Western Australia has become the second state in the country served by direct international flights to scrap its requirement for fully vaccinated travellers to take an on-arrival COVID-19 test when arriving from overseas, while also lifting the condition for those coming from interstate.
No isolation will therefore be required when you land in Perth, so you can get on with your trip immediately.
This move comes four days ahead of a general lifting of pre-departure test requirements for all fully vaccinated travellers heading to Australia from overseas, which takes effect on 18th April 2022, and will further simplify trips, with those heading to Perth and back from Singapore soon only requiring a single test before their flight home.
This leaves New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria as the only states imposing mandatory on-arrival testing for international travellers, though in most cases this is a self-administered antigen test you can perform quickly and easily.
On-arrival testing is being scrapped
If you arrived in Western Australia from overseas or interstate on or before 13th April 2022, you were provided with a free antigen test kit and you were required to take a test within 12 hours and isolate until a negative result had been obtained.
Effective from 14th April 2022, it will no longer be a requirement to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on arrival in Western Australia, provided you are fully vaccinated in line with the following requirements:
- International travellers: Primary course of an approved vaccination completed at least seven days prior to arrival (i.e. two doses, or a single dose of J&J)
- Interstate travellers: Triple dose vaccinated against COVID-19, if eligible (or double dose vaccinated if not eligible for a third dose)
Free RAT kits will still be available for all travellers arriving into Western Australia through Perth Airport in the arrivals area, as they were when the mandatory arrival testing requirement still stood.
Travellers are encouraged to make use of the free test kits and must register any positive result with the Department of Health if they do so, but taking a test is no longer mandatory.
Pre-departure testing is also being scrapped
Western Australia’s relaxation of on-arrival testing this week comes ahead of a wider national removal of the Commonwealth Government requirement for a pre-departure test for fully vaccinated travellers heading to Australia from overseas.
This test will no longer be required from 18th April 2022, as Australia ends its biosecurity emergency period, which has been in effect for the last two years.
Perth arrival process
Here’s how the process now looks for travellers to fly internationally into Perth from Singapore, or from other countries with direct flights.
- Take a pre-departure test before travelling to Australia (only until 18th April 2022)
- Meet Commonwealth Government requirements (eVisa) to enter Australia
- Be fully vaccinated under the Commonwealth Government requirements
- Complete the Digital Passenger Declaration within 72 hours of departure
- Hold a current G2G Pass
See the latest full list of requirements for international travellers arriving in Western Australia here.
On-arrival testing in other states
Despite a relaxation in Western Australia, four other Australian states still enforce on-arrival testing at the time of writing.
You can therefore still expect to have to comply with the following requirements on arrival, depending on your entry point in Australia.
|State / City||On-arrival testing|
|Test Type||Test Deadline|
|New South Wales
|ART||Within 24 hours|
Brisbane, Cairns, Gold Coast
|ART||Within 24 hours|
|PCR||Within 24 hours
(ART from 18 April)
|ART||Within 24 hours|
In the case of ART tests, these are self-swabs using rapid antigen kits approved for use in Australia. Note that these are referred to as “RATs” in Australia.
In all cases you must self-isolate at home or in suitable accommodation (e.g. hotel room) until a negative test result is received, with the exception of South Australia, where you only need to isolate until your PCR test is taken.
Hopefully this move by Western Australia and the upcoming removal of pre-departure testing will encourage these states to follow suit and drop on-arrival testing in the weeks ahead.
What about the ACT and Tasmania?
There are currently no international flights to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) or Tasmania, so you will have to fly to another city (probably Melbourne or Sydney), then follow the relevant state entry requirements for testing and isolation, then take a domestic flight to Canberra or Tasmania, with no further testing required.
If you did not undergo an on-arrival test in a different state before travelling to the ACT (e.g. in Perth), you must take an ART test on arrival there, within 24 hours.
Singapore – Perth testing costs
With Singapore having adopted its simplified Vaccinated Travel Framework (VTF) process for fully vaccinated arriving travellers, and Western Australia dropping its on-arrival test requirement, there are now only two COVID-19 tests involved on a round-trip.
That requirement will drop to a single test before departing back to Singapore from 18th April, when Australia removes its pre-departure test requirement.
Here are the estimated testing costs per fully vaccinated traveller for a Singapore – Perth – Singapore trip example, based on the new testing requirements from 18th April 2022, once pre-departure testing has also been dropped.
|Perth pre-departure (ART)||~S$17*|
* Based on a S$12 Tele-ART test with a provider based in Singapore, plus S$5 for your own approved test kit
Singapore is also set to drop this pre-departure test requirement for inbound travellers (i.e. those returning from Perth in this case) in the coming weeks, which would completely remove all testing requirements in both directions for a trip like this.
Let’s hope for some good news on that front soon, since it would bring Perth trips almost completely back to the pre-COVID process.
In the meantime, travellers now have the option of taking a self-swab Video ART in Australia with a provider based in Singapore to satisfy the pre-departure test requirement within two days of heading back to Changi, starting from just S$9 (though most still charge from around S$12), plus the cost of an approved test kit.
Western Australia’s scrapping of mandatory on-arrival testing for fully vaccinated international and interstate travellers comes just four days before pre-departure testing for all overseas travellers flying to Australia is dropped, allowing for much simpler trips.
This move will hopefully be followed by the four other states still imposing on-arrival testing, for a more streamlined process regardless of where in the country you are heading.
Meanwhile from 18th April 2022, those travelling from Singapore to Perth and back will only face a single COVID-19 test before the trip home, which can be completed as a convenient supervised Tele-ART at relatively low cost.
(Cover Photo: Shutterstock)