Even though the Australian federal government sets the overall policy for entering the country, each state/territory is empowered to set its own rules for on-arrival and post-arrival testing.
It basically means you’re dealing with eight different sets of rules, when talking about travel to Australia.
|🇦🇺 Summary: Australia Testing Requirements|
|Australian Capital Territory||Not required for full vax. travellers||ART (24h)|
|New South Wales||ART (24h)|
-ends from 23 Apr-
|*The Queensland government website states that travellers must take a PCR test if they depart from a country that’s exempt from pre-departure testing requirements. I believe this is a vestigial hangover that was supposed to be removed from 18 April, when Australia ended pre-departure testing for fully vaccinated travellers from all countries.|
In this post, we’ll look at the detailed COVID-19 testing requirements for entering Australia, as well as on-arrival and post-arrival testing obligations.
|Australia Entry Requirements|
Travellers from Singapore simply need to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration within 72 hours of departure. Do note the following instructions:
If you are departing for Australia on or after 18 April, you no longer need to provide a pre-departure COVID test. While the DPD system transitions to these new arrangements you will need to select I am exempt from Australia’s COVID testing requirements in the health section of the DPD. This will produce the outcome confirmation required at check-in.
Don’t be concerned about this outcome – you will be processed as meeting the COVID-19 health requirements for boarding as long as you can show evidence of your COVID-19 vaccination record or acceptable proof that you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons documentation at check-in.
Singaporeans (and nationals of other ETA-eligible countries) must also apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA), which costs A$20 and allows unlimited entries for a 12-month period, capped at 3 months at a time.
ACT, NSW, QLD, SA, VIC
Travellers must take an ART within 24 hours of arrival (SA doesn’t actually specify a timeframe, but 24 hours should be safe), and isolate until a negative result is received. However, since self-administered ARTs are acceptable, you could bring along an ART kit and essentially finish isolation within 15 minutes of landing.
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.
Four of the kits sold in Singapore pharmacies are approved in Australia, namely:
- Abbott Panbio COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test
- Flowflex SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test
- Hangzhou Alltest SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Rapid Test
- SD Biosensor SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Self Test Nasal
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).
For further details, refer to the posts below:
- Western Australia drops on-arrival COVID-19 test requirement
- South Australia downgrades on-arrival COVID-19 test from PCR to ART
What if you’re transiting between states with different requirements?
If you’re transiting between states with different requirements, you should follow the rules of your final destination. This is provided your transit does not exceed the testing window allowance.
If you’re landing in a state/territory that does not require on-arrival testing (e.g. NT) but subsequently travelling to a different state, take note that additional testing may be required.
- NT to ACT: ART within 24 hours, if overseas in the past 7 days
- NT to NSW: No testing required
- NT to Queensland: ART within 24h, if overseas in past 14 days
- NT to SA: No testing required
- NT to Tasmania: No testing required
- NT to Victoria: ART within 24h, if overseas in past 14 days
- NT to Western Australia: No testing required
While certain states previously had post-arrival testing requirements (e.g. NT required travellers to take further ARTs on Days 3 and 6), these have all been eliminated for now.
Returning to Singapore
Fully vaccinated travellers can enter Singapore under the Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) without quarantine or on-arrival testing.
|✔️ Vaccinated Travel Framework|
& Unvax. Aged 12 and Below
|*Children aged 2 or under in the current calendar year are exempt. Exemptions may apply for recently recovered travellers who are fully vaccinated|
They are merely required to take a pre-departure ART or PCR test within 2 days of departure to Singapore. For Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents and Long Term Passholders, this can be a remotely-supervised tele-ART.
For the full details on VTF travel, refer to the post below.
Australia has scrapped pre-departure testing for all fully vaccinated travellers, making the arrivals process fairly straightforward. Some states are retaining on-arrival testing for now, but all requirements can be satisfied with a simple self-administered ART, meaning minimal isolation time (if any).
I anticipate that on-arrival test requirements will be further eased or removed over the next few weeks and months.