Quarantine in Two States with Connecting Flights

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I have been perusing different websites re when and where to quarantine on a connecting flight. (its too early to find out as we are not going to fly any time soon, but I thought to get as much info now so that when the time comes we are prepared).

If one takes a connecting flight, i.e. Cape Town – Sydney – Adelaide. With the layover in Sydney of 2 hours. Do we have to quarantine in Sydney even though we are not leaving the airport? And do we have to quarantine in Adelaide as well?

The only news I get is to quarantine in both states, but that seems a bit ridiculous. If so, then we will just take another flight.


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I would have assumed that if you remain on the airport side, that double quarantine would not apply.  However, you would still be interacting with some others in that State, and Australia is being VERY cautious of community transmission.

The Official Statement at smartraveller.gov.au is:

Mandatory quarantine
When you arrive in Australia, you must quarantine for 14 days at designated facilities in your port of arrival – unless you have an exemption. Vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding your flight does not change this quarantine requirement.

You won’t be permitted to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic connections until you have completed the 14-day mandatory quarantine period.

I have highlighted one part in red. It seems that quarantine in the first state of landing may be required.

If you go though immigration control at Sydney, then you will be quarantined in Sydney.

Whether you would be quarantined in Adelaide would depend on South Australia state rules at that time.

To check if  South Australia has quarantine restrictions for inter state domestic travel, you need to refer to this page at the relevant time: covid-19.sa.gov.au/…cross-border-travel

If we have another COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, then the other States may impose quarantine again for domestic arrivals from Sydney.

As at 29th March 2021, South Australia stated the following, but note that this does NOT relate to arrivals in Sydney (it is mentioned to show what can happen):

  • South Australia’s border is effectively closed to people from Greater Brisbane.
  • Only South Australians, essential workers or people genuinely relocating are allowed to enter the state from the designated area.
  • Under the hard border, they will need to undergo 14 days of quarantine and be tested for COVID-19 regularly.

This was then lifted on the 3rd April 2021, removing the need for inter-state arrival quarantine.


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