Requirements, restrictions, rules and policies affecting the maritime industry at Australian ports


Index to this page…


Requirements, restrictions, rules and policies affecting the maritime industry at Australian ports

See: “Entering & Leaving Australia,” by the Federal Department of Home Affairs for the current situation at the Australian border.

REMEMBER: Australia is a federal country which means that there are State & Territory governments that can and do exercise extensive powers. Visitors are subject both to Federal AND local rules. Travel rules between States & Territories can change at anytime. For instance, there are numerous examples of people being stuck on the wrong side of an internal border after travel restrictions have been announced. Those people were then stuck for days or weeks, and even months. There have also been instances when fully laden passenger planes have taken off, only for the rules to change mid-flight, with the passengers later forced into quarantine or sent back to their point of departure.

Whether travel is easy or not very much depends upon the local situation (at both the place of origin and the place of destination) at the time of travel. Readers are strongly advised to check the rules in relevant jurisdiction (see links to each jurisdiction further below on this page). At the time of writing, there are no major internal restrictions on travel. Bear in mind that restrictions can be re-imposed at any time.

Information about Omicron-COVID:

Omicron-COVID is highly infectious (also, see here). COVID has an incubation period of about five days and an infected person can spread the virus for a few days before and for a few days after the point of incubation, and so infected people can spread the virus for about 10 days or so in total. It is not possible to know if cold or flu-like symptoms are caused by COVID or not without the use of a recognised medical test, such as a Rapid Antigen Test or a PCR test. Omicron-COVID displaces other forms of COVID and it appears to induce the body to produce antibodies that are effective against Omicron-COVID (although re-infection is still possible) and that provide ongoing high levels of protection against disease. It also induces antibodies against other variant forms of COVID. Omicron-COVID produces a generally somewhat milder form of the COVID disease, generally resulting in less hospitalisation, admission to intensive care and premature death than previous variants.

COVID vaccines are highly effective against transmission of COVID (two doses are effective against all the non-Omicron variants; three doses are highly effective against transmission of the Omicron variant). COVID vaccines are highly effective against hospitalisation, admission to intensive care and against premature death caused by COVID.

Please contact Shipping Australia directly for further details.

Email: ad***@sh***************.au


Australia’s COVID situation is in a constant state of change. Owing to the size of the continent, the distance between cities, the low population density and the fragmented (and often contradictory) nature of Federal / State government, an outbreak of COVID can be raging in one part of the country and completely absent everywhere else. Travel to / from and around the COVID-infected area can be very difficult whereas travel to / from and around the COVID-free parts can be easy.

Readers are strongly advised to inform themselves of the current situation in Australia before making any travel plans.

The following sources of information are the most accurate, and most frequently updated, in relation to Australia’s COVID-situation:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Health Alert
health-focused information from the Australian Government Department of Health
COVID-19 Restriction Checker
(find out what you can and can’t do when you’re in any given part of Australia; Federal Department of Health)
Further information
The Australian Commonwealth Government has published extensive guidance at its Department of Health:


Commercial mariners may enter and depart Australia with a Transit Visa and a Maritime Crew Visa (if arriving by air) or with a Maritime Crew Visa alone if entering by sea.

Note: the phrase “commercial mariners” means seafarers working as maritime crew on freight-carrying ships (it also includes related marine service providing mariners e.g. marine pilots). None of the commentary on this page relates to cruise ship crew, recreational mariners (yachts etc) or people who have booked passage aboard a freighter as a means of personal travel and who are not, themselves, working as part of the ship’s crew.

Seafarers must lodge a fully documented and complete application at least four weeks before departing for Australia to give the authorities time to process the application. Remember: the application may be delayed or refused.

Sometimes the authorities may ask for additional information to support an application. Requested information must be provided as soon as possible; the authorities will not grant a visa until this is done.


Federal, State and Territory rules will all apply at the same time. Seafarers will need to check the relevant Federal rules (see other segments and links on this page) and also the rules of the States and Territories to which they are planning to travel. Nearly all (if not all) of the former restrictions, rules etc have been scrapped. Many of the sector-specific resources  published by the States and Territories have been retired.

Visit the Chief Health Officer’s page for more information. New South Wales
COVID-19 information for international arrivals
Information for Travellers. Tasmania
COVID-19 Resources
South Australia
COVID-19 Health Information
Western Australia
COVID-19 coronavirus: Information for Travellers
Northern Territory
Travel to and from the NT

Readers are advised to review the website of the main airlines and airports prior to booking flights:


Adelaide (South Australia)

Brisbane (Queensland)

Melbourne (Victoria)

Perth (Western Australia)

Sydney (New South Wales)

Readers may also find it useful to review the news pages of the trade website Australian Aviation especially its “Airlines” and its “Airports” sections. 

The most up-to-date and comprehensive guide to border and travel restrictions across Australia can be found here at the Federal Department of Health. After you click that link, scroll down to find “State and territory travel restrictions”.

NOTE: the information found by following the below links are largely written by, and for, lawyers. Speakers of English as a second language may well find this legally-focused information very difficult to understand. Even native speakers of normal English find Legal English difficult to understand!



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