Skip to main content

Travel and transport advice

What you need to know if you are returning to your home in NSW, planning to travel to NSW, or arranging for a child to return to NSW on their own.

Cancel your travel plans

Under public health orders in force in NSW, you are advised to stay at home. 

Overseas travel ban

ban on overseas travel for all Australians came into effect on 25 March 2020.

Mandatory quarantine

All travellers arriving in Australia from overseas must enter into quarantine for 14 days.

On this page

Remote Aboriginal communities

NSW Health recommends cancelling all non-essential travel to regional and remote Aboriginal (MM6 and MM7) communities in NSW.

Limiting movement into and between Aboriginal communities will assist in delaying, minimising and possibly preventing an outbreak of COVID-19.

Returning to Australia from overseas

From 9pm AEDT 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members have been permitted to travel to Australia.

If you wish to return to Australia from overseas, you should return as soon as possible by commercial travel.

  • Anyone arriving in Australia from overseas must enter into quarantine for 14 days.
  • You will have to go into mandatory quarantine in the place you arrive in Australia, not your final destination. 

For up-to-date information and advice, see:

Flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19

Find out what to do if you were on a flight that had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What to do when you arrive in Australia

Effective 29 March 2020, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been overseas in the previous 14 days are immediately placed into quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone, even if you have no symptoms. 

Testing for travellers returned from overseas

NSW Health is recommending COVID-19 testing for:

  • anyone returning from overseas travel who develops symptoms within 14 days of return
  • people who have been in close contact with someone confirmed to have COVID-19 and develop symptoms within 14 days of last contact.

To be tested for COVID-19, see your doctor or visit your local emergency department.

Children travelling alone to return to NSW

Some countries and airline policies may prevent a child from travelling unaccompanied to NSW.

There is however an exemption to travel restrictions  that applies to:

  • Australian children (citizens or permanent residents) or
  • the children of Australian citizens or permanent residents.

To assist with arranging for a child in your care to return home to NSW you can provide the airline with copies of:

When your child returns home to NSW

Children under the age of 18 returning home to NSW are not required to be quarantined but they will need to self-isolate for 14 days. The child may self-isolate at home.

Standard requirements apply

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises that the child will still need to meet the standard requirements of the airline to travel as an unaccompanied minor.

A child will only be exempt if they can be released directly into the care of a parent or guardian on arrival at Sydney International Airport.

  • That person must be waiting for the child on arrival with proper documentation identifying them as the parent or legal guardian.
  • The child must then undertake mandatory 14-day self-isolation at home in compliance with the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines.
  • The parent or legal guardian must sign an isolation declaration card Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the child’s behalf.

Public transport

Under the public health orders you should stay at home. There is however no recommendation to stop using public transport at this time.

Transport for NSW advises travellers to:

  • plan ahead and travel outside peak hour where possible to minimise contact with others
  • minimise contact with doors during your travel
  • use Opal and contactless payments where possible
  • stay home and avoid travelling at all if you are unwell
  • practice good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly to protect yourself, other commuters and Transport for NSW staff.
Top of page