Australian High Commission
Singapore
Singapore

Returning to Australia

Last Updated on 29 November 2021

AUSTRALIAN BORDER UPDATE: The Prime Minister has announced that upcoming changes to travel arrangements for fully vaccinated eligible visa holders and citizens from Japan and Korea will now come into effect from 15 December 2021.

Travel restrictions due to new COVID-19 variant: Travel restrictions are now in place for people who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Ekatwini, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Seychelles, Mozambique, or Malawi in the last 14 days. Please see Travel restrictions | COVID-19 and the border (homeaffairs.gov.au) for more details if travelling to Australia from these locations. 

Update on entry into NSW: From 12am on 28 November, all fully vaccinated travellers arriving in NSW who have been in any overseas country must get a COVID-19 PCR (nose and throat) test and self-isolate at their place of residence for at least 72 hours. Please see International travel to and from NSW | NSW Government for more details if travelling to NSW. 

Update on entry into VIC:  From 11.59 pm 27 November, all international travellers arriving into Victoria, who have visited the following extreme risk countries: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi, and Mozambique in the past 14 days are required to undertake 14 days’ hotel quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status. All other international travellers arriving in Victoria who are fully vaccinated, aged below 12 and 2 months or have a valid medical exemption are required to quarantine for 72 hours upon arrival. Please see Information for overseas travellers | Coronavirus Victoria for more details if travelling to VIC. 

Update on entry into ACT: Quarantine requirements re-introduced for all international arrivals introduced from 1159pm on 27 November 2021. Please see Quarantine requirements re-introduced for all international arrivals - COVID-19 (act.gov.au) for more details if travelling to ACT. 

 

What are the current International Passenger Arrival Caps?

Australian borders remain strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. There are temporary caps on the numbers of passengers coming into Australian airports from overseas. These measures are in place to ease pressure on state and territory quarantine facilities (see below).

The Australian High Commission is unable to help in confirming flights as airlines manage tickets sales and boarding in line with the caps, not the Australian government.

o  Sydney – limit of 750 per week; this will change from 1 November 2021, when the NSW government introduces quarantine free travel for fully vaccinated travellers. See Quarantine in NSW | NSW Government for more information.

o  Perth – limit of 265 passenger arrivals per week;

o  Brisbane – limit of 650 passenger arrivals per week;

o  Melbourne – limit of 500 passenger arrivals per week; this will change from 1 November 2021, when the Victoria government introduces quarantine free travel for fully vaccinated travellers. See Information for overseas travellers | Vic Government for more information.

o  Adelaide – limit of 265 passenger arrivals per week

 

Each State/Territory are managing their own borders and entry requirements. Please see below links to apply for necessary approvals or see if you are eligible to enter your intended State/Territory.

 

Who can travel to Australia?

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

From 21 November 2021, fully vaccinated Singaporean citizens can travel to Australia under the 'Singapore Travel Pilot'. See Singapore Travel Pilot (highcommission.gov.au) for more details. 

See Coming to Australia | Home Affairs COVID-19 website for more information.

 

Who is an immediate family member?

You are only considered to be an immediate family member if you are:

  • a spouse
  • a de facto partner
  • a dependent child
  • a legal guardian

of an Australian citizen, Australian permanent resident or a New Zealand citizen who is usually resident in Australia. Immediate family members must apply for a travel exemption before travelling to Australia.

 

What about parents?

From 1 November 2021, the definition of ‘immediate family member’ will include the parents of adult Australian citizens and permanent residents. This is for the purpose of assessing exemptions to Australia’s travel restrictions only.

The definition of parents of Australian citizens and permanent residents includes:

  • biological parents
  • legal (including adoptive) parents
  • step-parents
  • parents in-law.

Before you can travel, you will need to have your relationship with your adult Australian child confirmed by submitting a travel exemption request. You must submit your request through the Travel Exemption Portal. Select the category ‘I am an immediate family member’ and then ‘parent of adult Australian citizen or permanent resident’.

You will need to provide evidence of:

  • your adult child’s Australian citizenship or permanent residency; and
  • your parental relationship to the Australian citizen or permanent resident.

Refer to ‘Examples of evidence that you can provide’ on the Home Affairs COVID-19 website.

 

My spouse/children are not Australian citizens or permanent residents, can they come to Australia?

Yes, but they must apply for a visa and be granted a travel exemption if they do not hold Australian citizenship or permanent residency. See Immediate family of Australian citizens or permanent residents or New Zealand citizens usually resident in Australia | Home Affairs COVID-19 website for more details.

 

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 Home Affairs COVID-19 website.

 

I am vaccinated. Can I enter Australia?

You can travel to Australia if you are an Australian citizen, a permanent resident, an immediate family member of an Australian citizen or permanent resident, or a New Zealand citizen usually resident in Australia.

See COVID-19 Vaccinations and Vaccination Certificates for more information.

 

I am unvaccinated. Can I enter Australia?

For Australians that have not been vaccinated, international passenger caps will be maintained. Australian citizens who are not eligible for vaccination, such as those under 12 years of age or who are unable to be vaccinated on medical grounds, will be treated as though they are fully vaccinated for the purposes of border arrangements. This will support families with young children or vaccine ineligible family members seeking to travel together above the caps.

 

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 due to the limited number of quarantine spaces. This restricts the number of flights and seats available on those flights.  Availability of flights may change as Australian borders open and restrictions ease. Always check with the airlines for seat availability as the Australian High Commission is unable to help in confirming flights as airlines manage tickets sales and boarding in line with the caps, not the Australian government.

Eligible travellers entering Australia will need to complete the following prior to departing. Follow the steps in the traveller checklist when you are preparing to travel to Australia. 

Once you have booked your tickets, you will need to complete the following in order to successfully board your flight to Australia:

  1.  Australian Travel Declaration
  • Before you travel to Australia you should complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your departure for Australia. The Declaration collects your information to help the Australian Government determine your quarantine arrangements (if required) and allows the relevant health departments to contact you if someone you travelled with tests positive for COVID-19. We recommend having hard copies of the completed Australian Travel Declaration with you for check-in.

 

  1. Negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test
  • You will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure porin. Rapid antigen tests will not be accepted.
  • Testing must be conducted at and accredited testing facility, a self-administered COVID-19 test undertaken at home without supervision is not acceptable. You must be tested 72 hours of less prior to scheduled flight departure.
  • Children 4 years old and younger are exempt from the pre-departure testing requirement. Children 5 years or older must provide a negative test result.

 

  1. Vaccination status
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated with an Australian Government recognised vaccine, or under the age of 12, may be eligible for reduced quarantine arrangements when you return to Australia.
  • You will need to demonstrate your vaccination status at check-in when travelling to Australia.
  • States and Territories are responsible for determining, and managing, reduced quarantine arrangements for vaccinated Australians and permanent residents. This may involve home quarantine for a reduced period. You must check with the State or Territory that you are returning to for their quarantine arrangements.

 

  1. Non-Australian citizens or permanent residents will also require:

 

Some of these documents must be presented at the airport when you check-in and when you arrive in Australia. We recommend having hard copies of the documents (where applicable).

 

Do I have to undergo quarantine on my return to Australia?

Yes, 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. You may be required to pay for your own quarantine arrangements.

Australian citizens and permanent residents who are fully vaccinated with an Australian Government recognised vaccine, or under the age of 12, may be eligible for reduced quarantine arrangements when you return to Australia in NSW,  Victoria and ACT from 1 November 2021. You will need to demonstrate your vaccination status at check-in when travelling to Australia. 

For more information:  

 

What about children under 12 years of age who are not vaccinated?

All children aged under 12 years count as fully vaccinated for travel purposes. Special arrangements(link is external) apply for certain returning Australian children aged 12-17 years who are not fully vaccinated.

 

How can I apply for an exemption from Quarantine in Australia?

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 on our COVID-19 Useful Websites page. 

 

I am fully vaccinated.  If I travel to NSW or Victoria, and do not need to quarantine, will I be permitted to travel to another State or Territory?

States and territories can apply their own travel restrictions, including closing state borders and restricting travel into and out of their state, restricting travel into and out of areas within their state, requiring people who have travelled to and from some areas to quarantine for 14 days.  Check with the state and territory governments on the latest travel restrictions:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) domestic travel restrictions and remote area access | Australian Government Department of Health

 

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 a list of clinics in Singapore that can provide a COVID-19 (PCR) pre-departure test, please click here
  • For more information, including FAQs on these new measures, please click here.

 

Do I need to have a COVID-19 test when I land in Australia?

Yes, you will be required by state and territory government authorities to take place in COVID-19 testing when you arrive in Australia. Each state and territory have different requirements. 

Check with the state or territory that you are entering for COVID-19 testing arrangements. 

 

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 Australia Travel Declaration | Home Affairs COVID-19 website.

 

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

 

My flight ticket to Australia keeps getting cancelled or postponed. What can I do?

If your flight ticket to Australia keeps getting cancelled or postponed, you should contact your airline or travel agent in order to book a new ticket.  You should also register with DFAT on the smartraveller website here.

 

When I am in Australia, how will I know what the current COVID-19 restrictions are?

Some types of gatherings, activities and businesses have been restricted in Australia to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19. Stay in touch with family and friends so they know you're safe.

Find out what you can and can't do in your state or territory using the COVID-19 Restriction Checker.