Some premiers are calling for drastic cuts to international arrivals, so how many people are travelling to Australia, and why?


by Nick Evershed and Josh Nicholas and Soofia Tariq

01 July 2021


The number of people travelling to Australia is mostly limited by the “passenger cap” limit. The way this works is states and territories tell the federal government a maximum number of incoming arrivals per week they can handle based on “quarantine and related resourcing capacity”. The federal government then applies the limits. With the additional capacity of the Howards Spring facility in the Northern Territory, which takes commonwealth-run repatriation flights, Australia’s weekly passenger cap is currently 7,385.


People who aren’t Australian citizens or permanent residents need to apply for an exemption to travel to Australia.


Australians and Australian residents who want to travel out of Australia also need to apply for an exemption. Between 25 March 2020 and 31 May 2021, 156,507 such exemptions were granted.



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