Australian’s were free to travel overseas without prior approval from the country’s federal government from Monday this week (November 1, 2021).
Singapore is open for fully vaccinated Australian’s from November 8, and now New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne) will open for Singaporean visitors from November 21. There is some confusion, however, for entry requirements for Singaporeans to enter Australia.
Media release from Australia’s federal government:
Singapore – Australia’s next steps to reopening to the world
- Joint media release with:
- The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister
- The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
01 November 2021
Australia will welcome back fully vaccinated Singaporean travellers in November as part of our step by step and safe reopening to the world.
The quarantine-free travel arrangements will commence on November 21 for Australian states and territories that are ready, and will be available for fully vaccinated Singaporeans travelling from Singapore who present a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced the agreement at the G20 Leaders’ Summit in Rome, following a meeting with the Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong.
“Australia is slinging its doors open to fully vaccinated Singaporean travellers in November,” the Prime Minister said.
“This is another significant milestone in our step by step approach to safely reopening to the world that we outlined in the National Plan.
“It follows the announcement this week that fully vaccinated travellers from New Zealand will be welcomed back in October.
“This means within weeks Australia will be welcoming tourists from two of our top ten travel destinations. This is the billion dollar boost that Australia’s tourism industry has been waiting for.
“Step by step, everything that we know and love about Australia is inching back to normal.”
Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Senator Marise Payne said this arrangement followed Singapore’s recent announcement to welcome fully vaccinated Australians.
“Many Australians live and work in Singapore and vice versa. The strong exchanges over many decades have been to the benefit of both our nations,” Minister Payne said.
“It attests to the strength of our friendship and the effective management of COVID in each of our countries that we have been able to agree this early step in the reopening of normal travel.
“As we continue with our shared regional recovery from the pandemic, the resumption of travel between Singapore and Australia will provide great opportunities to move forward.”
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan said this was the next logical step in reopening to the world.
“Australia remains a popular, world-leading destination and this is just the start of our international tourism comeback,” Minister Tehan said.
“Australia’s tourism operators and the sector’s 660,000 workers will welcome back with open arms visitors from Singapore.
“Quarantine-free arrivals demonstrate the success of our National Plan and the strength of our recovery.”
Details of arrangement include:
- Singaporeans must depart from Singapore to be considered eligible
- No requirement to have spent 14 days in Singapore prior to travel
- No requirement for quarantine upon arrival to Australia
- Arrangements will commence from 21 November with participating jurisdictions including New South Wales and Victoria.
Singapore Airlines has a confusing statement up on its website:
Entry requirements for Travellers to Sydney and Melbourne
The Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria have reopened their borders to fully vaccinated Australian citizens, Permanent Residents and their immediate family members, as well as foreign nationals holding a valid visa and travel restriction exemption.
Vaccinated Singapore citizens will also be able to enter Australia from 21 November 2021. Singapore Airlines (SIA) is awaiting further clarity from the Australian government on the entry requirements for Singapore citizens, and will update our website when the details become available.
Please note that eligibility requirements for these flights are subject to changes by the Australian federal and state governments.
Currently, all SIA flights are required to adhere to the international arrival caps determined and administered by the Australia state and federal governments. These limit the number of customers SIA can legally carry into Australia on any given flight.
SIA currently operates 17 weekly flights between Singapore and Sydney, and 14 weekly flights between Singapore and Melbourne. Flights from Singapore to Sydney, and flights from Singapore to Melbourne, will be tagged as ‘For Eligible Passengers Only (FEPO)’ flights in the booking system.
SIA customers are advised to ensure they meet all eligibility requirements to enter Australia before booking the FEPO flights.
For FEPO flights schedules and FAQs, please click here.
Eligibility to travel on the FEPO flights is determined by the Australian Government and must at least meet the following criteria:
- Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident; or
- A foreign national to Australia (including immediate family members of Australian citizens and permanent residents), holding a valid visa and travel restriction exemption.
All passengers must also meet the following requirements:
- Be fully vaccinated with a TGA approved or recognised vaccine, at least seven days prior to arrival in Australia. Travellers with mixed vaccines are also accepted on these flights.
- Hold a valid vaccination certificate issued in English i.e. either the Australian Government issued International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC) or a paper or digital vaccination certification issued by a national or state-level public health authority, or an accredited vaccination provider.
- Produce evidence of a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test taken within 72 hours of departure of the first flight to Australia.
- Complete the Australia Travel Declaration (ATD) at least 72 hours before departure.
Travellers with a valid medical exemption and children under the age of 12 years are exempted from the vaccination requirement. Unvaccinated children aged 12 to 17 will be required to self-isolate for 7 days and undergo PCR tests. Further details may be found in our FAQs.
Customers are also advised to check against the full criteria on the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs website to confirm their eligibility to travel on the FEPO flights before making a booking.
Customers with Existing Bookings
Singapore Airlines will support customers holding existing bookings for flights to Melbourne and Sydney from 1 November 2021, to assist with understanding their eligibility to travel on the new FEPO flights or facilitate re-accommodation to an alternate flight to Australia, where possible.
Please be assured that SIA will provide the necessary support if there is any impact on existing bookings held by unvaccinated travellers.
It seems that Australia hasn’t officially released or finalized the requirements under which Singapore Airlines can carry fully vaccinated Singaporean citizens with a negative PCR-RT test performed no longer than 72 hours before departure to Sydney and Melbourne.
I am sure, however, that the federal government will work this out before November 21 because it would be quite a loss of face if they need to backtrack this announcement.
It is good that Australian citizens and residents can finally travel abroad without applying for an exception to leave first and will start welcoming international visitors in limited numbers in less than three weeks. However, I am unsure if Australia is ready to accept the inevitable covid flare-ups due to travel and reopening the external border.