These guidelines are supplementary to the current Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) (No 2) Order (the Order) and should be read in conjunction with the Order. This guideline applies to:

  • People who provide transportation services to international passengers or crew (see Part 1.1 of these Guidelines)
  • Declared flight crew members who are driving a private vehicle to their residence, with no other passengers (see Part 1.2 of these Guidelines)
  • Declared flight crew members who are self-isolating at their residence (see Part 3 of these Guidelines)

Transportation providers and declared flight crew members must comply with the directions in the Order and in this guideline.

Employers must ensure transportation providers and declared flight crew members comply with the directions in the Order and in this guideline.

Last updated: 26 June 2021
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Part 1: Transportation providers

Part 1 of these guidelines apply to:

  • A person who provides a transportation service to an international passenger or crew (see Part 1.1 and Part 1.3)
  • A declared flight crew member who drives a private vehicle to their residence, with no other passengers (see Part 1.2 and Part 1.3)

1.1 Appropriate transportation for transportation providers

Transportation providers must provide appropriate transportation for anyone travelling to and from a quarantine facility, medical facility or residence for declared flight crew members. This includes transportation providers who are providing transport for people who are granted a time-limited exemption from a quarantine or medical facility. Appropriate transportation means:

  • the vehicle must travel directly to and from the quarantine facility, place of self-isolation or airport
  • the vehicle must be filled with fuel and necessary refreshments required for the journey
  • all drivers and passengers must comply with the PPE requirements below
  • all passengers in the vehicle must comply with the following physical distancing guidance:  
    • For cars
      • there should be no more than two passengers
      • if there is one passenger, they must sit diagonally behind the driver
      • If there are two passengers, they must sit in the back seat 
    • For buses and larger vehicles:
      • there should be a minimum of two empty rows between the driver and passengers
      • there should be a vacant seat between each passenger, however, family groups may sit together
      • the vehicle may transport a maximum of 50% of its normal seated capacity
    • All passengers in the vehicle must have arrived on the same flight into Australia. Transport providers must not transport a mixture of passengers or crew from different flights, even if they are travelling to or from the same quarantine or medical facility.
  • promote natural ventilation including opening windows where possible, or, if using air conditioning, by maximising the intake of outside air and reducing recirculation of air
  • it is strongly recommended the vehicle is only used to transport individuals arriving from international destinations and not used to transport members of the general public
  • the vehicle must be cleaned thoroughly between uses, including cleaning all hard surfaces prior to onboarding new passengers. Please see the COVID-19 Vehicle Cleaning Procedure prepared by the Clinical Excellence Commission for further information.
  • maintain a record or log of all passengers and locations attended, including:
    • Name of passenger
    • Contact number and email
    • Date, time and duration of each trip
    • Name and address of all locations attended, including starting point and destination         

      Transport providers or their employers must provide these records to NSW Health within 4 hours of requesting the information. A record of passenger names and contact details is not required if this information is held by NSW Government agencies (e.g. as part of regular transport of international passengers from the airport to hotel quarantine). 
  • practice good hand hygiene, including washing hands before and after touching surfaces, and have alcohol-based hand sanitiser available during the trip
  • passengers must handle their own belongings and luggage.

Transportation providers and passengers should not leave the vehicle unless it is urgent or unavoidable. If they need to leave the vehicle, they must:

  • continue to wear a mask and practice good hygiene including using alcohol-based hand sanitiser to wash hands before and after touching surfaces
  • wipe down any surfaces such as petrol bowsers, toilet doors and locks with disinfectant wipes before and after use
  • if required to stop to purchase goods or services, use contactless payment methods where available (e.g. using contactless-enabled credit or debit card instead of cash)
  • maintain a record of all locations attended, including date, time and duration of time spent at each stop. Transport providers must provide the records to NSW Health within 4 hours of requesting the information.

NSW Ambulance and other emergency transport services should comply with internal procedures and the COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Manual developed by the Clinical Excellence Commission.    

1.2 Appropriate transportation for declared flight crew driving a private vehicle

Declared flight crew members who are driving a private vehicle to their place of residence must comply with the following requirements:

  • they must travel directly to their residence by the most direct route
  • the vehicle must not have any other passengers
  • the vehicle must be filled with fuel and necessary refreshments required for the journey
  • they must avoid stopping in busy areas, as well as any rural and remote towns
  • rest breaks or emergency stops should be taken within the car, or in an outdoor location where physical distancing of at least 1.5 metres can be maintained at all times
  • they must practice good hand hygiene, including washing hands before and after touching surfaces, and have alcohol-based hand sanitiser available during the trip
  • they must handle own belongings and luggage

Declared flight crew members should not leave their vehicle unless it is urgent or unavoidable. If the declared flight crew member leaves the vehicle, they must:

  • wear a mask if they need to leave the vehicle and practice good hygiene including using alcohol-based hand sanitiser to wash hands before and after touching surfaces
  • wipe down any surfaces such as petrol bowsers, toilet doors and locks with disinfectant wipes before and after use
  • if required to stop to purchase goods or services, use contactless payment methods where available (e.g. using contactless-enabled credit or debit card instead of cash)
  • maintain a record or log of all locations attended, including:
    • Date, time and duration of time spent at each location
    • Description of travel, including starting point, destination, and any rest stops 

Declared flight crew must provide the records to NSW Health within 4 hours of requesting the information.

1.3 Personal protective equipment (PPE)

All transportation providers must wear appropriate PPE, and practice good hand hygiene when working to minimise the risk of transmission.

Declared flight crew members driving a private vehicle do not need to wear a mask or disposable gloves while inside the vehicle, however they must wear a mask if leaving the vehicle.

Masks/Respirators

Transport providers must wear a surgical mask that fits securely around the face and is worn over the nose and mouth. Cloth masks are not recommended as they do not provide adequate protection.

Transport providers who are transporting international passengers or crew to a medical facility (including the Special Health Accommodation) should wear a P2/N95 respirator.

Masks must be worn when:

  • inside the vehicle
  • within 1.5 metres of a passenger or other drivers

When wearing a disposable surgical mask:

  • Make sure the coloured side faces out
  • Make sure the mouth, nose and chin are covered
  • Do not twist the side loops
  • Press the metal piece/hard edge of the mask down on the nose
  • Do not touch the front of the mask
  • When it is time to remove the mask, dispose of it in the nearest waste bin
  • Perform hand hygiene as detailed below.

Wearing a P2/N95 respirator:

  • Make sure the mouth, nose and chin are covered
  • Press the metal piece/hard edge of the mask down on the nose
  • Adjust the mask until there is a good and comfortable facial fit, and ensure there is no air leakage around the edges of the mask (a fit seal check)
  • Do not touch the front of the mask
  • When it is time to remove the mask, dispose of it in the nearest waste bin
  • Perform hand hygiene as detailed below.

Disposable gloves

Passengers and crew must handle their own luggage. However, if transport providers need to provide assistance to passengers and crew with handling their luggage, they must wear disposable single-use gloves.

If gloves become dirty, they must be changed. Alcohol based hand rub/sanitiser cannot be used to clean gloves as it has the potential to cause microscopic holes in the gloves.

Gloves should be disposed of in the nearest waste bin. Transport providers should perform hand hygiene as detailed below.

Hand hygiene

Hand hygiene must be performed:

  • Before putting on gloves
  • After removing gloves
  • Before putting on a surgical mask or P2/N95 respirator
  • Before touching and after removing a surgical mask or P2/N95 respirator
  • If the surgical mask or P2/N95 respirator is accidentally touched while being worn

Part 2: NSW quarantine worker surveillance and testing program

Designated transportation providers must be tested for COVID-19 in accordance with the requirements set out in the NSW quarantine worker surveillance and testing program. The testing program requires designated transportation providers to have a saliva swab every day that they work. If they are away from work for more than 3 days, they should have a COVID-19 swab (nose/throat) on the fourth and tenth day after their last saliva test. This is strongly recommended even if they do not have symptoms. Workers do not need self-isolate while waiting for these results, unless they have symptoms.

Specified transportation providers, as well as other quarantine and border workers, are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 under the NSW Airport and Quarantine Worker's Vaccination Program.

Part 3: Self-isolation guidelines for declared flight crew members

Support from NSW Health during self-isolation

If you are a declared flight crew member and are staying in NSW for more than 48 hours, a representative from NSW Health will call you before your next scheduled flight to check whether you require support while you are in self-isolation. They will call at the time you have nominated on your declaration form.

COVID-19 testing

You must have a COVID-19 test on arrival at the airport (day 0) to be permitted to self-isolate at home. If you decline a day 0 test at the airport, you will not be permitted to self-isolate at home and will be required to enter a government quarantine facility to complete your quarantine period. 

If you are self-isolating at your home, you may leave self-isolation to depart on a flight out of Australia provided that you have complied with any request of the Chief Health Officer in relation to testing for COVID-19. The Chief Health Officer has requested COVID-19 testing on day 7 and on day 12.

If you do not leave Australia, you will have to remain in isolation for your quarantine period. The quarantine period starts when you arrive in NSW and ends when the sooner of the following occurs:

  • at least 14 full days have passed and, having regard to any testing for COVID-19, the Chief Health Officer is satisfied the person does not pose a risk of infecting any other person with COVID-19,
  • 24 full days have passed

You must also seek testing if you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time during and after your quarantine period. Information about how to get tested is available on the NSW Health website.

How to self-isolate safely at home

Self-isolation means you must stay at your home and remain separated from others.

You cannot leave your house, apart from:

  • to seek medical care (including testing for COVID-19)
  • in an emergency (including to avoid injury, or escape a risk of harm from domestic violence),
  • to undertake duties that are essential for safety or for other regulatory reasons, such as flight simulation training or safety or security training, or  
  • to depart on another flight that leaves Australia.

If you need to leave your home for one of the permitted reasons, you must comply with these guidelines.  Please see Appropriate transportation for declared flight crew driving a private vehicle.

If you need further advice, please contact your local Public Health Unit at 1300 066 055.

How long must I self-isolate?

You must self-isolate at your home until either:

  • you depart on another flight leaving Australia if you have complied with any request of the Chief Health Officer to undergo testing for COVID-19, or
  • the quarantine period ends.

Separate yourself from the other people in your home

If you are sharing your home with others, you must:

  • remain separated from others and sleep in a separate bedroom
  • wear a surgical mask if it is necessary to be in the same room as another person (even if they are also in isolation)
  • use a separate bathroom, if available. If not available, ensure the bathroom is thoroughly cleaned with a household disinfectant between uses.
  • avoid shared or communal areas and wear a surgical mask if it is necessary to move through these areas
  • not be in a room with people who are at risk of severe disease, such as elderly people, immunocompromised people, and those who have heart, lung or kidney conditions, or diabetes.

You cannot self-isolate at home if a member of your household is a 'designated worker.' This means someone who is a registered health practitioner, works in a public or private hospital or residential care facility, or is an NDIS worker. If a member of your household is a designated worker, you will need to quarantine in a government quarantine facility. This is to protect members of the community who are at higher risk of severe disease if they become infected with COVID-19.

Can I have visitors?

You cannot have visitors to your home while you are self-isolating, unless the person is visiting you for medical or emergency purposes.

You can have food or other essential items delivered to your home, however they should be left directly at your front door using contactless delivery.

Can I go into the garden or go for a walk?

You can go into your private garden or courtyard or onto your private balcony if you have one.

Can I go outside to smoke?

You can go into your private garden or courtyard or onto your private balcony if you have one.

How can I obtain food and other essential supplies?

Ask your employer, family, friends or other members of the household to pick up groceries and medicines for you. If this is not possible, you may be able to order groceries and medicines (including prescription medicines) online or by telephone.

If you still need help with obtaining food and essential supplies, please call your local Public Health Unit  at 1300 066 055 to help identify appropriate resources.

Monitor symptoms and seek help if they develop

You should monitor yourself for any symptoms of COVID-19. Watch particularly for:

  • fever (37.5°C or higher) or history of fever (night sweats, chills)
  • cough
  • runny nose
  • shortness of breath (difficulty breathing)
  • sore throat
  • loss of smell
  • loss of taste.

Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include: fatigue, acute blocked nose (congestion), muscle pain, joint pain, diarrhoea, nausea/vomiting and loss of appetite.

There are two main ways to get tested for COVID-19:

  • Visit your nearest COVID-19 clinic or drive-through clinic. As soon as you arrive, tell staff that you are an international flight crew member and have returned from overseas.
  • Call your local doctor (or other healthcare provider arranged by your airline) to make an appointment. Tell them you are an international flight crew member and have returned from overseas.

If you become severely unwell and it is a medical emergency, you should phone 000. Tell the ambulance staff that you are an international flight crew member and have returned from overseas.

Cover coughs and sneezes

You should cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough or sneeze into your sleeve or elbow. Used tissues should be placed in a bin, and hands immediately washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Wear a surgical mask

You must wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room with other people (even if they are also in isolation) or if you need to leave your self-isolation for one of the permitted reasons (such as accessing COVID-19 testing). Make sure your surgical mask covers your nose and mouth at all times, and avoid touching your mask unnecessarily. Please see how to wear a mask correctly.

Wash your hands

You should wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser if your hands are not visibly dirty. Ensure you wash your hands or use a hand sanitiser:

  • before entering an area where there are other people
  • before touching things used by other people
  • after using the bathroom
  • after coughing or sneezing
  • before putting on, and after removing, gloves and masks
  • if you accidentally touch the front of your mask.

Do not share household items

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding, or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water or use a dishwasher/washing machine.

Clean household surfaces regularly

If sharing in a household or facility, all "high-touch" surfaces, such as counters, tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, tablets, and bedside tables, should be cleaned at least once a day wearing disposable gloves. Apply a household disinfectant or diluted bleach solution. Ensure you follow the safety instructions on the bottle.

For further information on cleaning see COVID-19 fact sheets and brochures.

Part 4: What happens if you don't comply with these guidelines

Not following these guidelines puts family, friends and the community at risk. Not following these rules is also 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. An on the spot fine of $1000 may be issued.

Still have questions or need support while in isolation?

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