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Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew

Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction (No. 5)

What’s changed from 25 January 2021

  • New Zealand is no longer a safe travel zone country. Air crew who travel from New Zealand to Australia will now need to follow quarantine requirements.
  • Air crew who have arrived from New Zealand on a quarantine free flight on or since 14 January 2021 must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Quarantine for air crew

To protect the health of Queenslanders, international air crew must complete quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

Domestic air crew who in the last 14 days have travelled on a domestic flight with crew who have been overseas in the last 14 days must also complete quarantine on arrival in Queensland. These domestic air crew can enter Queensland without quarantining if 14 days have passed since their flight with international air crew.

Queensland-based air crew from an approved airline or domestic crew who live in Queensland from an approved airline are allowed to quarantine at their home residence if they use private transport to travel directly to their residence without stopping. Their home residence must be within a safe 2 hour driving distance from their port of arrival. Airlines must use a compliance plan that details how their Queensland-based aircrew will comply with home quarantine requirements and Public Health Directions, and be able to provide the plan if requested by an emergency officer.

Upon arriving in Queensland from overseas, all air crew must:

  • quarantine in their nominated premises for 14 days or until their next international voyage.
  • not leave the premises for 14 days, until their next international work voyage or domestic crew-only flight to travel interstate to board their next international work voyage, except:
    • for essential medical care or medical supplies
    • to avoid injury or illness, or to escape a risk of harm
    • in an emergency situation
    • as permitted by an emergency officer
    • to undertake a COVID-19 test in accordance with their employer’s arrangements for testing
    • for Queensland-based air crew to carry out face-to-face recurring, mandatory training and assessment regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to ensure they continue to meet their regulatory requirements.

If you are allowed to leave quarantine, you must wear a mask at all times and travel in a private vehicle, airline or government arranged transport, ambulance or taxi with a protective shield between the driver and passenger. Only if these options are unavailable, may you travel in the back seat on the passenger side of a taxi or rideshare.

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas can travel on a domestic crew-only flight (no passengers) if they are immediately departing on an outbound international voyage on arrival.

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas on a freight flight (transporting freight and essential crew only where no new crew members have boarded the aircraft overseas) are allowed to take a freight on-flight to another destination if they:

  • can confirm they wore a mask on the flight and while in the airport
  • provide written confirmation, from their employer, that they travelled on a freight flight
  • can confirm they did not leave the confines of the airport as part of their freight flight.

Testing for air crew

All air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas must be given a COVID-19 test as soon as a test can be made available unless they can provide a negative COVID-19 test result undertaken in Australia in the last 7 days. After the first test, testing must be repeated on a rolling 7-day cycle until the crew member leaves for their next international work voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days, whichever is shorter.

Airlines must keep records of surveillance testing for air crew and provide them to an emergency officer if requested.

Air crew can leave Australia on their next work voyage while waiting for a test result, if they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms.

As air crew, if you develop COVID-19 symptoms you must:

  • get medical attention immediately
  • be tested for COVID-19
  • isolate until you receive a negative test result and have no symptoms
  • follow any other requirements set by your employer airline.

Queensland-based air crew

All airlines must arrange and document their rolling 7-day COVID-19 surveillance testing for all Queensland-based air crew quarantining at their home.

International air crew (based overseas or interstate)

International air crew will be tested in government arranged accommodation with testing facilitated by Queensland Health or a nominated agency. An air crew member may not be tested if they have a short layover in Queensland and testing is unable to be arranged (due to the timing of inbound and outbound flights).

For full details read the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction (No. 5)

Questions and answers about this direction

Questions about air crew quarantine

What if I have arrived on a quarantine free flight from New Zealand?

Air crew who have arrived from New Zealand on a quarantine free flight on or since 14 January 2021 must get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

What air crew are required to quarantine?

Air crew arriving in Queensland who have been overseas in the last 14 days including all pilots, cabin crew and crew performing essential safety and maintenance functions.

Domestic air crew who in the last 14 days have travelled with crew who have been overseas in the last 14 days must also quarantine on arrival in Queensland.

Air crew arriving on a quarantine-free flight from a safe travel zone country are not required to quarantine.

Is quarantine in government arranged accommodation for all overseas crew or just international airlines?

All overseas air crew for both international and Australian airlines will be required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation if they have been overseas in the last 14 days and do not have a primary place of residence in Queensland. The only exception is air crew arriving on a quarantine-free flight from a safe travel zone country.

Who can quarantine at home?

Only Queensland-based international air crew from an approved airline and domestic crew from an approved airline who live in Queensland are allowed to quarantine in their home residence. They must take private transport to travel directly to their residence without stopping. Their home residence must be within a safe 2 hour driving distance from their port of arrival. They must also be able to provide evidence their primary place of residence is in Queensland, if asked by an emergency officer. Examples of this evidence can include a Queensland Driver Licence, rates notice or utility bill. Air crew who would like to travel more than 2 hours to their home residence must seek an exemption from the Chief Health Officer.

If preferred, Queensland-based air crew can also quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

All other international air crew must quarantine in government arranged accommodation.

Approved airlines are listed in a Schedule in the Quarantine and COVID-19 Testing for International Air Crew Direction.

I have a home in Queensland, can my colleagues quarantine with me?

No. Queensland-based air crew who are quarantining in their home can only do this with people who normally live in their household, or alone.

Can I travel on a domestic flight after I arrive?

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas can travel on a domestic crew-only flight (no passengers) if they are immediately departing on an outbound international voyage on arrival to another State or Territory.

Air crew arriving on a quarantine-free flight from a safe travel zone country are allowed to on-flight domestically.

If I arrive on a freight flight, can I travel on to another destination?

Air crew arriving in Queensland from overseas on a freight flight are allowed to take a freight on-flight to another destination if they:

  • wore a mask on the flight and while in the airport
  • provide written confirmation of travel on a freight flight to an emergency officer
  • did not leave the confines of the airport.

A freight flight means a flight that is transporting freight and essential crew only, where no new members have boarded the aircraft overseas.

If I arrive on a quarantine-free flight and haven’t been outside a safe travel zone country in the past 14 days, do I need to quarantine?

No. If air crew operating a safe travel zone flight have only been operating on safe travel zone flights in the past 14 days they will not be required to quarantine.

Border restrictions apply to people who have been in COVID-19 hotspots. If a quarantine-free flight air crew member flies into an airport in a COVID-19 hotspot, they may enter Queensland without having to quarantine if they do not leave the confines of the airport and fly straight to Queensland.

What training can Queensland-based air crew leave quarantine for?

Queensland-based air crew (including domestic crew) can leave quarantine to carry out mandatory training and assessment regulated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. This training must be required to be undertaken face-to-face within Queensland and is to ensure that air crew maintain licences to operate an aircraft or to ensure the safety of flights. For example, flight simulation training or the components of essential safety and security training.

Questions about air crew testing

When does COVID-19 surveillance testing start for air crew?

International air crew must undertake COVID-19 surveillance testing as soon as testing can be made available on their arrival to Queensland and then on a rolling 7-day cycle. This means testing must occur every 7 days until the air crew member leaves for their next international voyage or has been in Australia for 14 days.

For aircrew in government arranged accommodation, Queensland Health or a nominated agency will facilitate testing. For those in home quarantine, the airline must facilitate testing.

If I have been tested for COVID-19 before entering Australia, do I still need to be tested?

Yes. Any COVID-19 test taken outside of Australia will not be accepted.

If I have been tested for COVID-19 in another state or territory within Australia, do I still need to be tested?

Air crew will not need to be tested on arrival to Queensland if they can provide evidence of a COVID-19 test result undertaken in Australia in the last 7 days.

Other

Can I be granted an exemption from the quarantine and/or testing requirements for air crew?

Exemptions may be granted on the basis of exceptional circumstances by the Chief Health Officer. If an exemption is given, the person must comply with all conditions of the exemption.

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Questions and Requests for exemptions

If you are seeking clarification on a Direction or have any questions, please call 134 COVID (13 42 68).

To apply for an exemption to a Direction please complete the online form.

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