Take a look at this week’s passenger cap and travel update for Australia



On 8th January 2021, the Australian National Cabinet met to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response and the management of Australia’s borders in the context of the emergence of new variants. Effective immediately:


International travellers

  • ALL passengers travelling to Australia (including returning Australians) must be tested for COVID-19 72 hours or less prior to departure, and display evidence of a negative test result.
  • PCR testing is required.
  • Exemptions from this requirement may be available in extenuating circumstances (including use of rapid antigen testing in rare cases).
  • Members of a travelling party who have been close contacts (e.g. household contacts) of a traveller 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.
  • Air crew must take a COVID-19 test every 7 days or on arrival in Australia, continue to quarantine in dedicated quarantine facilities between international flights or for 14 days, and not reposition for an outgoing international flight unless they do so on a crew-only flight.
  • ALL passengers and air crew must wear masks on flights and in airports.
  • Airlines will continue to have appropriate infection prevention and control measures on board aircraft, including crew wearing personal protective equipment where appropriate.


From 15th January, international passenger caps in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia will be temporarily halved to manage the flow of returning Australians and other travellers who have been potentially exposed to the new variants. Current international passenger caps in Victoria and South Australia and arrangements in the Northern Territory are considered manageable and will remain in place.

Arrangements on international passenger caps will be reviewed by National Cabinet in early February.


Domestic travellers

  • ALL passengers, excluding children 12 and under or those with particular exemptions, and air crew must wear masks on flights and in airports.
  • These measures will also be applied to government facilitated commercial flights which already have in place strong mitigating measures for passengers and facilities.