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Hotel Quarantine in Australia: Our go-to guide

Times are tough for travellers. But with the world preparing to reopen in 2021, we're here to keep you dreaming and planning for your next adventure - whether that's a staycation or flying off to parts unknown. Until then, we've got the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates to keep you up to date and ready to go.

Are you overseas and trying to enter Australia? We answer your hotel quarantine questions, so you’ll be prepared when you step back onto Aussie shores.

Australian hotel quarantine – what is it?

As of 28th of March 2020, all incoming travellers by sea or by air are required to undergo a 14-day hotel quarantine in a state-designated facility. In a nutshell, this means that once you enter your quarantined hotel room you will not be able to leave it until your quarantine period has ended.

How to book a quarantine hotel in Australia?

fill out the Australia Travel Declaration for hotel quarantine

Before you set off for Australia, at least 72 hours before you fly, you will need to fill out an Australia Travel Declaration – this collects your relevant contact details in Australia, flight details, quarantine requirements and the status of your health.

Once you have finished this form, you’ll receive a confirmation email with details that you will need to show before you board your flight. You will need to show the confirmation again on arrival in Australia.

This email will display:

  • a green response (with a tick), if you do not need to quarantine
  • a blue response (with an hourglass), if you need to quarantine
  • a red response (with a cross), if you indicated that you:
    • if have been displaying COVID-19 like symptoms
    • have been within close proximity of a person with COVID-19 symptoms.
    • were in an location of interest
    • have refused a negative COVID-19 test result to travel to Australia
  • For red responses, airlines will determine if you can travel. If you can travel to Australia, you will need to quarantine on arrival.

This form helps the government arrange your quarantine hotel accommodation when you arrive. Each adult will need to complete their own declaration, though parents can complete the form for children under 15.

You cannot choose your hotel, and you will not know which hotel you will be staying at in advance. This will be allocated when you arrive.

However, if you have a significant health need, or require disability access, you will need to speak to the relevant health authority in the state you intend to travel to in advance of your arrival and they can arrange a suitable room for you.

Please note: there may be additional forms you need to fill out depending on which state you are flying into, so please double check state requirements prior to travel.

How to prepare for arriving in Australia (before travel)?

There are a few vital things you need to know before you board a plane to Australia.

  • You will need to fill out the Australia Travel Declaration 72 hours before travelling to Australia. This helps the government determine what your specific quarantine arrangements will be, and allows the health authorities the information they need to contact you if someone you travelled with ends up testing positive for COVID-19.
  • Before you travel to Australia, you will need to obtain evidence of a negative COVID-19 PCR or RT-PCR test and provide that information to your airline.
  • You must be tested 72 hours or less before your scheduled flight departure.
  • Please be aware that if anyone in your group tests positive, you will not be permitted to travel to Australia.
  • You will need to wear a mask in the airport and on the flight.

There may be additional requirements if you transit through another destination. Be sure to check the requirements of any destination you may have a stopover in before you travel.

What happens when you arrive in Australia?

On arrival, there are some additional measures you will be required to undergo before you can travel freely within Australia.

  • You cannot travel domestically via connecting flights, or to your end destination until you have undergone the 14-day hotel quarantine period. This is mandatory.
  • When you arrive in Australia, you may be required to undergo a COVID-19 test within the first 48 hours, and then again between days 10-12 of your quarantine period. This is a rough guide though, as the timings of each test will vary depending on which state or territory you fly into.
  • You will be escorted to your hotel room by the local authorities. You must wear your mask at all times until you arrive at your sanctioned room or apartment.

The Health Department of Australia has also released an official guide on what to expect on arrival for your quarantine.

Who needs to quarantine in a hotel?

Everyone who arrives in Australia from a red zone will need to quarantine for 14 days. If you are travelling from a green zone and have been in the green zone for 14 days prior to travel you do not need to quarantine.

Currently, the only country which qualifies in the green zone is New Zealand. This is accurate as of 16 October 2020. However, New Zealand’s green zone status could change at any time if community cases appear.

Please note: Passengers must check local requirements before they travel, as some territories or states may still need you to quarantine even if you have flown in on a green zone flight or from a green zone country.

Which countries are red zone countries for Australian entries?

Currently, only New Zealand qualifies as a green zone country. All other countries are considered to be red zone countries.

Are there exemptions to hotel quarantine?

There are also some key workers and transiting passengers that are exempt from quarantining, but for full information on this list, you need Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC).

Please note: If you are a transit passenger, you cannot travel within Australia. You must arrive and depart from the same airport. Your stay is limited to 8 hours, otherwise you will be directed to a state mandated quarantine facility until your flight is available.

How long is hotel quarantine in Australia?

The quarantine period in Australia is 14 days.

What is the cost of hotel quarantine in Australia?

covid check in for hotel quarantine in australia

Hotel quarantine costs vary from state to state. Currently the state prices for the full 14 days are as follows (all prices are in AUD):

  • Australian Capital Territory: $3000 for an individual/$1000 per additional adult/$500 per additional child. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • New South Wales: $3000 for an individual/$1000 per additional adult/$500 per additional child. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • Northern Territory: $2500 for an individual/$5000 for a family of two or more. Children under 2 will not incur any additional cost.
  • Queensland: $2800 for an individual/$3750 for two adults/$4620 for two adults and two children. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • South Australia: $3000 for an individual/$1000 per additional adult/$500 per additional child. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • Tasmania: $2800 for an individual/$1000 per additional adult/$500 per additional child. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • Victoria: $3000 for an individual/$1000 per additional adult/$500 per additional child. Children under 3 will not incur any additional cost.
  • Western Australia: $2520 for an individual. This works out as $180 per day for room and board. Each additional adult costs $60 per day. So for instance, two adults sharing a room will cost $3360. Children under 6 will not incur any additional cost.

You will not be required to pay on arrival, and will be sent an invoice after the duration of your stay.

Is there financial assistance for the hotel quarantine fees in Australia?

There are some options for payment plans and fee waivers if you are in financial difficulty – each state has its own contact details and conditions. Information for each state can be found below:

Helpful things to know about a hotel quarantine stay

food in hotel quarantine
  • Food will be provided for you, and dietary requirements catered for.
  • There is also a health team you will be able to contact if you are feeling unwell, either from COVID-19 symptoms, or any other health related issues.
  • You will still be able to use the hotel services that require no social interaction; such as having things delivered or dropped off by family at the desk or getting your clothes laundered (at your own expense). But you will not be able to leave your room or use common facilities, like the gym.
  • You may not be limited to how much alcohol you can drink or have delivered. Smoking is prohibited in the rooms for the entire duration of your stay.

Want to learn more about hotel quarantine in Australia?

We hope our guide has helped to answer some of the more confusing things about hotel quarantine but if you need anymore information, we urge that you start at the Smartraveller.gov.au website. For more specific information, head over to each state’s COVID-19 page, where you’ll find FAQs on the entire hotel quarantine process.

This page was last updated on 25 March 2021. To our knowledge, the information on this page was correct at the time of publication. For further, up-to-date information, please visit Smartraveller.gov.au.

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