Things to keep in mind when travelling to New South Wales
As the Omicron variant surged across Australia, state governments have modified domestic and international travel rules.
While some brought back restrictions that were introduced two years ago in response to the rapid rise in case numbers, many states have relaxed border restrictions after reaching their vaccination targets.
Many domestic travellers are now required to only submit rapid antigen test (RAT) results instead of the invasive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. In addition, rules on vaccination requirements and quarantine periods have changed as COVID-19 infections spike across the country. Here’s a rundown of the current travel requirements to, from, and within New South Wales.
You are allowed to travel anywhere in NSW, with no restrictions on movement between Greater Sydney and regional NSW.
You are no longer required to show proof of your vaccination status unless you are at the airport, you work in certain industries, or you are in NSW to attend a music festival with a crowd of more than 1,000.
Travel to New South Wales is restricted only when NSW Health issues a concern notice identifying interstate areas as:
- An affected area
- An area of concern
- A place of high concern.
As of the publication date of this article, there is no notice in effect.
Residents within the border region are no longer required to submit a declaration form to enter NSW as long as they stay within the border region after entering the state.
Travelling to other states and territories
When exiting NSW, travellers must abide by the restrictions of the state or territory they are entering.
Transiting through NSW to another Australian state or territory
Australian states and territories have different quarantine rules. For example, some require a permit to travel across borders from NSW or complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Check the website of the state or territory you wish to enter.
Travellers who are fully vaccinated
All fully vaccinated international travellers, including flight crew, must do the following upon arrival at New South Wales:
- Get a RAT test and isolate until you get a negative result.
- Get a second test on the 6th day after arrival.
All passengers should monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 during the first 2 weeks after they arrive in New South Wales. This is because it can take up to 14 days from the time of infection for symptoms to develop. If symptoms occur, get another RAT.
For at least 7 days after you arrive in NSW, you are not allowed to go to facilities for aged care, health care, disability care, or prison.
Passengers who have yet to get tested on the 6th day of their arrival should not enter any high-risk settings up to 14 days since their arrival.
If you are positive in a RAT or PCR test, you must self-isolate for at least 7 days. Since you are considered a confirmed case of COVID-19, you must follow the advice of NSW Health in managing COVID-19 safely at home or in quarantine.
Travellers who are not fully vaccinated
International passengers who are not fully vaccinated must spend seven days in hotel quarantine in NSW.
Children under 12 years of age and not fully vaccinated should not attend school or childcare for at least 7 days since arrival. They must also have a negative result from their Day 6 test.
Transiting through NSW to another country
International passengers who are transiting through NSW can depart on their next flight without an exemption if transit time is less than 8 hours. You can stay ‘airside’ – meaning within the transit zone. Your bags must also be checked through to your next destination.
If you go through immigration, you will need to apply for an exemption before continuing your journey to another country. If your departure flight is between 8 to 72 hours after arriving in NSW, you will need to apply for an exemption and stay in hotel quarantine until your next flight.
You must take a RAT within 24 hours of your arrival in NSW. After that, you can conduct the rapid antigen test at home. If you test positive, you must register your test result with Service NSW. If you test negative, you do not need to register your test result. You must also get a second test on or after the 6th day after your arrival.
Self-isolation and travelling to your accommodation
Upon arrival, you must travel directly from the airport to your home or hotel accommodation. Then go into self-isolation until you get a negative test result.
“Self-isolation” means staying at your home or hotel accommodation and remaining separated from others even if you are fully vaccinated and not feeling any symptoms. If you are staying with friends or family, they must remain in a separate room at all times.
Please do not use public transportation when travelling from the airport to your home or hotel accommodation. It is highly recommended that you travel in a private vehicle or taxi. You should also follow these travel protocols:
- Wear a face mask at all times.
- Sit at the back seat far from the driver or other passengers.
- Roll down the windows to let air circulate inside the vehicle.
- Sanitise before you get into the vehicle.