COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
Australia Travel Declaration
If you are able to travel to Australia under the current travel restrictions, you should complete an Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before boarding your flight. You will need to provide your contact details in Australia, flight information, health status and requirements during quarantine. This information helps the Australian Government determine your quarantine arrangements and enables health authorities to contact you if someone you travelled with tests positive for COVID-19. For more information, visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/australia-travel-declaration
What are the current International Passenger Arrival Caps?
On 08 January 2021, National Cabinet agreed to reduce the caps on international arrivals as follows:
o Sydney – limit of 1,505 passenger arrivals per week;
o Perth – limit of 512 passenger arrivals per week;
o Brisbane – limit of 500 passenger arrivals per week;
The following caps remain unchanged:
o Melbourne – 160 passengers per day;
o Adelaide – limit of 490 passenger arrivals per week
Do I need to have a COVID-19 test before travelling to Australia?
Following the decision by National Cabinet (8 January 2021) and announcement from the Prime Minister, if you’re travelling to Australia you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure point.
- This applies to all travellers five years of age or older departing on flights on or after 22 January 2021.
- You must be tested 72 hours or less prior to departure and present a negative result when checking in prior to boarding your flight.
- If you transit through a third country on your return journey to Australia, you should check on any local requirements at your transit destination and follow the advice of local authorities on social distancing and mask wearing while in transit.
- If you or a member of your travelling group tests positive, you won’t be allowed to travel to Australia.
- Exemptions to the COVID-19 (PCR) testing requirements will only be applied in extenuating circumstances such as where there is no access to testing.
Anyone who has a negative test result and enters Australia must still complete mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities in your port of arrival.
Masks must also be worn on all international flights, including at airports.
For more information, including FAQs on these new measures, please click here.
Transiting in Singapore from the United Kingdom
Transiting Singapore is now permitted for those travelling from London Heathrow to Sydney on Singapore Airlines only. Passengers will be required to provide evidence of a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to their flight, and will also undergo a pre-departure health assessment. When arriving in Singapore, those travelling onto Sydney will be required to remain on the aircraft for the 90 minute transit period.
From 23 December 2020, all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history to the UK within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore. This will also apply to all those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore. Returning Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents will be required to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test upon arrival in Singapore, at the start of their 14-day SHN.
Travellers from New South Wales to Singapore
From 23 December 2020, 2359 hours Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long-Term Pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore, will be subject to a 7-day Stay at Home Notice (SHN) at their place of residence with a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test before the end of the SHN period. Short-term travellers holding an Air Travel Pass with travel history to NSW within the last 14 days before departure for Singapore, will not be allowed to enter Singapore
Travellers from South Africa to Singapore
With effect from 3 January 2021, travellers with a travel history to South Africa within the past 14 days, with the exception of Singapore citizens and Singapore permanent residents, will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This will apply to long-term pass holders, short-term visitors and those who had obtained prior approval for entry into Singapore.
Visitors travelling from Australia to Singapore
Foreigners who are short-term visitors travelling from Australia (except for New South Wales) 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. However Long-term Pass holders must still seek permission to enter Singapore from the Singapore Authorities.
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.
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 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 Australia 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. The only exception is for travellers from NSW, who must complete a seven day SHN.
Where can I get the latest 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)