COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Suspension of incoming international passenger flights to Adelaide Airport
The South Australian Government will not be able to provide hotel quarantine capacity for scheduled passenger arrivals until at least Monday 30 November 2020. This has impacted International flights into Adelaide:
Passengers scheduled to fly into Adelaide should contact their airlines as soon as possible in relation to the status of their bookings and options to change their flights.
Visitors travelling from Australia to Singapore
On 30 September 2020, Singapore announced the lifting of border restrictions to allow entry of visitors travelling from Australia. Foreigners who are short-term visitors travelling from Australia may seek entry into Singapore by applying for an Air Travel Pass. Singapore Citizens, Singapore Permanent Residents, and Singapore Long-Term Pass holders are not required to apply for an Air Travel Pass to travel to Singapore from Australia.
Singapore long term pass holders in Australia returning to Singapore. What do I need to do before I leave Australia?
Singapore Long-Term Pass holders, Employment pass, S pass and dependant pass holders wishing to return to Singapore must apply to the Singapore Ministry of Manpower and receive approval to re-enter Singapore prior to departure from Australia. This can be done here. Please refer to https://www.ica.gov.sg/covid-19/arrivalsg for the prevailing health measures applicable to you upon entry into Singapore.
See https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/australia/atp/requirements-and-process for further information.
All other pass holders wishing to return to Singapore must apply to the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority and receive approval to re-enter Singapore prior to departure from Australia. This can be done here.
To depart Australia an exemption from the Australia Border Force is normally required. However you are exempt if you are ordinarily a resident in a country other than Australia. The ABF website (apply online here) explains the meaning of 'ordinarily resident' and advises how a request for assesment can be made if you have any doubts about whether you meet the definition.
If you have any doubt about whether you fall within the definition of "ordinarily resident", we recommend you lodge a request for assessment.
This needs to be done at least two weeks prior to your intended departure.
What are the current International Passenger Arrival Caps?
From 26 October the cap on international passenger arrivals entering Australia has been increased to 6290 per week. This is spread between the capital cities (excluding Melbourne and Hobart). Melbourne Airport currently remains closed to all international arrivals. The Australian Government is committed to help return as many Australians and their families as possible by Christmas. The Prime minister has announced flights to Hobart however details are still to be finalised.
COVID-19: Overseas financial assistance
If you’ve been unable to return to Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions and are experiencing financial distress, you may be eligible to access financial support from the government.
There are two types of interest-free loans available:
Living costs: a one-off loan to cover emergency living costs until a commercial flight becomes available
Flight back to Australia: a one-off loan to help cover the costs of a flight to return to Australia
The loans are only available as a last resort. You’ll need to meet strict eligibility criteria. Only those in genuine need will be provided financial support. You’ll need to demonstrate that you’re planning to return to Australia as soon as flights become available. All loans must be repaid.
You can apply if you:
are an Australian citizen
Australian permanent residents are not eligible to receive funding unless they are travelling with an immediate family member who is an Australian citizen, and that Australian family member includes the permanent resident in their own application for financial assistance.
If the only Australian citizen in the family travelling with the permanent resident is a child, other links to Australia will need to be considered before approval of a loan (e.g. Australian residential property).
are at least 18 years of age
have made all reasonable efforts to seek financial assistance through other means. You’ll need to provide evidence of this. See examples of documentation under ‘The application process’ section.
In addition, you need to meet one or more of the following criteria. You:
are overseas temporarily and want to return to Australia urgently for medical or other reasons
are in financial distress as a result of the travel disruptions caused by COVID-19
require financial assistance to shelter in place until you can secure a seat, or purchase a ticket to return to Australia
are in a location with restricted or no available commercial airlines operating.
Further information on overseas financial assistance can be found here
As an Australian citizen or Australian Permanent Resident, what do I need to do to travel to Australia?
At the moment there are caps on the number of passengers permitted to arrive each day/week into each of the capital cities in Australia. This will restrict the number of flights and seats available on those flights. As an Australian citizen there is nothing you are required to do to re-enter Australia, except if you are travelling to Perth. If travelling to Perth, you must apply for a G2G pass managed by the WA government prior to entering WA found here. Further information on returning to Australia can be found on the Smartraveller website here.
Do I need to have a COVID-19 test before travelling to Australia?
No. It is not a requirement to have a COVID-19 test before travelling to Australia. You will have a COVID-19 test while you are in quarantine once you have arrived in Australia.
Do I have to undergo quarantine on my return to Australia?
All incoming travellers from abroad are required to be quarantined in a hotel or other designated accommodation as determined by state and territory governments, at their port of arrival for 14 days. Travellers from abroad will not be permitted to travel domestically until they have completed their quarantine at their port of arrival.
How can I apply for an exemption from Quarantine?
Each state and territory’s department of health are managing quarantine for that state/territory. Each have their own quarantine exemption process. If you wish to undertake quarantine outside of the government designated facilities, go to the relevant state or territory Department of Health website and navigate to the COVID-19 quarantine page. A link to each of the state's exemption processes can be found here.
Further useful state and territory websites are listed at the bottom of this webpage.
I am an Australian Citizen, but my partner is not. Will we be allowed to travel to Australia?
Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents can travel to Australia. You will need to complete a form first and provide evidence of your relationship.
The Australian Government has announced travel restrictions to Australia to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
Immediate family members of Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents will be exempted from the travel restriction. Immediate family means spouses (including de-facto relationships), dependents and legal guardians.
Prior to travel you will need to submit this form and they should not travel until they receive advice that they can. You will need to provide evidence of your relationship.
Please note that all international travellers arriving in Australia regardless of nationality or point of departure must undertake a mandatory 14 day quarantine at designated facilities (e.g hotels), in their city of arrival before they can go home. See https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/travel-restrictions for more information.
I am studying in Australia but I am currently in Singapore. When can I travel to Australia for my studies?
The Australian Government has announced a range of measures to support students. For further information please click here
I am not an Australian citizen or Australian Permanent Resident. Can I travel to Australia?
From 20 March 2020, all foreign nationals who do not meet the travel exemptions are not allowed to enter Australia. For further information on Australian travel restrictions, including applying for an exemption, please refer to the Department of Home Affairs website here.
My Singapore visa is expiring. What shall I do?
If your long term pass or employment pass is expiring please contact ICA here. If you have had your extension to your pass denied we recommend that you attend the ICA office and speak to someone in person. The Australian High Commission is unable to intervene in Singapore immigration matters.
I keep getting bumped from my flight to Australia. What can I do?
If you have been bumped from Singapore Airlines flights and your personal circumstances are becoming more urgent we recommend that you attend the Singapore Airlines office and speak to someone in person.
What happens when I get to Singapore?
Once you return to Singapore you will need to undertake a Stay Home Notice (SHN = quarantine). Travellers from Austrlia will undertake a COVID-19 test on arrival and must quarantine until the outcome of the test is known, usually the next day. Quarantine can be undertaken in your own home.
Where can I get the latatest information on Singapore travel advice?
The Australian High Commission recommends that all Australian citizens overseas subscribe to Smartraveller which can be done here.
COVID19: Useful Websites
WA COVID-19 Helpine: +61 8 9118 3100
Phone contact: +61 1800 490 484
Phone contact: +61 134 COVID (13 42 68)
New South Wales
Email: [email protected]
ACT’s COVID-19 Helpline on: (02) 6207 7244
Victoria Coronavirus Hotline: 1800 675 398
G2G Pass Website (for permission to enter WA and TAS)
Australian Commonwealth Websites
Department of Health
Singapore Government websites
Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
Ministry of Manpower (MOM)
Ministry of Health (MOH)