As many of our readers will know, international travel to Adelaide in South Australia has been one of the more arduous ways to enter the country over the course of the last few months, with the state holding out as the only one still requiring arriving travellers to undergo a COVID-19 test after they land.
While pre-departure testing for travel to Australia was a federal government remit, removed for all arrivals in April this year, on-arrival testing was a decision for individual states to regulate, which led to a confusing mishmash of requirements across the country depending on which city you landed into.
South Australia first reopened to fully vaccinated travellers quarantine-free on 3rd January 2022, though this involved pre-departure and on-arrival PCR testing.
From 18th April until 31st August this year, South Australia required all international arriving travellers to complete a self-swab antigen rapid test (ART or “RAT” as they are called in Australia), or a PCR test, and quarantine until the test had been taken.
That was a welcome downgrade from a mandatory (but free) clinic-based PCR test, but now there’s more good news from the state.
South Australia on-arrival testing scrapped
If you arrive in South Australia from overseas from 1st September 2022, it will no longer be necessary to take a COVID-19 test on arrival, completely removing this requirement.
South Australia also removed its mask mandate and QR code check-in requirement for residents and visitors, effective from 15th April 2022.
This on-arrival test relaxation means South Australia finally follows the same policy as all other Australian states, and comes two months after the Australian federal government scrapped all COVID-19 border restrictions.
Pre-departure testing had already been axed in April 2022, but this latest relaxation means you also no longer need to declare your COVID-19 vaccination status nor complete a Digital Passenger Declaration when entering the country.
With no more testing in South Australia, and no more vaccination or testing requirements for travellers entering Singapore, this essentially makes international travel to and from Australia a completely pre-COVID experience, regardless of which city you’re touching down in or departing from.
Singapore – Adelaide flights
Singapore Airlines currently serves Adelaide five times per week using two-class Airbus A350 Medium Haul aircraft, featuring the 2018 Regional Business Class cabin.
Services are being increased to daily from November 2022, with the following schedule in effect for the northern winter season (i.e. summertime in Australia) from November 2022 to March 2023:
- SQ279 SIN-ADL 23:40-09:05 (+1)
- SQ278 ADL-SIN 10:35-15:10
This represents 2,121 seats per week in each direction on the route, though this is still only around 64% of pre-COVID capacity, when the airline was using the same aircraft type to operate 11 weekly flights in each direction (based on January 2020).
On-board mask wearing relaxed
Since 28th August 2022, it has no longer been compulsory to wear a mask on board Singapore Airlines flights from Australia to Singapore, though for the time being this requirement is still in force when travelling to Australia.
Hopefully this mandate will soon be relaxed, for a completely pre-COVID experience in both directions.
Additionally, there is no longer any requirement to wear masks at Australian airports or at Singapore Changi Airport.
The last remaining on-arrival COVID-19 test in Australia, enforced for those touching down in Adelaide, has been scrapped, effective from today.
It took a couple of months longer than the most recent state, Queensland, but finally it means that a pre-COVID travel experience is in store for those heading to Australia, where you’re free to get on with your trip as soon as you step out of the airport, regardless of which city you have landed in.
That’s finally some welcome consistency for all travellers, probably for the first time since Australia reopened its borders!
(Cover Photo: Airborne Media)