Australian High Commission
United Kingdom
Australia House, London

11 January 2021 - Update for Australians

Update on measures for returning to Australia

Fact Sheet (As at 11 January 2021)

To enhance end-to-end protection for Australians returning from overseas, National Cabinet adopted new medical advice from the medical expert panel to implement COVID-19 testing for international arrivals. 

Government agencies are currently working with jurisdictions to get these requirements up-and-running with full implementation in the coming weeks. For now, the medical expert panel has published information on the requirements which are: 

  • Passengers travelling to Australia must be tested for COVID-19 72 hours or less prior to departure, and; 
  • display evidence of a negative test result, and;
  • PCR testing is required — NOT rapid testing.

Members of a travelling party who have been close contacts (e.g. household contacts) of a traveler who has a positive test result will also not be allowed to travel to Australia until all members of the party are no longer infectious.

Airlines are receiving advice direct from government agencies and will be best placed to advise further details on testing requirements.

As new variants emerge of COVID-19, National Cabinet has adjusted passenger arrivals temporarily to assist state jurisdictions in their health response. From no later than 15 January 2021 until 15 February 2020, a temporary halving of international passenger arrivals will be in effect for some jurisdictions. The arrival caps for this periods are: 

  • For New South Wales, that will be a weekly cap of 1,505 arrivals.
  • For Victoria, there will be no change and arrivals will remain at 1,120 per week.
  • For Western Australia, that will be a weekly cap of 512 arrivals.
  • For Queensland, that will be a weekly cap of 650 arrivals.
  • For South Australia, there will be no change and arrivals will remain at 490 per week.

Arrangements for arrivals to the ACT and Tasmania will be settled shortly. Facilitated commercial flights will continue in January and February, operating to the Howard Springs Quarantine Facility in the Northern Territory.

We anticipate that there will be a disruption for Australians through the cancellation of commercial services. We are working with airlines to manage the implications of this.