Australia reopens to all fully vaccinated international arrivals from 21 February

Australia (excluding Western Australia) will reopen to fully vaccinated travellers from around the world on 21 February 2022.

While Australia opened its borders to Singapore citizens on 21 November 2021, PRs and long-term passholders were left out in the cold. Australia’s “international safe travel zones” were only for Japanese, South Korean and Singapore citizens, as well as New Zealand residents.

I really didn’t understand the rationale behind excluding non-citizen Singapore residents, given that their risk profile would be similar to that of a Singaporean (keep in mind, travel history wasn’t even considered), but it’ll be a moot point from 21 February 2022, when Australia reopens its borders to all fully-vaccinated international arrivals. 

This covers all states except for Western Australia, which is stubbornly refusing to open in what Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has dubbed a “North Korea” type situation. 

Australia to reopen from 21 Feburary

Australia will reopen to all fully vaccinated travellers from 21 February 2022

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced today that Australia’s borders will reopen to double vaccinated travellers from 21 February 2022.

“It’s almost two years since we took the decision to close the borders to Australia. The national cabinet has decided today Australia will reopen our borders to all remaining visa holders on February 21 of this year.

The condition is you must be double vaccinated to come to Australia. That’s the rule. Everyone is expected to abide by it.”

Well, almost everyone. Children aged under 12 years and 3 months count as fully vaccinated for inbound travel purposes, regardless of actual vaccination status. 

Travellers to Australia will be required to take a COVID-19 ART or PCR test before travelling to Australia:

  • ARTs must be done within 24 hours of the flight’s scheduled departure time
  • PCR tests must be taken within three days before the day of the flight’s scheduled departure

To illustrate, suppose my flight to Australia is on 10 February, at 10 p.m. If I’m taking an ART, my swab can be anytime from 10 p.m on 9 February. If I’m taking a PCR test, my swab can be anytime from midnight on 7 February. 

Children under the age of five are exempt from the pre-departure testing requirement to Australia. 

All COVID-19 test results must feature: 

  • traveller name and date of birth (age at time of test or passport number accepted, if date of birth not listed)
  • the test result (such as ‘negative’ or ‘not detected’)
  • the method of test conducted e.g., NAA test or RAT
  • the date of specimen collection for the accepted COVID-19 test
  • signed by an authorised person

ARTs must be professionally-administered, but it’s possible to do one from just S$17.84 in the comfort of your home, thanks to the DA Tele-ART pilot scheme.

 ARTPCR
At homeFrom S$17.84From S$128
At clinicFrom S$21.40From S$98

For a full list of pre-departure test options, refer to the article below.

Cheapest pre-departure COVID-19 ART and PCR tests in Singapore

Which states can be visited?

Fully vaccinated travellers may enter the following Australian states without quarantine, subject to testing requirements on arrival:

  • ACT
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • Queensland
  • South Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Victoria

The notable exception is Western Australia, which postponed its reopening plans due to fears about Omicron. 

Here’s the current requirements for the five states which have direct flights to Singapore.

 On-arrivalPost-arrival
New South Wales (Sydney)ART within 24 hoursART on or after Day 6
Northern Territory (Darwin)ART within 2 hours ART on Day 3 and 6
Queensland (Brisbane)ART/PCR within 24 hours
South Australia (Adelaide)PCR within 24 hours
Victoria (Melbourne)ART within 24 hours

With the exception of South Australia (which requires a PCR test) all the other states accept self-administered ARTs for on-arrival testing. This means you could bring along an ART kit and essentially be free to move about within 15 minutes of landing.

Australia is facing a critical shortage of ART kits at the moment, so it’s highly recommended you bring your own from Singapore. ARTs start at just S$4.90 here, versus A$10-15 in Australia (and keep in mind those are the official prices; shortages have led to customers paying upwards of A$25 per kit). 

ART kits in Australia are overseen by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). The TGA has a list of approved home test kits, as well as a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions for each test. 

Three of the kits sold in Singapore pharmacies are accepted in Australia, namely:

  • Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test
  • SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test Nasal
  • Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test

With regards to SD Biosensor, note that it’s the white kit with blue text that’s approved for use in Australia, not the white kit with pink text (Standard Q). I don’t see QuickVue on the TGA list, so don’t bring those. 

VTL process from Australia to Singapore

As a reminder, here’s the process for VTL travellers from Australia to Singapore.

✈️ Summary: VTL travel to Singapore
To Singapore 🇸🇬
  • 14 day travel history: Singapore or any Category I/ VTL country
  • Purchase travel insurance with min. S$30K coverage (short-term visitors only)
  • Apply for VTP (short-term visitors and long-term pass holders only)
  • Fully vaccinated with WHO EUL vaccine (age 12 and below exempt)
  • Complete SG Arrival Card
  • Take pre-departure ART/PCR test 2 days before flight (age 2 and below exempt)
  • Take designated VTL flight to Singapore
  • Take PCR test on arrival in Singapore and isolate until result is out (age 2 and below exempt)
  • Take self-administered ART swabs on Days 2-7 if leaving accommodation (age 2 and below exempt)

Conclusion

Australia is reopening to fully vaccinated international arrivals from 21 February 2022, which is great news for non-citizen Singapore residents who may have felt (understandably) aggrieved over being left out from the initial arrangement. 

This leaves Perth and Western Australia as the last holdouts, and surely that can’t last for long, right?

Right?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

Similar Articles

Comments

24 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

24 Comments
Oldest
Newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
James Quek

We intend to fly to Hobart (Tasmania) after arriving into MEL. Do we need to do the ART first before taking the domestic flight? We are thinking of doing in Hobart since it’s still within 24hrs upon arrival into Australia.

anon

Sad for those with family in WA..

Daniel

Is there any hint or rumour of the requirement to take an on-arrival PCR test in Singapore being reduced from $125 or changed to an ART?
Thanks!

Daniel

Oh no that’s so far away! Thanks for replying though 🙂

John Cheng

Is it a requirement for us to stay in Singapore for 14 days before travelling to Melbourne? I assume with this news, we can enter Melbourne from any VTL approved destination and then fly back to Singapore via a VTL flight?

TS77

Hopefully Singapore will make BA16 a VTL flight when we are allowed to fly.

asprino

What happen if we test positive in Australia? What are the isolation rules down there?

John

If you test positive with RATs in New South Wales and Victoria, report the results and immediately isolate for 7 days.

Lee

I am always concerned about the ambiguity of “professionally-administered” ART since DA Tele-ART is self administered and I rather spend ~$30 for that peace of mind.

Maybe

Something about visa processing must have been the reason why non-singaporeans were left out before

Argentum

The usual Aussie arrogance and bluster driving the thought that tourists will return whenever the country opens so less downside risk in not having to deal with vetting non-Singaporean visitors are indeed residents of Singapore. There are people with valid visas that would have traveled for family reasons but didn’t get a chance.

Ortloc

The only reason why you think they’re fools is because their decisions have prevented selfish and shallow-minded people from going for a holiday there at the expense of their hospitals and citizens’ health.

It’s also intriguing why you didn’t include leaders of China, Taiwan and Hong Kong in your list.

Ortloc

There is nothing wrong with trying to buy time in the hope of a more targeted vaccine or to flatten out the curve. Every country had closed borders one time or another. You seem to think that you know the ground situation better than the collective leadership of all these countries and territories,combined.

What I still cannot fathom is why you are sooo upset that these countries /territories continue to pursue a zero covid strategy. Perhaps because closed borders deny you the chance to holiday there?

Jonathan Lee

We don’t feel like a fool here living in Perth, on the contrary we feel very fortunate to have a state government acted on the health of its community. And it turned out that action was good for the economy too as our workers stayed working and the people have the confidence going out to theatres, dinners and holidaying in their own State. And as there were restrictions on people coming in the company for once had to look after their employees rather than get cheap labour elsewhere on the pretext we don’t have the skills. Compare to the rest… Read more »

Andrew

@Ortloc this is a foolish comment, those wishing to return are not “selfish and shallow-minded people from going for a holiday”, how dare you. The pain and hurt caused to countless families due to rules which actually prohibit their return. Please do not say insular comments like “you had 2 years”, “you can come back now” because it is far more complicated than that.

Jonathan Lee

We don’t feel like a fool here living in Perth, on the contrary we feel very fortunate to have a state government acted on the health of its community. And it turned out that action was good for the economy too as our workers stayed working and the people have the confidence going out to theatres, dinners and holidaying in their own State. And as there were restrictions on people coming in the company for once had to look after their employees rather than get cheap labour elsewhere on the pretext we don’t have the skills. Compare to the rest… Read more »

Anon

For travellers back into SG via VTL, did the age for the PCR/ART tests change? Wasn’t it exempted for kids 5yo and below previously?

Sean

I intend to travel to Canberra via Sydney.
Do I need to take the on arrival test in Sydney or Canberra or both?

Jeremy

aaro, your article states children below the age of 5 is exempted from PDT to Australia. Is it by actual date of birth or calendar year because Singapore applies calendar year?

Hui Wen

Thanks for this! It is extremely useful as I just booked a pretty last minute flight to Australia for this Friday evening.

One big question – do you know if Australia still requires ETA or any equivalent? They used to require ETA which would be valid for a year, but I tried registering and they seemed to have done away with it. There is also now a Australian Travel Declaration but other than that, I don’t see anything related to visa…

CREDIT CARD SIGN UP BONUSES

Advertisment

Featured Deals

Advertisment

Follow us

7,110FansLike
10,312FollowersFollow

TAGS