These guidelines are supplementary to the current Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order (No 1) 2021 and should be read in conjunction with the Order.

This guideline applies to flight crew who are residents of an Australian state or territory other than NSW and plan to travel onwards to their home jurisdiction after having been in a country other than Australia or New Zealand, or in a New Zealand hotspot, within the 14 days immediately before arrival in NSW.

Last updated: 28 April 2021

This guideline provides advice for flight crew members and airlines on COVID safety procedures for domestic travel to other Australian states and territories. Airlines are required to ensure that flight crew members comply with these guidelines.

Requirements prior to travel

Flight crew who live in another Australian state or territory can travel onward to their home jurisdiction only if they:

  • have been tested for COVID-19 on arrival in NSW and prior to leaving the airport, and
  • provide a declaration on arrival in NSW at the airport that they:
    • have not been in contact with a COVID-19 case in the past 14 days, and
    • do not have, and have not had in the previous 72 hours, COVID-19 symptoms, and
  • provide their name, date of birth, address of their residence, phone number and email address to NSW Health as part of their arrival declaration, and
  • travel by an appropriate mode of transportation, as defined below.

To facilitate this process, airlines must:

  • arrange appropriate onward transportation (defined below) for flight crew members
  • exclude from onward domestic travel any crew member who is symptomatic
  • notify the receiving jurisdiction of the arrival of the flight crew member, in case any additional actions are required by that jurisdiction
  • ensure the flight crew member is aware of their quarantine requirements on arrival in the next jurisdiction

Suitable transport

Transport to states and territories

Airlines must arrange suitable transport for flight crew travelling onward to another state or territory.
Interstate crew members travelling to their home jurisdiction that is not the ACT must travel by air.  They can only fly in an aircraft that is not carrying passengers apart from interstate flight crew.

Transport to the Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

Interstate flight crew members who are travelling home to the ACT may also travel in a private vehicle.
Flight crew driving to the ACT must:

  • wear a face mask at all times unless travelling alone
  • travel by the most direct practicable route and, as much as possible, avoid making any stops
  • maintain good hand hygiene, with regular use of alcohol-based hand rub.

Transport between airport terminals

Travel between the international and domestic airport terminals can be undertaken by:

  • an aircraft with no passengers apart from other flight crew
  • a private car (including a rental vehicle)
  • a hire car with driver, taking the following precautions:
    • use only a direct route with no stops
    • the driver and all passengers must wear a mask
    • all passengers must sit in the back seat
    • promote natural ventilation including opening car windows where possible, or, if using air conditioning, maximise the intake of outside air and reduce recirculation of air
    • the vehicle should be used solely for the purpose of transport between airport terminals and quarantine locations (i.e. not used by the general public)
    • the vehicle must be cleaned thoroughly between uses, including cleaning all hard surfaces prior to onboarding new passengers
    • passenger attendance records must be kept and, on request, made available to NSW Health for the purposes of contact tracing.

Flight crew must not travel by taxi or rideshare (including Uber) or public transport for any purpose.

Requirements during travel

Travel by air

In addition to following the criteria for suitable transport outlined above:

  • Airlines should minimise time between international and domestic connecting flights to be under 8 hours, as much as possible.
  • If the time between international and domestic connecting flights is greater than 8 hours, for example if the flight is cancelled or delayed, flight crew will be directed to hotel quarantine.
  • Airlines must arrange suitable transportation (as defined above) for flight crew between international and domestic airport terminals.

When arriving at the airport and boarding the flight for onward interstate travel:

  • Flight crew must go directly to their flight.
  • Flight crew must maintain physical distance of 1.5m from other people, wear a mask, and handle their own luggage while clearing customs and immigration.

While on the flight:

  • Airlines must ensure crew who are not on active duty remain seated.
  • Flight crew must wear a mask and maintain physical distancing (minimum 1.5 metres from others) during the flight.

Upon disembarking the flight in the home jurisdiction, flight crew must abide by that jurisdiction’s quarantine requirements.

Cleaning requirements

Airlines must ensure air and ground vehicles used for domestic transport of international flight crew are cleaned thoroughly after use. This includes:

  • cleaning all hard surfaces prior to onboarding new passengers, and
  • using disinfectant solutions maintained at an appropriate strength, in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions.

Further advice on appropriate cleaning and disinfection is provided by the Clinical Excellence Commission.

Record keeping

Airlines must keep a record of flight details should the flight crew test positive and close contact tracing be required. This includes the name and contact details of each crew member.

Current as at: Wednesday 28 April 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW