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Quarantine rules

All international travellers arriving in NSW (other than from New Zealand) are required to enter mandatory quarantine. A quarantine accommodation fee applies.

Updates on NSW border restrictions

From 12.01am Monday, 23 November 2020 if you are entering NSW from Victoria you are no longer required to quarantine.

People in hotel quarantine as of 12:01am on Monday 23 November because they have come from Victoria are not required to complete the mandatory hotel quarantine period unless they have tested positive for COVID-19.

All international travellers arriving in NSW (other than from New Zealand) are required to enter mandatory quarantine. If you are required to quarantine, a quarantine accommodation fee applies.

Quarantine rules and travel from New Zealand

You do not need to enter mandatory quarantine when you fly from New Zealand into NSW.

Public health alert for arrivals from New Zealand

Following a locally acquired case of COVID‑19 in Auckland, all arrivals from New Zealand after 5 November are asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms. If they become unwell they should get tested and isolate, then remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW. 

Read more about this public health alert.

On this page

What the quarantine rules are

Why we need mandatory quarantine

Mandatory quarantine of relevant travellers is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in NSW. 

The quarantine fees will reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 on NSW taxpayers.

Under public health orders, people who arrive in Sydney from overseas or by vessel from another port outside of NSW (other than travellers flying from New Zealand) must enter into quarantine in a designated accommodation facility for 14 days.

Quarantine applies to all overseas travellers, other than travellers flying from New Zealand, even if you are currently feeling well. This is to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

A strict permit system is in place for flights from Victoria to NSW together with mandatory quarantine arrangements if you arrived before 12.01am, 23 November 2020. 

COVID-19 requires an extraordinary response and the quarantine period is necessary for the safety and health of all NSW citizens, including the family and friends of those in self-isolation.

Even if the quarantine fee does not apply to you, you may still be required to quarantine if directed to.

Travellers from Victoria 

Domestic travellers arriving in NSW after 12.01am on 23 November 2020 are no longer required to quarantine. Anyone who arrived in NSW from Victoria before 23 November 2020 must still quarantine for 14 days and quarantine fees still apply.

Travellers from New Zealand 

Following a locally acquired case of COVID‑19 in Auckland, all arrivals from New Zealand after 5 November are asked to monitor for even the mildest of symptoms. If they become unwell they should get tested and isolate, then remain in isolation until a negative result is received, in line with routine advice for all people in NSW.

More about this alert.

You do not need to enter mandatory quarantine when you fly from New Zealand into NSW.

Anyone arriving from New Zealand who is assessed by NSW Health as posing an unacceptable health risk of COVID-19 transmission may be directed to enter quarantine or leave Australia.

NSW-Victoria border restrictions

NSW imposed border restrictions with Victoria have been lifted from 12.01am, 23 November 2020. Find out more about travel to and from NSW.

Who will be charged for quarantine fees
 

All international travellers flying into Sydney, other than from New Zealand, are required to quarantine under the public health orders, and you will be liable to pay quarantine fees, if

  1. you have arrived in NSW by aircraft and you have been in a country other than Australia or New Zealand within 14 days immediately prior to your arrival
  2. you are a NSW resident returning from Victoria before 12.01am, 23 November and
    • have arrived in NSW by aircraft, and
    • have within 14 days immediately prior been in Victoria, and
    • have a returning NSW resident permit
  3. you are a non-NSW resident and
    • have arrived in NSW by aircraft before 12.01am, 23 November, and
    • have within 14 days immediately prior been in Victoria, and
    • have a valid border entry permit
  4. you are a Victorian education visitor (as defined in the public health orders) with a permit and you have
    • arrived in NSW by aircraft before 12.01am, 23 November, and
    • been in Victoria within 14 days immediately prior to your arrival
  5. you are transiting through NSW and you need to leave the airport and you have
    • arrived in NSW by aircraft before 12.01am, 23 November, and
    • been in Victoria within 14 days immediately prior to your arrival or
  6. you have otherwise been directed to enter into quarantine in accordance with the public health orders.

How the fee system works

The NSW Government is charging NSW residents and non-NSW residents returning from Victoria and all international travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation.

Effective dates for the commencement of the quarantine fee are

  • International Travellers from 12.01am Saturday 18 July (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • Domestic travellers between 12.01am Friday, 7 August and before 12.01am, Monday 23 November 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • Returning NSW residents from Victoria from 12.01am Friday 11 September 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time), until 12.01am, Monday 23 November.

The NSW Government will invoice travellers a fixed fee at the end of their stay.

Travellers in transit from an international flight, via NSW, for less than 48 hours will not be charged a fee.

A fee will be charged for stays greater than 48 hours and less than 14 days, depending on the length of your stay.  For example, if you stay in quarantine for 72 hours (3 days), you will be charged for 3 days.

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment

Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment is support if you live in NSW and cannot earn an income because you must self-isolate or quarantine at home, or you are caring for someone with COVID-19. 

To be eligible for the payment you must be directed to self-isolate or quarantine by NSW Health.

Apply for the Pandemic Leave Disaster Payment NSW.

People in quarantine who get tested for COVID-19 and the result is negative still need to remain for the quarantine period which starts on the day you arrive in NSW and ends when the sooner of the following occurs

  • at least 14 full days have passed and, as a result of testing, the Chief Health Officer (or delegate) is satisfied that you do not pose a risk of infecting any other person with COVID-19
  • if you refuse to participate in health checks and COVID-19 testing you will be required to quarantine for 24 full days.

A full day means a 24 hour period commencing at 12.00am (midnight) and ending at 12.00am (midnight) on the following day).

The quarantine period applies to anyone who entered into quarantine immediately before the commencement of the Amendment Order under the

Not following these rules is a criminal offence and attracts heavy penalties.

For individuals, the maximum penalty is $11,000, 6 months in prison, or both with a further $5,500 fine for each day the offence continues.

International transit passengers arriving into Australia can depart on another international flight if your transit time is less than 8 hours and you can stay airside (i.e. in the transit zone). This will be possible only if your bags have been checked through to your next destination. You do not need to apply for an exemption and are able to continue your journey to another country.

If you go through immigration, you will require an exemption.

If your departure flight is between 8 to 72 hours after arrival flight, you will be taken to the quarantine accommodation to wait until your departing flight. An exemption must be approved.

If you arrive in NSW from a country other than New Zealand, you must go into quarantine for the quarantine period before continuing your journey to another state or territory.

After this isolation period, you can transit domestically and travel home.

Australian states and territories have their own quarantine rules in place.

New Zealand travellers entering Australia via NSW should check local requirements prior to travelling there.

Some states and territories may require travellers from safe zone countries to quarantine on arrival.

Some require approval to travel across borders from NSW, or even a further isolation period when you arrive in that state.

 

For the latest information visit Australian Interstate Quarantine.

A flight crew member who arrived into NSW on an international flight is to provide their contact details and written declaration  before leaving the airport that they have not had contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case or experienced symptoms must self-isolate for the quarantine period of 24 days.

Where a flight crew member has not provided their written declaration, they must enter government quarantine accommodation or facility for the quarantine period.

The flight crew member may end their quarantine period earlier if 

  • they are departing on another flight or
  • at any time after 14 days the Chief Health Officer is satisfied that the person does not pose a risk of infecting another person with COVID-19.

Read more about public health orders and air transportation guidelines.

Fees for quarantine

The fee is a fixed amount that contributes towards the overall costs of quarantine incurred by NSW Government. 

  • You will not be charged more if you are required to stay in quarantine longer than 14 days.

Travellers will be charged $3000 for one adult.

Fees for additional occupants are

  • additional adults: $1000 each
  • children under 18 years of age: $500 each
  • child under 3 years of age: no additional cost.

All charges are in Australian dollars.

Example calculations

  • A group or family of 2 adults and 2 children (over the age of 3) in one suite or apartment would pay $5000.
  • A group or family of 2 adults and 4 children over the age of 3 would pay $6000.

Fees for shorter quarantine periods

If you stay in quarantine for less than 48 hours, you will not be charged a fee. If you stay longer than 48 hours but less than 14 days for any reason you will be charged a portion of the applicable quarantine fee depending on the length of your stay. For example, if you stay in quarantine for 72 hours (3 days), you will be charged for 3 days.

You may have a shorter stay in quarantine if

  • you are a transiting traveller staying in quarantine
  • you need to be treated in hospital.

Fee waivers

Travellers in transit from a flight via NSW for less than 48 hours will not be charged a fee.

You will need to provide evidence to Revenue NSW and meet conditions for a fee exemption if you are

  • an international traveller who purchased an international airfare prior to 11.59pm on 12 July 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time), or arrived prior to 12.01am on 18 July 2020(Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • a domestic traveller from Victoria who purchased an airfare prior to 5.00pm on 5 August 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time) or landed prior to 12.01am on 7 August 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)
  • a NSW resident returning from Victoria who purchased an airfare prior to 5.00pm on 5 August 2020 (AEST) and landed after 12.01am Friday, 11 September 2020 (Australian Eastern Standard Time).

You will still be required to

  • quarantine in government-arranged accommodation
  • provide proof of your airfare purchase date to Revenue NSW.

Documents required

To apply for a fee waiver you will need to provide documents for all members of the group that landed in Sydney including

  • purchase receipt for airfares
  • flight confirmation from airline or travel agent
  • for all international travellers: copy of passport for each member of the group, showing the name and date of birth
  • for interstate travellers: copy of driver’s licence or birth certificate for each member of the group.

Apply for a quarantine fee waiver

You will need to include the reason for your request, relevant documents and contact details.

If you provide Revenue NSW with proof of purchase documents, and they approve your fee waiver prior to your departure from the quarantine accommodation, you will not receive an invoice.

If you believe you have received an invoice in error, contact Revenue NSW to discuss your situation.

Find out more about

Conditions and requirements

  • You cannot choose your quarantine accommodation and all attempts have been made to source suitable accommodation for quarantine purposes. Every attempt will be made to ensure the rooms meet the requirements of the individuals or families.
  • The names of the travellers on the flight’s confirmation documents must match the names of travellers that travelled to Australia and quarantined. Names will be compared to passports and travel documentation.
  • If, following purchase of flights prior to the deadline, the airline changes the day and/or time of the flight or the airline cancels the flight, travellers will not be charged providing they can supply evidence that their original flight was purchased prior to the deadline.
  • Any bookings made prior to the deadline and then cancelled by travellers are not able to be used as evidence of pre-booked travel for the purposes of a quarantine fee waiver.

Invoicing and payment

If you entered quarantine alone you will receive an invoice from Revenue NSW after you check out of quarantine.

If you entered quarantine as part of a group, the primary occupant (identified at quarantine check-in) will receive an invoice from Revenue NSW with other occupants of your group identified on the invoice.

If you entered as an unaccompanied youth (under 18 years of age) you will be invoiced as a child ie $500 and your invoice will be sent to your next of kin.

You will receive your invoice by email (if you provided this at quarantine check-in) or sent to you by mail at the address you provide.

The invoice recipient will have 30 days to pay the invoice, the due date will be stated on the invoice.

You may be subject to penalties if you do not pay your fees on time. Find out what to do if you think you may be unable to pay on time.

  • The NSW Government will liaise with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Smart Traveller and consulates) and relevant airlines to spread the information.
  • No additional application will be required. All international travellers will automatically be directed into quarantine accommodation per the current process.
  • When you arrive at the quarantine accommodation, you will be given a notice which formally informs you of the requirement to pay quarantine fees. This would be done at the same time traveller contact details are collected, per the current check-in process.
  • After you check out of quarantine, Revenue NSW will send an invoice to you by email or post. You will have 30 days to pay the invoice. The due date will be stated on the invoice.

Payment options

Payment details will be on the invoice and payment must be made in Australian dollars.

A range of payment options are available to you to finalise your account:

  • online payment with a Visa or Mastercard
  • telephone payment with a Visa or Mastercard
  • BPAY
  • Australia Post in person
  • payment plan with Revenue NSW.

For further information contact Revenue NSW on 1300 433 476 from 8.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

About the quarantine fee system

Mandatory quarantine is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in NSW.

The quarantine fee will reduce the financial burden of COVID-19 on NSW taxpayers. 

Queensland and the Northern Territory have introduced fees for quarantine. Visit the websites for other Australian states and territories for the latest information.

If you are experiencing hardship

After you receive your invoice, you can contact Revenue NSW if you think you will have difficulty paying the fee by the due date. You will need to provide your invoice number when you contact Revenue NSW. Revenue NSW can grant an extension of up to 14 days and can assist you to establish a payment plan.

If the Payment Plan or an extension to pay is still not affordable, contact Revenue NSW who will work with you to determine your capacity to pay the fees. You will be asked questions about your financial and personal circumstances that may be affecting your ability to pay.

You may be required to provide supporting evidence of your financial circumstances. Revenue NSW will provide you with options to resolve your fees.

You can get help from a financial counsellor by contacting the National Debt Helpline on 1800 007 007.

Financial counsellors provide free, independent and confidential advice to help you manage your debts or negotiate with creditors.

Unlike financial planners or advisors, they don't provide investment advice or recommend products, and they don't receive commissions.

For step-by-step guides and useful information on how to deal with specific types of debts visit the National Debt Helpline website.

Contact your travel insurance company directly to find out whether your insurance policy covers your quarantine accommodation fee.

For related information on this topic, see the NSW Fair Trading website for guidance on travel cancellations.

Contacts and enquiries

If you have any questions or concerns about your quarantine during the quarantine period, contact the reception desk of your quarantine accommodation.

More information

Last updated: 24 November 2020

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