Overseas travel

Vaccination information

'Fully vaccinated’ Australian citizens and permanent residents can depart Australia without requiring an outwards travel exemption.

For travellers seeking broader information on Australia’s border arrangements and COVID-19 requirements visit Australia.gov.au/international travel

For International travellers arriving in the ACT from overseas, you are considered fully vaccinated if:

  • You have received the number of doses required for a complete course of a COVID-19 vaccine that is approved or recognised by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)
  • You have a medical contraindication certificate issued to you; or
  • You are aged under 12 years and are travelling with a fully vaccinated adult.

This includes two doses of the same recognised or approved vaccine, or two doses of two different approved or recognised vaccines.

Please note that the vaccination course must have had the required number of days between doses, and at least 7 days must have passed since the final dose of vaccination prior to scheduled departure from the overseas location.

Further information on TGA approved vaccines can be found on the Smart Traveller website.

Individuals who have received a non-TGA approved or recognised vaccine are not able to receive a medical exemption (medical contraindication certificate), and cannot be treated as vaccinated for the purposes of travel to Australia.

There are currently no direct international flights arriving into the ACT. The vast majority of travellers who wish to travel to the ACT arrive in Sydney, New South Wales.

Testing and restrictions on entry into certain high risk settings apply, as outlined below.

Entering the ACT from overseas after 11:59pm on 27 November 2021

The following are currently countries of interest:

  • South Africa
  • Lesotho
  • Botswana
  • Zimbabwe
  • Mozambique
  • Malawi
  • Namibia
  • Eswatini

TRAVELLERS WHO HAVE BEEN IN A COUNTRY OF INTEREST (Vaccinated or unvaccinated)

Regardless of Vaccination status, travellers who have been in a country of interest in the previous 14 days are subject to the following requirements:

  • Quarantine at their port of entry to Australia regardless of   vaccination status.
  • Follow the directions of the port they have arrived in.
  • You cannot travel to the ACT until you have completed your quarantine   requirements at your port of entry

FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELLERS – NOT BEEN IN A COUNTRY OF INTEREST

Vaccinated travellers arriving from any other overseas location, into the ACT who have not spent time in a country of interest, are subject to the following requirements:

If the port of entry allows onward travel to the ACT, travellers will be required to:

  • Travel directly to their ACT residence/accommodation and quarantine until 11.59pm on the 3rd full day (with the day of arrival being day 0).
  • Complete an online declaration form within 24 hours prior to arrival into the ACT
  • Undergo mandatory PCR testing for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival in Australia
  • You may leave quarantine at 11.59pm on Day 3, provided you have received confirmation of a negative PCR test. You do not need to wait to be formally advised that you can leave quarantine by ACT Health.
  • Undergo a mandatory Day 6 PCR test. You do not need to quarantine while waiting for the result of this test.
  • All residents in the household where the returned traveller is quarantining must also quarantine during this period, if appropriate separation cannot be maintained.
  • Travellers aged under 12 years and 2 months do not require a separate declaration form and should be included on the form of their parent or guardian.

While you may leave quarantine after Day 3, due to the increased risk associated with travel we strongly encourage you to limit your movement in the community until you receive a negative PCR test result from your mandatory Day 6 test.

COVID-19 testing is a critical tool to assist in the early identification and management of positive cases. If at any time you experience COVID-19 symptoms, please get tested immediately and quarantine until you receive a negative test result.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER – NOT BEEN IN A COUNTRY OF INTEREST

Unvaccinated travellers aged 18 years and over arriving from overseas are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

  • Complete a mandatory 14 day quarantine period at port of entry.
  • If travel to the ACT is required for exceptional or compassionate reasons an exemption will be required to be obtained from ACT Health.
  • Travellers may be required to seek approval from their port of entry to enter the ACT.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – 12 TO 17 YEARS – NOT BEEN IN A COUNTRY OF INTEREST

Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated adult are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated adult are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

  • For unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated parent or guardian, a 7 day quarantine period will apply.  This applies even if the quarantine period for the vaccinated parent or guardian is 3 days.
  • Complete the International notification of arrival form (DOC 99KB) and submit to COVID.Exemptions@act.gov.au.
  • Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years who are travelling with unvaccinated adults will be subject to quarantine requirements for unvaccinated adults and must quarantine at port of entry.
  • All residents in the household where the returned traveller is quarantining must also quarantine during this period unless appropriate separation can be maintained.

To apply for an exemption if you are not an unvaccinated traveller aged 12 to 17 years of age, please email COVID.Exemptions@act.gov.au  
This email should include who you are, the reasons for requesting an exemption, where you propose to stay for your quarantine period, and how you plan to get to your quarantine accommodation.

Requirements for travellers who are fully vaccinated

Before your travel

All travellers will be required to undertake a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test no earlier than three days prior to your scheduled departure to Australia.

You will also be required to have an international COVID-19 vaccination certificate, obtain a foreign vaccination certificate from the country you were vaccinated in, or provide proof of a medical exemption.

You must not travel to the ACT if you:

  • Have any COVID-19 symptoms, even if your symptoms are mild.
  • Have been in contact with a COVID-19 case in the last 14 days, or if you have  been directed to quarantine or isolate by a Health Authority or another authorised person.
Arriving into the ACT

There are currently no direct international flights arriving into the ACT. The vast majority of travellers who wish to travel to the ACT arrive in Sydney, New South Wales.

If you meet the vaccination and pre-departure testing requirements, you will be permitted to leave the airport and enter the NSW and ACT communities after you clear border control.  You are not required to quarantine or self isolate upon your entry into the ACT.

Testing and restrictions on entry into certain high risk settings apply, as outlined below.

COVID-19 testing requirements

You will be required to undergo a COVID-19 nose and throat PCR test as follows:

  • Within 24 hours of arrival into Australia;
  • On day 6 after arrival into Australia.

If you have undergone a PCR test for COVID-19 whilst in another jurisdiction within the abovementioned timeframes, you are not required to undergo another test upon your entry into the ACT.

Travellers do not need to isolate while awaiting the results of either test, unless they have symptoms.

You will be required to arrange your own COVID-19 testing in the ACT.  There are several COVID-19 testing centres accessible to you in the ACT. Further information about these locations is available on the ACT’s COVID-19 website.

Entry into high risk and other settings

Returning overseas travellers are not permitted to enter a high-risk setting until 14 days have passed since their arrival into Australia.  This includes a hospital, residential aged care facility, correction and detention facilities, and residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to disease.

If travellers need to enter a high-risk setting within 14 days of their arrival, they must receive approval from the facility prior to entry.

Travellers will also not be permitted entry into the following settings until after they receive a negative result from their day 6 test.

  • Childcare or early childhood service;
  • A primary school or school attended by children under 12 years of age, or a specialist school or flexible education program.

This does not include accessing urgent medical care, or aged or disability care services.

Evidence

You should carry evidence for 14 days and be able to provide to relevant authorities if requested the following:

  • Your vaccination status or medical exemption
  • Evidence of your COVID-19 PCR tests taken within 24 hours of arrival and on day 6 after arrival.

Entering the ACT from overseas prior to 11:59pm on 27 November 2021

This information only applies to those who have entered the ACT from overseas prior to 11.59pm on 27 November 2021, and have not been to a country of interest.

From 1 November 2021, ‘fully vaccinated’ Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members can arrive in New South Wales and Victoria without being included in international passenger caps which remain in place for other jurisdictions.

Travellers should refer to Australian Border Force and the Australian Department of Health website for more information about who is included in the above cohort.

Note: The Australian Government has introduced quarantine free one-way travel for certain travellers from Singapore and New Zealand, subject to meeting requirements. Further information is below.

FULLY VACCINATED TRAVELLERS

Vaccinated travellers arriving from overseas into the ACT are subject to the following requirements:

  • Undergo a COVID-19   test within 24 hours of arrival in the ACT.
    • If   you have undergone a PCR test for COVID-19 whilst in another jurisdiction   within the above mentioned timeframes, you are not required to undergo   another test upon your entry into the ACT.
    • Travellers   do not need to isolate while awaiting the results of either test, unless they   have symptoms.
  • Undergo a second   COVID-19 test on day six
  • Travellers will also not be   permitted entry into the following settings until after they receive a   negative result from their day 6 test.
    • Childcare   or early childhood service;
    • A   primary school or school attended by children under 12 years of age, or a   specialist school or flexible education program.

There are additional restrictions on entering high-risk facilities in the ACT (including hospitals, correctional and detention facilities, residential aged care facilities, and some other residential facilities).

These restrictions still apply to anyone who has been overseas in the previous 14 days.

Should these restrictions apply to you, you will need to request an exemption directly from the facility.

Restrictions do not apply for travellers needing to access urgent medical care, aged or disability care services.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – AGED 18 YEARS AND OVER

Unvaccinated travellers aged 18 years and over arriving from overseas are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

  • complete a mandatory 14 day   quarantine period at port of entry.
  • If travel to the ACT is required   for exceptional or compassionate reasons an exemption will be required to be   obtained from ACT Health.
  • Travellers may be required to   seek approval from their port of entry to enter the ACT.

UNVACCINATED TRAVELLERS – 12 TO 17 YEARS

Unvaccinated travellers aged 12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated adult are able to enter the ACT subject to the following requirements:

  • For unvaccinated travellers aged   12 to 17 years travelling unaccompanied or with a vaccinated parent or   guardian, modified quarantine conditions will apply.
  • Travellers will be required to   obtain an exemption to travel into the ACT.
  • Please complete the International   notification of arrival form (DOC 99KB) and   submit to COVID.Exemptions@act.gov.au.
  • Unvaccinated travellers aged 12   to 17 years who are travelling with unvaccinated adults will be subject to   quarantine requirements for unvaccinated adults and must quarantine at port   of entry.

To apply for an exemption if you are not an unvaccinated traveller aged 12 to 17 years of age, please email COVID.Exemptions@act.gov.au  
This email should include who you are, the reasons for requesting an exemption, where you propose to stay for your quarantine period, and how you plan to get to your quarantine accommodation.

New Zealand

Australia has now reinstated one-way quarantine free travel from New Zealand with specific requirements.

Fully vaccinated travellers entering the ACT from New Zealand can do so without having to quarantine provided they have been in New Zealand or Australia for the 14 days prior to travel and subject to Commonwealth pre departure measures below. Travellers must also adhere to the ACT requirements for arrival which include undertaking COVID-19 PCR tests and not entering certain high-risk settings after arrival.

Travellers require:

Proof of a negative pre-departure PCR test within 3 days of the departure flight to Australia

  • Completed declaration to this effect
  • Evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19.

This is applicable to all travellers from New Zealand, regardless of citizenship or residency status.

For further information visit https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand

Singapore

From 21 November 2021, Australia will commence quarantine-free one-way travel from Singapore for fully vaccinated travellers with Singaporean citizenship who depart Singapore on the final leg of their journey to Australia and meet all Commonwealth pre departure measures, including:

  • Proof of a negative pre-departure PCR test within 3 days of the departure flight to Australia
  • Completed declaration to this effect
  • Evidence of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a valid medical contraindication certificate.

Any travellers aged under 12 years at the time of departure will be considered fully vaccinated.

Travellers from Singapore must adhere to the ACT requirements for international travellers detailed which include undertaking COVID-19 PCR tests and not entering certain high risk settings after arrival.

For further information and eligibility criteria visit Singapore | COVID-19 and the border (homeaffairs.gov.au)

Public Health Directions

The Public Health (Returned Travellers) Emergency Direction 2021 (the Direction) sets out requirements for all travellers who are seeking to enter the ACT on their return from overseas. The Public Health Direction is available on the ACT Government’s COVID-19 website.

COVID Safe behaviours and follow up testing will still be required in the community.

People seeking to enter the ACT from overseas who are not fully vaccinated must complete quarantine at their port of entry prior to being permitted entry into the ACT, unless an exemption is granted.

For further information you can view the Guidance for travellers arriving into the ACT from overseas factsheet (PDF 252KB).

International flight crew travelling to ACT who are fully vaccinated

COVID-19 testing requirements

You will be required to undergo a COVID-19 nose and throat PCR test as follows:

  • Within 24 hours of arrival into Australia;
  • On day 6 after arrival into Australia.

If a flight crew member has undergone a PCR test for COVID-19 whilst in another jurisdiction within the abovementioned timeframes, they are not required to undergo another test upon your entry into the ACT.

Flight crew members do not need to isolate while awaiting the results of either test, unless they have symptoms.  If symptoms develop, they must immediately seek testing for COVID-19 and isolate until a negative result is received.

Flight crew members will be required to arrange their own COVID-19 testing in the ACT.  There are several COVID-19 testing centres in the ACT. Further information about their locations is available on the ACT’s COVID-19 website, at https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/stay-safe-and-healthy/symptoms-and-getting-tested/where-to-get-tested-in-the-act

Entry into high risk and other settings

Flight crew members are not permitted to enter a high-risk setting until 14 days have passed since their arrival into Australia. This includes a hospital, residential aged care facility, correction and detention facilities, and residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to disease.

If travellers need to enter a high-risk setting within 14 days of their arrival, they must receive approval from the facility prior to entry.

Travellers will also not be permitted entry into the following settings until after they receive a negative result from their day 6 test.

  • Childcare or early childhood service;
  • A primary school or school attended by children under 12 years of age, or a specialist school or flexible education program.

This does not include accessing urgent medical care, or aged or disability care services.

The Employer of the flight crew member is responsible for ensuring compliance with testing requirements and restrictions on entry to high-risk premises as outlined in this Guidance document.

International flight crew who are not fully vaccinated

Entry requirements

If a flight crew member is not fully vaccinated they must comply with the requirements as set out in the Direction. These requirements include:

  • On arrival into the ACT, travel immediately to an approved quarantine premises to undertake a 14 day quarantine period until the sooner of the following occurs:
  • The 14 day quarantine period ends; or
  • The flight crew member departs on another flight that leaves Australia.

The employer of an unvaccinated flight crew member must:

  • Arrange approved transportation for the flight crew member to the approved quarantine premises;
  • Arrange for appropriate quarantine premises, if the flight crew member does not have appropriate accommodation;
  • Arrange approved transportation for the flight crew member to travel to the airport, where the member is departing the ACT during the quarantine period.

Requirements for Travellers who are NOT Fully Vaccinated

Entry requirements

People seeking to enter the ACT from overseas who are not considered fully vaccinated must complete mandatory quarantine at their port of entry prior to being permitted entry into the ACT, unless an exemption is granted. Exemptions will only be granted in exceptional circumstances.

Any unvaccinated travellers seeking to enter the ACT without completing a mandatory quarantine period will be required to seek an exemption prior to entry into the ACT.

Further Information

Movement through airports
  • Face masks must be worn at all NSW and ACT airports and on flights into or out of these jurisdictions.  You must follow the face mask rules while in an airport and in the community.
  • While moving around the airport and in the community, make sure to maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres from people who are not known to you.
  • Maintaining good hand and respiratory hygiene is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Travelling to the ACT
Seek help if you develop symptoms

You should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 on an ongoing basis.  Any person who is experiencing symptoms, no matter how mild, should get tested immediately.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

  • Fever (37.5 degrees or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • New loss of smell or taste
  • Runny or blocked nose
  • Other reported symptoms include muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting, headache, fatigue, and loss of appetite.

There are several COVID-19 testing centres in the ACT. Further information about their locations is available here.

People arriving into the ACT with a medical contraindication

Persons who are arriving into the ACT with a valid medical contraindication to COVID-19 vaccination will be treated as a fully vaccinated travellers.  Please refer to relevant Guidance outlined in this documentation.

A medical contraindication certificate is defined in the Public Health Direction as a certificate issued by a medical practitioner:

  • Provided in a form approved by the ACT Chief Health Officer certifying that because of a specified medical contraindication, the person to whom the certificate has been issued cannot have any available COVID-19 vaccination; or
  • Provided in a form approved by another State or Territory Government certifying that because of a specified medical contraindication, the person to whom the certificate has been issued cannot have any available COVID-19 vaccination; or

In addition, the ACT will accept evidence from an overseas medical practitioner or other authority, which has been accepted at point of departure.

Further advice

Further information can be accessed on the following websites:

If you have any questions or need assistance, you can contact ACT Health on (02) 5124 6500.

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Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: November 30 2021