Important Travel Update

11 January, 2021, 10.17am
The Queensland Government announced its 3-day lockdown will end at the planned time of 6pm January 11, with some restrictions such as mask use to continue. Other states and territories are yet to announce changes to current restrictions in place for travel to QLD and restrictions remain in place for travel to and from NSW & VIC.
If you are travelling in the next 48 hours and would like to discuss your booking, please contact your personal travel adviser or nearest Travel Associates office immediately. If you cannot get through to your adviser for whatever reason, please call 24/7 Emergency Assistance on 1300 135 177
For more information on Interstate Travel Restrictions please see below on this page to obtain the latest information for those travelling to, and from NSW.
If you are travelling to or from QLD, NSW and VIC it is important to remain up to date around the evolving quarantine and lockdown rules which may have changed as the situation develops. For the latest updates on each state, see below.


When Can We Travel Again?

There have been many proposed timelines by industry and government bodies, however, these timelines should be viewed as a guide only, and will be reliant on the Australian Government opening up the borders for citizens and permanent residents to travel freely.
The proposed 'Trans-Tasman travel bubble', which would allow travellers from Australia and New Zealand to move freely between the two nations, is being gradually rolled out with New Zealanders now allowed to travel to NSW, SA and the NT without the need for quarantining. 

At the current time, it appears international travel may not resume until sometime in 2021. For the latest travel advice please visit Smartraveller and the World Health Organisation.

For more information on domestic travel restrictions and border openings head here.

Travel Restrictions and Rules

Interstate Travel Restrictions

Last updated -  January 11 2021

If travelling interstate, check the below quarantine and self-isolation government requirements for each individual state in the drop downs below.

  • Tasmania has declared Greater Brisbane a high risk area, travel is not permitted from high risk areas without a specially granted exemption, effectively banning all travel from the area.
  • Travellers arriving in Tasmania from January 8 who have been in the Greater Brisbane area since 2 January will need to immediately quarantine for up to 14 days.
  • Travellers without a suitable premise to isolate in will be placed into a Government quarantine hotel.
  • Borders open to all states without quarantine except those from NSW & Victoria
  • Travellers who have been in identified hotspots in NSW & Victoria must apply for an exemption, and those already in Tasmania must self-quarantine and call the public health hotline.
  • All travellers must register travel via the Tas e-Travel system. 


  • South Australia has declared Greater Brisbane a hotspot. Anyone who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since January 2 must have mandatory Covid testing in SA and any travellers entering SA from midnight January 8 will be required to be tested and quarantine for two weeks. These travellers will be required to take three tests in total: “Day one, five and 12 testing”.
  • All travellers must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration
  • Borders open to all states except for NSW
  • As of 12:01am 1 January South Australia’s borders are closed to NSW, and essential travellers must apply for an exception
  • Greater Brisbane will end its 3-day lockdown at the planned time of  6 pm EST Monday 11 January, 2021 with mask use to continue until 22 January.
  • Travellers who have been in Greater Brisbane since Jan 2, will need to continue to follow the same restrictions as people remaining in the area, meaning they need to follow the mask use directive.
  • Travellers from Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Logan and the Redlands regions may return to their home and people in these areas who have travel plans over the lockdown period are urged to reconsider their need for travel and stay home. An outright ban on interstate and intrastate travel during the lockdown hasn't been explicitly announced but this could be updated.
  • The Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast region are not included in the lockdown, however, anyone who visited Brisbane from January 2 is urged to isolate for the lockdown period.
  • Mask wearing is mandatory in public spaces from the beginning of the lockdown.
  • Borders open to all states without quarantine or border declaration, except NSW
  • Travellers in QLD who have been in Victoria since 21 December should get tested and quarantine until they have a negative result. From 4 January they are barred from visiting QLD hospitals, aged care facilities and disability accommodation facilities.
  • All travellers from NSW must complete a border declaration form
  • Border to QLD is closed to Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong.
  • Travellers arriving from the NSW hotspots must apply for an exemption, and if granted, enter hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense. Returning residents must declare themselves at the border and are allowed to quarantine in their own homes.
  • Travellers from NSW who have been in Greater Brisbane since January 2 must isolate until 7pm EDT Monday, January 11
  • The Northern Beaches and surrounding areas lockdown period has now finished and residents are free to travel.
  • Residents of Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains must wear a mask in certain indoor settings.
  • Borders open to travellers from all other states
  • Travellers from the ACT who have been in Greater Brisbane since January 2 must isolate for 14 days from the time they were last in the area.
  • ACT residents in Brisbane are to remain in Brisbane during the lockdown unless absolutely necessary to return. Those who do return will need to fill out a declaration form before travelling and quarantine upon return.
  • Borders open to all states except for declared hot spot areas in Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong.
  • ACT residents who have been in an affected area must complete an online declaration, and self-quarantine for 14 days. 
  • Non-ACT residents are advised not to travel unless they hold an exemption
  • Travellers from Victoria who have been in Greater Brisbane since January 2 must get tested and isolate until Monday January 11, when a further assessment will be made.
  • Victorian residents in Brisbane are to remain in Brisbane during the lockdown unless absolutely necessary to return and those with travel plans to Brisbane should cancel.
  • Borders open to all states without quarantine or permit, except NSW.
  • From 11:59pm 1 January Victoria’s border is closed to all of NSW.
  • Face masks are mandatory indoors, and number restrictions apply to venues and to the number of visitors to a private home
  • Travellers from QLD will not be permitted into WA from midnight January 8 unless they have an exemption for the lockdown period and afterwards until any change is announced.
  • Residents free to travel around state, except to remote Aboriginal communities
  • Border now closed to NSW and Victoria, unless travellers hold an exemption.
  • Borders open to all other states without quarantine
  • All travellers must apply for a G2G Pass declaration
  • Residents free to travel around the state
  • The NT has revoked its Greater Brisbane hotspot declaration, travellers will no longer have to undergo mandatory quarantine upon arrival in the NT.
  • All travellers already in the NT who have been in Brisbane since January 2 are encouraged to self isolate and get tested immediately.
  • Greater Sydney has been declared a Covid hotspot. Anyone travelling from this area must undertake 14 days of supervised quarantine in either Alice Springs or Darwin, at a cost of $2500 per person.
  • Borders open to all other states without quarantine.
  • Travellers must complete a border entry form.

International Travel Restrictions

Last updated - October 29 2020

  • Australia’s borders are currently closed
  • International travel is currently banned for Australian citizens & permanent residents without an exemption
  • Temporary visa holders & visitors do not require exemption to leave Australia, but will need one to return
  • All arrivals into Australia are required to pay for their own government-directed quarantine, except for those arriving from New Zealand who don’t need to quarantine as part of the ‘Trans Tasman travel bubble’ agreement. 

Travel Updates

International Travel Update - Arrivals Halved, Masks & Testing Mandatory
Posted on: 8 January 2021

The Federal government announced on January 8, 2021 they will be introducing new caps on international arrivals in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, lasting until at least February 15, 2021.

In New South Wales there will be a weekly cap of 1,505, in Queensland there will be a cap of 500, and in Western Australia the cap will be at 512 arrivals.

There will be no change to the number of arrivals into Victoria, as they are already operating at less than 50% of current capacity. There is also no change to arrivals into South Australia, the ACT, the Northern Territory or Tasmania. The new caps will be rolled out in the week following the announcement.

They also announced that wearing masks will be mandatory for passengers and crew on all international flights. The government has advised that passengers should wear masks while in international airports and for the duration of the flight.

Finally travellers from the United Kingdom will be subject to rapid testing before they board flights to Australia. They must return a negative Covid-19 test result prior to departure to Australia. There will be exemptions in extenuating circumstances.

Federal Government Announces Mandatory Facemasks For All Air Travel
Posted on: 8 January 2021

The Federal government announced on January 8, 2021 they will be introducing a new infection prevention and control mandate for domestic and international flights.

All passengers and crew will be required to wear facemasks in international and Australian airports and also while flying, excluding children 12 and under, and those with other accepted exemptions.

Crew will also be required to wear masks and other personal protective equipment and airlines will be required to have appropriate infection prevention and control measures onboard. International air crew will be newly required to undergo Covid-19 testing in Australia every seven days or on arrival as determined by the state governments.

The new measures and compliance arrangements are expected to be rolled out over the course of the following week and will be put in place by the federal and state governments.

QLD announces 3-day lockdown as Federal Government declares Brisbane hotspot
Posted on: 8 January 2021

Australian states and territories have been quick to reimpose border restrictions on people travelling out of Greater Brisbane in response to the state announcing a 3-day lockdown and the Prime Minister declaring the region a hotspot at a federal level.

If you are travelling in the next 48 hours and would like to discuss your booking, please contact your personal travel adviser or nearest Travel Associates office immediately. If you cannot get through to your adviser for whatever reason, please call 24/7 Emergency Assistance on 1300 135 177

Our Travel Updates page here has all of the most up to date information on each state’s border updates for those travelling to, and from Queensland.

It is important to remain up to date around the evolving quarantine and lockdown rules when travelling to and from Queensland, which may have changed as the situation develops.

States impose border restrictions and bans on NSW
Posted on: 18 December 2020

States and territories have been quick to reimpose border restrictions on people travelling out of  New South Wales in response to the state’s growing coronavirus outbreak.

Customers travelling in the next 48 hours who wish to manage their booking can do so here.

Our Travel Updates page here has all of the most up to date information on each state’s border updates for those travelling to, and from NSW.

For those travelling to NSW are urged to be mindful that upon returning, the quarantine rules may have changed for your home state, as the situation in NSW develops.

Cap On Returning Australian Travellers Eased
Posted on: 23 September 2020

PM Scott Morrison has announced an easing of the cap on international arrivals to help Australians stuck overseas. From this Friday, September 25, the cap will be raised from 4,000 to almost 6,000 to support Australians returning home.

The Government wants to see WA, Queensland and NSW each accept an additional 500 travellers a week, while South Australia has already agreed to lift its weekly capacity for international travellers by 360. The ACT, NT and Tasmania have all been asked to assess their capacity for hosting returned travellers.

“Another way we’ll be able to help more Australians get home is that we’re working to ensure that New Zealanders can come to Australia, and Australians can return from New Zealand without the need to go through quarantine if they’re not coming from an area where there is an outbreak of COVID-19,” Morrison said.

United Arab Emirates travel update
Posted on: 4 August 2020

From 1 August 2020, all travellers wishing to transit or enter the United Arab Emirates (UAE), will be required to show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result issued within four days of the traveller’s scheduled travel date. The safety measure was announced on 24 July by the UAE Government to keep all passengers and citizens safe and healthy.

Both Emirates and Etihad Airlines have informed Flight Centre that they will only accept COVID 19 tests from Pure Health testing clinics (or their representatives) in Australia. Each test costs $153 per person and is mandatory for all passengers.

Pure Health clinics will provide the test results in a format that the UAE Government will accept, and will guarantee a test result within 48 -72 hours. Please click the link below and follow the prompts to locate your nearest approved clinic: COVID 19 Screening Registration.

Passengers who do not have an approved negative test result from a Pure Health Test Clinic, and who attempt to board a flight to the UAE, will be denied boarding.

For more information click here

NSW Releases Details of Quarantine Charges for International Arrivals
Posted on: 14 July 2020

The NSW Government has released the details of it's plan to charge arriving international travellers for their own quarantine accommodation costs from 12:01am Saturday, 18 July.

Customers who purchased their flights before 11:59pm 12 July AEST will be excluded from quarantine fees, however these travellers will still be required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation for 14 days.

Federal Government Places Limit on International Arrivals
Posted on: 14 July 2020

To limit the risk of further Coronavirus outbreaks, to protect the community and reduce strain on the hotel quarantine process in Australia, the Federal Government will limit the number of international arrivals into Australia to 4,000 per day from Monday 13 July 2020.

The Government has also indicated that passengers arriving into Australia will be responsible for the cost of their own hotel quarantine, however this is the decision of the individual State Government and will be communicated once plans are confirmed.

This is already in place in Queensland, and just announced for NSW to come into effect from 12.01am Saturday 18 July 2020.

We recommend that customers check their State Govt. websites for more details before travelling or returning to Australia.

What to expect when travelling


Entry conditions, forms and quarantine requirements for all states can be found: 
To learn more about the current restrictions in each state or territory:
If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions, unless you have an exemption. You can apply for an exemption online through Home Affairs but you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
  • your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid 
  • your travel is essential for your business/employer
  • you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
  • you are travelling outside Australia for three months or longer
  • you are travelling on compassionate or humanitarian grounds 
  • your travel is in the national interest.
You must provide evidence to support your claims, and more information on this can be found on the Home Affairs website: click here
Online application form: click here
If you are granted a travel exemption, you will need to take evidence of that exemption decision to the airport.

Personal Safety

Contact details and websites of the local state and territory health departments can be found here: click here
If you are feeling unwell or displaying any symptoms associated with COVID-19, do not go to the airport. Seek medical advice and talk to your travel agent about deferring your travel plans.
Hygiene recommendations from the Department of Health include:
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and water 
  • covering coughs and sneezes
  • avoid touching your face
  • maintain social distance
  • avoid contact with people who are unwell
Further information can be found here: click here

Wearing a face mask is not mandatory within airport terminals (except for in Victoria where everyone must wear a mask when they leave home, unless an exception applies. This is enforceable across regional Victoria from 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August), but you are encouraged to do so. Airlines maintain various requirements around the use of face masks and provision of evidence of negative COVID test results while travellers are in transit and when arriving at the final destination aligning with border controls. Some airlines are providing complimentary face masks which they encourage passengers to wear, while others are not.

This information is subject to change without notice, we recommend you familiarise yourself with the relevant airline and government policies at the time of booking and again immediately before travel.

Yes, although there are still restrictions on the amount of liquid you can carry on international* flights which is a maximum of 150ml.

*Australia has strict border measures in place. As a result very limited flights are currently available to and from Australia to those with travel exemptions.

Airline & Airport Safety

Australian airlines are committed to safe travel by:
  • Encouraging the use of the COVIDSafe app.
  • Enhanced ‘gate-screening’ processes to identify symptoms of concern displayed by any boarding passenger.
  • Staggering the boarding process.
  • Spacing of passengers where possible.
  • Enhanced cleaning and hygiene measures.
Additionally, some airlines are:
  • Providing onboard PPE kits and encouraging the use of face masks inflight.
  • Reducing cabin service, minimising interactions.
  • Providing onboard sanitation stations and the provision of anti-bacterial wipes for passenger use. 
  • Implementing new procedures to isolate any passenger who becomes sick during the flight.
Airports around the country have implemented new safety measures including:
  • Encouraging the use of the COVIDSafe app
  • Encouraging social distancing where possible, in terminal, kerbside, in car parks and on transfer buses, including installing floor markings and bollards where practical
  • Free sanitation stations at terminal entry points, screening locations, on transfer buses and at boarding gates
  • Increasing cleaning schedules and touch point sanitation with hospital grade disinfectant in terminal, on transfer buses and in car parks
  • Trolley wipe stations installed in car parks and trolley stations
  • Sharing hygiene and social distancing reminders via static and digital signage and PAs in terminals, car parks and buses
  • Encouraging meeters and greeters and non-travellers to not enter the terminals, where practical
  • Providing protective sneeze screens and PPE for front line staff where practical
  • Providing additional hygiene training for staff and contractors.
Something to consider when flying is that throughout several of  the country’s airports, many food and retail outlets are also temporarily closed.
For information on each airport’s COVID-19 measures visit: 

Health advice continues to recommend that healthy people in the community do not need to wear masks, while the rate of community transmission of COVID-19 is low. For instance Brisbane Airport continues to follow the advice of Queensland Health and as such, while staff are welcome to wear face masks and PPE at BNE, this is not currently a mandatory requirement.

The airport security screening process remains the same, however travellers are encouraged to practice social distancing where possible and use the sanitation stations and sanitation wipes made available at each screening point for hands and trays. Travellers are welcome to carry their own hand sanitiser on board however there are still restrictions on the amount of liquid you can carry on international flights which is a maximum of 150ml.

While some domestic airports have chosen to implement temperature checks, there has been no recommendations or directives by health authorities to do so, as temperature checking does not guarantee the absence of someone carrying the virus. While temperature checking will not be mandatory for domestic passengers at all airports, you may notice some temperature check stations around the terminals. These have been implemented by individual organisations, separate to the airport, as part of their COVID Safe plan.

Important Travel Advisory:  When travelling you need to ensure you meet the current COVID-19 travel regulations and advisories for your departure point, destination, and any transit points prior to booking. All information on this page has been sourced from the following government and industry bodies, which you can also visit: IATA COVID-19 Travel Regulations Map, Smart Traveller and Australian Home Affairs.