have a valid ETA or Visa.
Overnight Transit in Brisbane
- Friday, May 15 or June 5 – Port Moresby to Brisbane via Air Niugini
- Saturday, May 16 or June 6 – Brisbane to Los Angeles via Virgin Australia
For the overnight transit route above, U.S. citizens will need:
- A valid Australian visa or ETA. Note that processing of new ETAs is suspended. S. citizens who do not currently have a valid visa or ETA are advised to apply online for a Subclass 771 (transit of less than 72 hours) or Subclass 600 (visitor) visa.
- An approved Queensland Travel Pass allowing the traveler to enter Queensland and exit the Brisbane airport to complete quarantine at a designated site (usually a hotel near the airport) for the duration of your transit. When applying for the Travel Pass, U.S. citizens should select the “compassionate grounds” exemption and provide the address of your intended hotel in Brisbane, recognizing that state health officials may direct you to another designated hotel.
- An approved exemption to Australia’s restrictions on transit and entry for non-Australian citizens and residents. S. citizens are advised to include in their request detailed information about their confirmed itinerary, their approved Queensland Travel Pass, as much information as possible to explain their situation as to why they are unable to complete a transit in fewer than eight hours, as well as any other information requested.
The above possible routing options are in addition to the one outlined in our STEP message from May 11, 2020, which involves a longer stay in Brisbane and transit through Auckland, New Zealand.
The Embassy has no authority to facilitate exemptions to Australia’s or New Zealand’s border and immigration policies and assumes no liability for delays or disruptions in travel. Additional international commercial air services facilitating return to the United States may continue to be limited for the foreseeable future.
U.S. citizens are advised that the above routes and transit options may be suspended at any time with little or no notice and are subject to Australian federal and/or state requirements or New Zealand’s requirements, as applicable. U.S. citizens may find that online forms linked to above do not take into account their specific situation, but you should make an attempt to obtain approvals as required and with the best information available to you at the time.
U.S. citizens who need to undertake domestic air or ground transportation otherwise restricted under PNG’s State of Emergency (SOE) may apply for an exemption from the SOE Controller by accessing the “Vehicle Pass” and/or “Air Travel Request” links at the PNG government’s COVID-19 website. Approval of travel in exemption of relevant SOE orders is being decided based on strict criteria, which include emergency transport, essential services, and one-way travel for the purpose of returning to the traveler’s habitual place of residence.
Actions to Take:
- Consult directly with the airlines and/or a travel agent to try to find commercial options to the United States.
- If your itinerary transits Australia, obtain an exemption from the Australian Border Force in advance of your travel based on a confirmed reservation.
- If your itinerary requires a transit time in Australia of more than eight hours and your do not already have and ETA or valid visa, obtain a Subclass 771 (transit of less than 72 hours) or Subclass 600 (visitor) visa.
- If your itinerary requires a transit time in Queensland of more than eight hours, obtain a Queensland Entry/Travel Pass to allow you to exit the Brisbane airport and complete requisite quarantine at a state-designated facility (usually a nearby hotel).
- If your itinerary transits New Zealand, obtain a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authorization.
- If your travel requires domestic air or ground transportation otherwise restricted under PNG’s State of Emergency, obtain a Vehicle Pass or Air Travel pass online.
- Consult the CDC website for the most up-to-date information.
- For the most recent information on what you can do to reduce your risk of contracting COVID-19, please see the CDC’s latest recommendations.
- Visit the COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov for the latest information.
- Visit our Embassy webpage on COVID-19 for information on conditions in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu.
- Visit the Department of Homeland Security’s websiteon the latest travel restrictions to the United States.
Phone number: +675 308 2100
Email address: ConsularPortMoresby@state.gov
U.S. Consular Agency in Honiara, Solomon Islands
Phone number: + 677 27429 or + 677 74 94731
U.S. State Department – Consular Affairs
+1 888 407 4747 or +1 202 501 4444
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