These guidelines are supplementary to the current Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order 2020 and should be read in conjunction with the Order. This guideline applies to declared flight crew members. All other flight crew who have been in a country other than Australia or New Zealand, or a New Zealand hotspot, within the 14 days immediately before arrival in NSW must quarantine in a NSW government quarantine facility.

Last updated: 01 January 2021
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Who is a declared flight crew member?

To become a declared flight crew member, you must:

  • normally reside in NSW,
  • get tested for COVID-19 before leaving the airport, and
  • before leaving the airport, provide a written declaration to NSW Health providing your contact details, address and confirmation that you:
    • have not, in the previous 14 days, been in contact with a person infected with COVID-19, and
    • do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 either on arrival or within the previous 72 hours, and  
    • do not live with a ‘designated worker’, which means someone who is a registered health practitioner, works in a public or private hospital or residential care facility, or is a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) worker. If a member of your household is a designated worker, you will need to quarantine in a government facility.

A declared flight crew member is not required to quarantine in a government quarantine facility. They must instead self-isolate at home until the quarantine period ends or until they depart on another flight that leaves Australia.

Declared flight crew members must comply with the self-isolation requirements outlined below.

COVID-19 testing

Declared flight crew members who wish to self-isolate at home must have a COVID-19 test before leaving the airport. If you decline a test, you will be required to quarantine in a government quarantine facility instead of self-isolating at home.

Travelling to your accommodation

Your employer must arrange appropriate private transportation:

  • from the airport to your home,
  • from your home to the airport if you are departing on another flight leaving Australia before the end of the quarantine period, and
  • if leaving your home to attend essential duties such as flight simulation training or safety or security training.

Appropriate transport means a private car (including hire vehicle) or plane. You must not travel by commercial transport, taxi/rideshare or by public transport. If travelling by air, the plane must contain no passengers apart from other flight crew, and the airline must abide by the NSW guidelines for the onward domestic travel of international aircrew.

You must travel home by the most direct route and no stops should be made. Rest breaks should only be taken within the car, or in an outdoor location where no other people are present. You should wear a mask if leaving the vehicle or if there is anyone else in the vehicle.

You should increase natural ventilation by opening car windows where possible, or increase mechanical ventilation by optimising air conditioning or other system settings (such as by maximising the intake of outside air and reducing or avoiding recirculation of air).

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 should:

  • wear a mask,
  • stay at least 1.5 metres away from others,
  • travel directly to and from the location, without making unnecessary stops, and
  • travel by private car, or in transport arranged by your employer.

The car must not be used by anyone else unless cleaned in accordance with relevant standards.

If you need further advice, you should 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, or
  • the quarantine period ends.

Further information about the duration of quarantine period is provided in Release from isolation.  

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, and 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 law is in place 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, help is available through your local Public Health Unit  at 1300 066 055.

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 just returned from being 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 just returned from being 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 just returned from being 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 should wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room with other people (even if they are also in isolation) and when you visit a healthcare provider. 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.

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. To make a bleach solution at home, add 1 tablespoon of bleach to 4 cups of water. Ensure you follow the safety instructions on the bottle.

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

What happens if you don't comply with self-isolation

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?

For more information

Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW