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Moving Overseas During Covid - Chessmoving

Please note: This blog was last updated on the 14/07/21.

As you know, the rules for moving overseas during COVID are constantly updating and changing. However, at Chess Moving, we believe that you deserve a smooth move, even if the rules do change at the last minute - you need a company that will adapt with you, and that’s where we come in to help. 

Perhaps this time, you want to move overseas and out of Australia - maybe you’re heading home to be with family. But, no matter your reasons behind it, you need to move according to the rules set out by the Australian government. Below, we’ve put together a summary of the current guidelines for moving overseas during COVID.

We are Chess Moving, an Australian based relocation company with decades of experience. We know what it takes to move people and homes across countries and borders. These days we have done our research into the realities of moving during this unprecedented time and bring you the most up to date and relevant information for your big move. Read on to find out more about what Chess Moving can do for you.


Vaccines Are Now Essential

Suppose you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident and you are under 50. In that case, you need to have a travel exemption to move overseas. If you are in the right category, you need to have your vaccinations - both of them - for travelling overseas.

What restrictions are in place? 

To facilitate an orderly path out of the pandemic crisis it's essential for Australians to either limit their travel or take extreme measures when travelling abroad. The government has stepped in and issued a complete ban on travel abroad except in certain circumstances when people may be exempt.

If you fall into an exemption category and still wish to travel several considerations are still worth your attention. Firstly, you may find it difficult or impossible to find a flight as many airlines have drastically limited their cover for this period. Additionally, many foreign countries have closed their borders or require strict quarantine measures.

You may also find that many insurance policies do not cover any travel claim related to Covid, this could be significant based on the high transmission rates associated with foreign travel. Also bear in mind that if you qualify for an exemption, you may still have to comply with mandatory entry restriction to Australia. This involves quarantine that is paid for by you. 

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Reasons For Travel 

It would be best if you had a valid reason to travel before you book your moving services with Chess Moving. Below are some of the eligible reasons for travel that will get granted for exemption:

  • Travelling in response to COVID
  • Providing aid 
  • Your travel is for business 
  • You are receiving urgent medical treatment
  • You’re travelling on compassionate grounds
  • You are travelling on critical personal business
  • It’s in the nation’s interest

If you have your travel exemption and you’re now looking for experts to get you moving overseas, contact Chess Moving today.

Is it possible to stay overseas?

If you're an Australian living overseas who wonders about the wisdom of returning or indeed heading out, then read on. One significant factor in your decision making should be your access to healthcare. Does the country you are in provide you with adequate healthcare and does your insurance plan cover Covid-related illness.

It is possible for the Australian government to grant you an exemption for travel abroad but be aware that there are also restrictions on movement and other measures in place at your destination. The chances are you will have to go through a period of quarantine, and you may be unable to pursue the lifestyle you imagine, at least at first.

Moving to India?

If you are moving back to India, you need to seek out the most up to date health advice right up to the day you move. Unfortunately, the exemptions for movement to India are on a shortlist. However, you can contact Chess Moving today to help with a quote for your move if your exemption is approved. 


Although it may be difficult to travel overseas now and relocate if necessary, it is still possible through the right channels. However, if you want to facilitate a safe transition to a new country and government authority you need to undertake effective planning and follow the best practice advice where possible. Below are some tips to use. 

Moving To New Zealand?

Good news! You can travel to New Zealand quarantine free from the 18th of April 2021. Getting your move booked is essential if you are moving to New Zealand, so contact our experts at Chess Moving. We can ensure that you get your belongings where you need them to be as quickly as possible. 

Permanently Moving Home?

If you are looking to relocate back to your home country and you’ll be gone for three months or more, you need to check whether you need an exemption for this on the government websites. You can provide evidence of your flight, where you plan to live, when you are away from Australia for three months or more. In addition, you can provide proof that you have booked our services to get you from A to B in one piece.

Moving overseas during COVID is not likely to be a simple exercise. However, with the help of the experts at Chess Moving, you can ensure that you can move back home safely and comfortably. Please speak to our experts today for more information.

Check if it's safe to move

Since the world is struggling to control the virus and the risks are high, you need to do your research before making the switch overseas. You can reduce your risk of catching and spreading the virus during a relocation by checking the protocol of your destination country.

The Australian government has a list of countries that no longer present a high level of risk. This means the country has restrictions in place that are effectively controlling the virus. If you want to relocate hear the chances of a successful transition are higher.


Check the legal situation

The last thing you want when travelling overseas during the pandemic is to arrive at the airport and be turned away. This means you have to fly home costing you time and expense. If you check the legal situation this can be avoided.

Some countries have responded better to the Covid crisis than others. For instance, Australia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand, won't allow UK nationals to enter now. However, the legal situation is constantly changing. Check it carefully before you travel.


Sort out your insurance

We live in highly uncertain times at present and the best way to mitigate that is with adequate insurance. Typically, you would need travel insurance and health insurance when travelling. These days it's worth expanding your range of cover.

Consider income insurance, even if it's only temporarily. This will cover any unforeseen difficulties. You might also consider removals insurance and renter's insurance. Always read the small print and consider their coronavirus small print carefully.

Stay connected with relevant people

Relocating abroad is a collaborative project. There are many people involved from those you organise your removals to your new landlord and business contacts. To facilitate a smooth move to your new country during the pandemic maintain continual contact.

Even small changes to items and times should be communicated to the relevant people. The more people know about your move and how the planning for it is progressing, the more likely you are to have a successful transition.

Avoid moving if you're unwell

So you've completed all the paperwork and organised the relocation down to the smallest detail, then you fall ill. It's bad luck but it's highly recommended that you don't travel until you're feeling better – even if you don't display exact signs of coronavirus.

If you do display signs of the virus you need to quarantine and get tested. It's very important that you don't travel under these circumstances. Although it's a major inconvenience, you will save lives by preventing the spread of the virus.

Follow all the rules

If you've organised your relocation project and you're ready to make the move, do so by following all the best practice rules and guidelines. These can be found in their entirety at the Australian government's Department of Home Affairs website. Here you will break down everything you need to know.

The best practice advice at present includes avoiding the busiest times when travelling, maintaining a strict two-meter distance from other travellers, washing your hands at regular intervals for twenty seconds and using online check-in services. Where possible avoid contact with surfaces anywhere.


Unlike some major nations, the United States is receiving travellers from Australia if they are permitted to travel by their government and adhere to US protocol. Before flying to the US you just provide evidence of a negative test or proof that you've recovered from Covid-19. These are the general conditions which may vary depending on your destination within the country.

Following a negative Covid test three days before travelling to the US you will nor have to quarantine upon arrival. However, you may have to undergo a second test within the country 3-5 days after arriving. You will also be advised to stay at home for 7 days after travelling. Each US state has its quarantine so you may have to enquire at a local level for the most reliable information.

Consider the nature of your travel to the US. Are you staying in the country for more than 90 days or are you in transit? You will have to obtain a different visa and adhere to different restrictions depending on your objectives. If you stay in the country for less than 90 days, you might qualify for the electronic system for travel authorisation ESTA which would act as a temporary visa. 


With the UK the incoming travel restrictions are fairly like the US, with some qualifiers. Before entering the country, you must show a negative Covid-19 test before departure from Australia. You must also self-isolate for a period of ten days upon the arrival. Further to this, you will not be permitted entry if you have been to any country on the prescribed list in the past ten days.

If you qualify for travel or relocation through Australian governmental channels you may enter the UK provided you present a negative Covid-19 test before departure. You will, however, have to isolate for ten days on arrival to ensure you don't carry the virus. This involves staying indoors and minimising all contact with others.

You will not be permitted to enter the UK if you are travelling from a country on the prescribed list, at present that doesn't include Australia. However, you will be required to fill out a contract locator form to track your movements for tracing purposes. At present, a national lockdown is in place in the UK which is expected to continue.


Singapore is one of the most transitional countries in the world. Despite this, it is coping well with the Covid-19 pandemic. Part of the reason is its highly restricted travel protocol. If you're travelling to Singapore, you must test negative for Covid-19 on arrival. You will also be required to have travel insurance that covers Covid-related medical costs.

Australians are permitted to travel to Singapore on a short-term basis. Long term visits are presently restricted. You will not be able to enter the country at all if you're travelling from New South Wales. If you are a long-term resident wishing to return to the country from Australia you will have to contact the Singapore authorities for permissions before travelling.

Despite operating a highly restricted movement policy, the Singapore authorities have kept Changing airport open for transit travellers. This makes it possible to travel to other countries more conveniently. Despite this, heavy penalties apply to visitors that breach any Covid guidelines.



The Covid Pandemic has impacted the world in so many ways. There have been many obstacles to overcome and compromises to make. Not least to those in the process of relocating abroad. No one could have foreseen the extent of the disruption caused by the pandemic. At one point everything was arranged for a change of job or lifestyle, then suddenly it had to be put on hold, indefinitely.

The good news is that relocating overseas during this unprecedented situation isn't as impossible or unlikely as you might imagine. There are of course significant restrictions in place to handle the spread of the deadly virus, but with the right planning, you can make it happen and relocate safely. The main thing is to follow official guidance in both authorities and use common sense.

Here at Chess Moving, we are ready to assist you every step of the way. We have decades of experience relocating Australians to various parts of the world such as the US, the UK, Singapore, and New Zealand. When you partner with Chess Moving for your relocation project, we stay involved without interfering and ensure your move is as streamlined as possible. Contact Chess Moving today to find out how we can help.


There is currently a ban on overseas travel from Australia, but you can if you are granted an exemption. We request to refer the Australian government website for the most up to date information.

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