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, 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.

What to expect when travelling

It may feel like a rare occurrence to see a plane in the sky at the moment, but each day there are still hundreds of flights taking off and landing across the country. 
So how are major operations like airports and hotels operating under strict COVID-19 regulations and limitations? Are the airports really ghost towns? Can you access airline lounges? How clean are hotel rooms? 
We were curious about all of this and more, so we booked General Manager Flight Centre Business Travel Tom Walley a ticket, got him to jump on a plane and film the trip so you can have a front-row seat and experience what it’s like to fly in a COVID-19 world. So grab some snacks, buckle up and take off with us as we fly from Brisbane to Adelaide and back again!


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.

Travel restrictions and rules

Interstate Travel Restrictions

Last updated - November 24 2020.

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

  • Residents free to travel around state
  • Border to Victoria opening on 1 December
  • WA, QLD, TAS, NT, NSW, ACT can enter SA with a Cross Border Travel Registration
  • Residents free to travel around state
  • Border to South Australia remains closed
  • Border opening to Sydney and Victoria from December 1
  • Travellers from all other states can enter QLD
  • Border declaration required for all travellers
  • Residents free to travel around state, except to remote Aboriginal communities
  • Borders open to QLD, NT, TAS, ACT
  • Travellers from SA, NSW & VIC required to quarantine for 14 days
  • All travellers must apply for a G2G Pass declaration


  • Residents free to travel around state, however number restrictions in homes & public venues apply
  • Borders open to travellers from all other states
  • Face masks strongly encouraged
  • Residents free to travel around the state
  • Mandatory 14-day quarantine at own cost for travellers arriving from declared hotspots (currently Melbourne only)
  • All travellers must complete a border entry form
  • Residents free to travel around state and into NSW
  • Mandatory 14-day quarantine for travellers from Victoria
  • Residents strongly urged not to travel to hotspot areas in NSW
  • Face masks strongly encouraged


  • Residents free to travel around state
  • Travellers from Victoria & South Australia are required to quarantine on arrival
  • Victorian travellers no longer required to quarantine from November 27
  • Travellers from the ACT, NSW, QLD, WA, NT & NZ may enter the state without quarantining.
  • Mandatory health check for all arrivals & Good to Go App must be used for entry
  • Melbourne and regional Victoria have moved to Third Step in the pathway to COVID Normal with easing of restrictions.
  • Face masks are mandatory in public across the state
  • No permit or approval is required to enter Victoria from another state, but SA is now a declared hot spot with extra measures in place for arrivals, but not a blanket quarantine


International Travel Restrictions

Last updated - October 28 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

For all the latest traveller updates and information click here.

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: 30 July 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.

Details of quarantine changes for international arrivals
Posted on: 14 July 2020

The New South Wales 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.

For more information on this topic click here

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.