News Qantas Singapore Airlines Travel

Australia drops all COVID-19 border restrictions

You'll no longer need to declare your COVID-19 vaccination status nor complete a Digital Passenger Declaration when entering Australia from 6th July 2022, though Qantas will retain its 'double jab' requirement.

More good news for travel simplicity in the region, with the Government of Australia confirming that it is lifting all COVID-19 border restrictions on Wednesday 6th July 2022, allowing unvaccinated foreign travellers to enter the country and removing the requirement to complete a Digital Passenger Declaration prior to departure.


This marks the end of Australia’s COVID-19 border restrictions, first implemented over two years ago on 20th March 2020, as the pandemic took hold, though national carrier Qantas will continue to insist on all its international passengers being fully vaccinated.

In summary, from 6th July 2022:

  • Passengers travelling to Australia will no longer be required to provide evidence of vaccination.
  • Unvaccinated visa holders, including foreign tourists, will not require a travel exemption.
  • Passengers will not be required to complete the Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD).
  • Passengers departing Australia will not be required to provide evidence of their vaccination status.

Australia started reopening its borders to its own citizens and permanent residents in November 2021, also allowing some other nationalities including Singapore Citizens to enter, with vaccination and testing mandates in place.

Border opening was later expanded to all vaccinated visitors from February 2022, with pre-departure testing eventually ditched in April, though fully vaccinated status has remained a requirement.

Vaccination requirement removed

Under this new border policy, those arriving in Australia from 0.01am (AEST) on Wednesday 6th July 2022 will no longer be required to declare their vaccination status prior to departure.

“The chief medical officer has advised it is no longer necessary for travellers to declare their vaccine status as part of our management of COVID.”

Mark Butler, Australia Health Minister

While unvaccinated Australian citizens have been free to return to the country, unvaccinated foreign travellers have been required to obtain an exemption for specific reasons. This will no longer apply from Wednesday.

Elsewhere in Asia-Pacific there is also no requirement for visitors to be fully vaccinated to make quarantine-free trips to Vietnam (no PDT), the Maldives (no PDT), South Korea (with a PDT), Thailand (with a PDT) or Laos (with a PDT).

Mask-wearing will still be mandated on inbound international flights to Australia. In any event, it also remains a requirement for all inbound and outbound flights from Singapore.

Qantas will retain its vaccine mandate

If you’re travelling to Australia on Qantas, do note that the airline requires all passengers aged 18 or over who are medically eligible to be fully vaccinated, regardless of their nationality, when travelling on its international flights.


Qantas has announced that it will be retaining its current vaccination policy, despite the relaxation by the Australian Government from 6th July, saying it had “no immediate plans” to reverse the vaccination mandate, first implemented in 2021.

If you’re booked to travel on a Qantas aircraft and travelling on an international flight, you’ll need to be fully vaccinated at the time of travel, and provide proof of vaccination at check-in. Read more on Qantas’ vaccination requirements for travel.


That means if you are flying to Australia with Qantas, you’ll still need to be fully vaccinated with at least the primary course of a TGA-approved or recognised vaccine, having received the final dose at least seven days before you travel.

‘No jab, no fly’ will remain the policy for those travelling to Australia on Qantas flights. (Photo: Vismay Bhadra)

The airline recently changed its mask policy for international flights, shifting from a blanket mask mandate on all services to a policy based on the regulations of the destination country (e.g. for Perth – London, mask-wearing is not a requirement, but for Perth – Singapore, it remains).

It will be interesting to see how long Qantas retains its ‘double-jab’ mandate for international passengers, in light of the latest relaxations.

The DPD is dead, for now

In more good news, travellers will no longer be required to complete Australia’s Digital Passenger Declaration (DPD) prior to departure when travelling to the country, if arriving from 0.01am (AEST) on Wednesday 6th July 2022 onwards.

The DPD was announced in September 2021 and launched in February this year, replacing Australia’s passenger arrival form. It requires the vaccination details for each passenger travelling prior to entry, and is verified by check-in staff at the origin airport.


The Australian Government has admitted that the form is difficult to use, leading to this suspension.

“While in time [the DPD] will replace the paper based incoming passenger card, it needs a lot more work to make it user friendly.”

Clare O’Neil, Australia Home Affairs Minister

In future, however, the DPD will be back and should incorporate visa details and customs declarations for all arriving passengers.

Arrival testing in South Australia

If you are arriving into Adelaide on an international flight, you will unfortunately still be subject to the last remaining on-arrival test requirement in Australia, with the state requiring you to:

  • have a RAT (ART) test on arrival and isolate until you receive a negative result
  • monitor your health for COVID-19 symptoms for 14 days after arrival
Travellers touching down in Adelaide on an international flight are still subject to on-arrival testing. (Photo: Norman Hackenberg)

Arrival testing in South Australia is regardless of your vaccination status.

All other Australian states have now ditched mandatory on-arrival testing, with New South Wales and Queensland being the latest pair to remove the requirement.

Singapore – Australia flights

Based on schedules in the first week of August 2022, there are 189 passenger flights per week between Singapore Changi Airport and eight Australian cities, operated by five different airlines.

Singapore – Australia Flights
August 2022

Destination / Airline Total
Adelaide 5/wk A350 MH
Brisbane 21/wk A350 MH
A350 LH
3/wk A330
Cairns 5/wk 737-8 MAX
Darwin 5/wk 737-8 MAX
4/wk A320
Gold Coast 3/wk 787-8
Melbourne 28/wk A350 MH
12/wk 787-9
5/wk A330
6/wk 787-8
Perth 21/wk A350 MH
5/wk A330
7/wk 787-9
Sydney 28/wk A350 MH
7/wk 787-9
10/wk 787-9
Total 189/wk  

This represents around 70% of pre-COVID flight volumes between Singapore and Australia.

Singapore Airlines and SilkAir flew over 3.7 million passengers to and from Australia in 2019, the last full year before the pandemic, making the carrier the third-largest airline for international passenger traffic to and from the country, after Qantas and Jetstar.


Of course there’s nowhere near enough demand simply between Singapore and Australia to justify over 10,000 seats each day – around 2.6 million of the airline’s Australia passengers (70%) were in transit through the carrier’s Changi hub, to and from key connecting points in Europe, India and South East Asia.

70% of SIA passengers flying to and from Australia are in transit through Changi. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)

In late June, Qantas became the second airline to fly the Airbus A380 between Singapore and Australia, with daily Sydney flights also connecting to and from London.




If you’re arriving into Australia on or before 5th July 2022, you must still meet all the relevant vaccination requirements and submit a Digital Passenger Declaration, but from 6th July 2022 onwards both mandates are being scrapped.

That will bring travel to Australia back to the pre-COVID experience, with the small exception of South Australia, which still insists on an arrival test.

However, do note that if you are flying in on Qantas the requirement to be fully vaccinated is not being dropped, with the airline retaining its ‘no jab, no fly’ policy for the time being.

There’s certainly no shortage of options for flying from Singapore to Australia at the moment, with nearly 190 weekly services on offer, around 70% of pre-pandemic capacity.

(Cover Photo: Melbourne Airport)


1 comment

  1. I think would be good to clarify that there is the “Federal” or “Commonwealth” level. They are are the people you see at the airport, Customs and Immigration ie:Border Force, and had dictated the arrival requirements such as the DPD. Their requirements should be checked on
    Then at a second level is the “State” or “Territory” level. Regardless if you’re entering internationally or going interstate, you have to comply by their rules as well. In this case only state left with rules is South Australia. All travellers should check the respective State websites for their latest travel requirements.

Leave a Reply