Information on Border Control Measures in Australia and Singapore and useful links related to COVID-19 (current as of 8 September 2021)

Australia

Exemption for Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents to travel out of the country

International border restrictions are still in place for Australia. Under current procedures, exemptions for Australian citizens and permanent residents to travel out of Australia will have to be submitted to and decided at the discretion of Australian Border Force (ABF). More information on the application for exemption can be found on the Department of Home Affairs’ website at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/leaving-australia. Applicants should include as much details as possible in their applications such as reason for travelling to Singapore, flight itineraries to/from Australia and intended period of stay in Singapore. To further support their case for exemption, applicants should also provide documentary evidence which may include the following, depending on their situation:

  • For compassionate reasons: Medical report from doctor, death certificate, proof of relationship such as birth or marriage certificates.
  • If relocating to Singapore for long-term/employment: Job offer letter or letter of appointment from employer, agreement indicating sale of property/end of lease in Australia or any other proof supporting the claim.
  • For work: Letter from employer or other evidence that applicant is travelling for an essential business reason.
  • For travel for three months or longer: Commonwealth Statutory Declaration, in addition to supporting documents 

Applicants should apply for an exemption at least two weeks, but not more than two months before their planned travel. The majority of travel exemption requests to depart Australia are finalised within 48 hours, but some complex requests may take longer.

As it is the sole prerogative of the relevant Australian authorities to decide on the exemption, we seek your understanding that the High Commission would not be able to assist or appeal on your behalf.

 

Entry into Australia for non-Australian Citizens and Permanent Residents

Non-citizens and permanent residents are not allowed to travel to Australia unless they are in an exempt category or have been granted individual exemption to the current travel restrictions as such being in critical sectors, with critical skills or has compassionate and compelling reasons. More information on the application for exemption can be found on the Department of Home Affairs’ website at https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia.

 

Pre-departure COVID-19 test

A negative COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test result is required for all passengers five years of age or older travelling to or transiting through Australia. The test must be taken 72 hours or less prior to departure. The test result is to be provided to the airline when checking in for flight at departure point.

Masks must be worn on all international flights, including in airports.

The list of MOH-approved COVID-19 test providers in Singapore can be found here

 

Quarantine

An international passenger who has a negative test and enters Australia is still subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days at a designated facility, in their port of arrival (i.e. if flying in via Sydney to Canberra, they will need to quarantine in Sydney before travelling domestically). The cost of the quarantine will be borne by the passenger (generally between A$2800 – A$3000 per pax).

For more information on quarantine such as requirements, payment etc, please refer to https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-restrictions/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-international-travellers or contact the relevant state or territory government health department.

 

Transiting in Australia

Travellers are automatically exempted from Australia’s travel restrictions (and do not have to request for an exemption) if the transit period is 72 hours or less.

If the transit period in Australia is more than 72 hours, the traveller will need to request for an exemption from Australia’s travel restrictions.

For more information, please refer to https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/transiting-australia

 

Return of international students to Australia

Arrangements for the return of international students to Australia will be implemented once it is safe to do so, and in a way which protects the Australia community. Students are advised to check with their universities directly for updates on pilot plans.  The Australian Government has announced a range of visa measures to support students. For more information, please refer to https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/student-visa.

 

Singapore

For the most up-to-date measures for inbound travellers to Singapore, please visit Immigration & Checkpoints Authority’s SafeTravel website at https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg or call the SafeTravel Enquiries Helpline at +65 6812 5555.

 

Returning Singapore Citizens (SC) & Permanent Residents (SPR) from Australia

SCs and SPRs are not required to obtain any approvals to return to Singapore. 

With effect from 9 September 2021, 2359 hrs, SCs, SPRs and Long-Term Pass holders entering Singapore with travel history to Australia within the last 21 days before departure for Singapore, will be subject to the following:

1. Submit Health Declaration to Immigration & Checkpoints Authority via SG Arrival Card within three (3) days prior to date of arrival in Singapore.

2. Take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction Test (PCR) within 48 hours before departure at an internationally accredited or recognised lab/clinic/medical facility (refer to list here) and obtain a copy of the COVID-19 PCR test report that is in English and contains the COVID-19 test results, date of test, traveller’s name and date of birth or passport number.

3. Take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction Test upon arrival in Singapore. The cost of the test is S$160 (inclusive of GST) and will be borne by the traveller. Travellers are advised to register and pre-pay via this link prior to departing for Singapore.

4. Serve a 7-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN) at: 

a) Place of accommodation (A place of residence is deemed suitable for SHN if the travellers have a room to themselves with a dedicated toilet); or 

b) Self-sourced hotel (You can refer to the Singapore Hotel Association website for the list of hotels accepting travellers serving SHN); or

c) Serviced apartment

5. Take a COVID-19 PCR test on Day 7 of SHN 

[Note: Only travellers below 3 years of age in the current calendar year are exempted from having to take a COVID-19 test e.g. PCR test, Antigen Rapid test.] 

More information on the pre-departure and entry process for SCs/SPRs can be found here.

 

Family Members of Singapore Citizens/Permanent Residents

Family members of SCs/SPRs can apply for an Air Travel Pass using the Familial Ties Lane (FTL). This lane caters to both residents and non-residents who need to enter Singapore for one or more of the reasons below:

  • Reunite with immediate family members or spouse-to-be of an SC/PR;
  • Complete formalities for long-term immigration facilities; or
  • Handle family emergencies, e.g. death of family member in Singapore.

The traveller must meet any of the following criteria:

  • An immediate family member or relative of a SC or SPR.
  • A fiancé/fiancée of an SC or SPR;
  • PR In-Principal Approval (IPA) or ICA Long-Term Visit Pass IPA holders seeking to complete formalities for long-term immigration facilities.
  • Adopted child of an SC or SPR with IPA Dependent Pass issued by the Ministry of Social and Family Development
  • Non-Singapore residents who have exceptional reasons for seeking short-term entry into Singapore (e.g. death of a family member in Singapore); or
  • Work Pass holder, existing Student’s Pass (STP) holder, former STP holder entering to fulfil their scholarship obligations, and STP-IPA holders who are immediate family members or relatives of a SC/SPR.

Applicants (either the traveller themselves or an SC/PR sponsor) can apply for entry online via the SafeTravel portal using SingPass. Applications for travel are open between 4 and 64 calendar days before the intended date of entry into Singapore. Any applications submitted less than 4 days from the intended date of entry will not be accepted. Entry approvals granted via the portal are valid for +/- 1 day from the approved date of entry.

Travellers holding a visa-required passport such as China or India must separately obtain a valid visa before departing for Singapore. Travellers may check if they require a visa to enter Singapore here.

Family members travelling under the FTL from Australia will be subject to the same border measures as SCs/SPRs i.e. pre-departure and on-arrival PCR test, 14-day SHN and PCR test before end of SHN.

 

Short-Term Visitors (Foreigners)

With effect from 2 July 2021, 2359 hrs, short-term visitors with travel history to Australia within the last 21 days before departure for Singapore, will not be allowed to enter Singapore.

Short-term visitors who need to travel to Singapore for emergency visits (such as death or critical illness of family member in Singapore) can submit their applications for urgent emergency entry via this enquiry form, selecting "Appeal for entry into Singapore under compassionate reasons" as the enquiry category. Applicants should include the following supporting documents: 

  • Death certificate or any other documents such as proof of death or letter from hospital/doctor indicating critical illness/condition of the immediate family member;
  • Proof of relationship such as birth or marriage certificates;
  • Passport biodata page of traveller. 

Only a maximum of two visitors per case will be considered. Travellers will be subject to the prevailing border measures based on their travel history i.e. i.e. pre-departure and on-arrival PCR test, 14-day SHN and PCR test before end of SHN.

 

Long-Term Pass Holders

Long-Term pass (i.e. Student’s Pass, Work Pass) and In-Principle Approval (IPA) holders must obtain permission for entry from the relevant agencies before travelling to Singapore. For more information, please refer to https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg/arriving/overview.

  

Transit via Singapore

Only passengers travelling with an airline whose transfer route via Singapore has been approved by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) will be allowed to transit/transfer at Singapore Changi Airport. Travellers are advised to confirm arrangements with the airlines they intend to fly with before purchasing their tickets.

All other travellers transiting through Singapore (including Singapore Citizens and PRs) via flight or ferry will need to present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours before departure before they are allowed to board their flight or ferry for travel to Singapore. This pre-departure test requirement also applies to travellers who had travel history to Australia in the past 21 days, and are arriving in Singapore to transit from 2 August 2021, 2359 hours onwards.

Foreign travellers transiting in Singapore will not require entry visas if they can complete their transit by staying within the transit area of Changi Airport (Terminal 1, 2, 3 and 4) without clearing immigration. Some airlines may require travellers to pass through Singapore Immigration to transit as they do not have the necessary transfer facilities in the transit area of the airport. In such cases, the traveller should check the ICA main website on whether they need to apply for an entry visa. 

 

Flights availability between Australia and Singapore

There are direct flights operated by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Scoot from the major cities in Australia (Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney) to Singapore. To access these flights and to make a booking, please go to www.Singaporeair.com or www.flyscoot.com. Due to privacy laws and rules governing commercial transactions and payments, the Singapore High Commission would not be able to assist with flight bookings on your behalf.

 

Before Departure: Health Declaration via the SG Arrival Card (SGAC) e-Service

All travellers to Singapore are required to submit their health declaration to ICA via the SG Arrival Card e-Service at https://eservices.ica.gov.sg/sgarrivalcard/, before arriving in Singapore (up to 3 days prior date of arrival).

 

Useful Links

Australia

Department of Home Affairs: www.homeaffairs.gov.au

StudyAustralia: www.studyinaustralia.gov.au

Australian State and Territory COVID-19 Hotlines and Information Sites

Australian Capital Territory (ACT):  https://www.health.act.gov.au/

New South Wales (NSW): https://health.nsw.gov.au/

Victoria (Vic.): https://dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

Queensland (QLD): https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/

Western Australia (WA): https://www.wa.gov.au/government/coronavirus-covid-19

South Australia (SA): www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/COVID2019

Tasmania (Tas): https://www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au/

Northern Territory (NT): https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/

 

Singapore

Ministry of Health – Updates on COVID-19 situation in Singapore: www.moh.gov.sg/covid-19

SafeTravel Office (ICA) – Updates on Singapore’s border control measure: https://safetravel.ica.gov.sg or call SafeTravel Helpline at +65 6812 5555

Ministry of Foreign Affairs – COVID-19 Travel Restrictions: https://mfa.gov.sg/Services/Singapore-Citizens/COVID-19-Travel-Restrictions

Singapore Global Network – COVID-19 Resource Page: https://www.singaporeglobalnetwork.gov.sg/resources/covid-19

Singapore High Commission in Canberra Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SingaporeHighComCanberra

Travel Page