Following the decision by National Cabinet (8 January 2021) and announcement from the Prime Minister, if you’re travelling to Australia on or after 22 January 2021, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test to your airline when checking in for your flight at the departure point.

  • 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 confirm with your airline any specific requirements for onward travel.
  • If you or a member of your travelling group tests positive, you won’t be allowed to travel to Australia.
  • Masks must be worn on all international flights, including at airports.


Exemptions from the pre-departure testing requirements:

  • children who are four years of age or younger at the time of check-in
  • people that present a medical certificate which indicates that due to a medical condition they are unable to undergo a COVID-19 PCR test
  • international air crew
  • travellers departing from a designated ‘green zone’ country
  • people travelling from countries where COVID-19 (PCR) testing is not reasonably available (exemptions for this purpose will be determined by Australia’s Director of Human Biosecurity).

Frequently asked questions on these new measures, including further information on exemptions and exempt countries, can be found on the Department of Health website.

You should contact your airline on the requirements for your specific flight. Local authorities may have additional requirements in place for departures.

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.

International arrival caps were reduced from 15 January 2021. This will be reviewed by 15 February 2021. This could affect your flight into Australia. If you’re scheduled to fly home to Australia in the coming weeks, confirm your itinerary and travel plans with your airline or travel agent.

If you require emergency consular assistance contact your nearest Australian embassy, high commission or consulate or contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305.