Commercial restrictions

Australian Border Force has issued precautionary self-isolation requirement for commercial vessels entering Australia.

Photography by ABF

19 March 2020


On 15 March 2020, the Australian Government announced that all persons entering Australia from 0001 AEDST 16 March 2020 must undertake a precautionary self-isolation period for up to 14 days upon entry to Australia.

This applies to any person entering Australia, inclusive of Australian citizens and permanent residents. For persons who are entering Australia for less than 14 days, they must self-isolate for the entire duration of their stay.

These measures apply to all people entering Australia including via aircraft and vessels.

The travel restrictions for mainland China, Iran, the Republic of Korea and Italy remain in Place for all travellers including maritime crew.

All crew will be notified of the precautionary self-isolation requirement through an updated health fact sheet.

For all Commercial Vessels arriving from any port outside Australia, all vessel masters must answer health screening questions as part of their entry reporting.


ABF and Biosecurity officers remain responsible for border clearance processes. Vessels that report ill persons with relevant symptoms will undergo a human health inspection by a Biosecurity Officer on arrival in Australia, and before the vessel is granted pratique.

For crew members on a vessel, all crew must remain on-board while the vessel is berthed in Australia. Crew are only able to disembark to conduct essential vessel functions and crew must wear personal protective equipment while performing these functions.

These restrictions apply until 14 days has elapsed since the vessel departed the last port before Australia, unless crew are unwell or there is a suspected case of COVID-19 onboard.

The period maritime crew spend at sea prior to their arrival in Australia counts towards the 14-day period of self-isolation. In practice, if a vessel has travelled for ten days since last being in a foreign port, the period of precautionary self-isolation for its crew members would be the remaining four days.

Where a crew member is signing off a vessel (within the 14-day period) and remaining in Australia they must self- isolate at their accommodation for the remainder of the 14-day self-isolation period.

Crew members departing Australia may proceed directly to the airport and depart; or they must self-isolate at their accommodation until the time they proceed to the airport.

International crew members joining a commercial vessel voyage are subject to a 14-day self-isolation period. Crew are permitted to transit through Australia but must remain in the port or airport, or self-isolate in accommodation for the duration of their transit.  Crew must self-isolate at their final destination for the remainder of the 14 days.

For Maritime Industry, industry members engaging with commercial maritime vessels subject to the restrictions outlined above should consider the use of personal protective equipment.

Maritime Pilots will be provided personal protective equipment for the initial engagement with those vessels subject to restrictions.

The requirements outlined in this document are required to facilitate border clearance of vessels and their crew. Local port authorities may have additional requirements over and above those outlined.

These arrangements are kept under constant review and will be updated as necessary.


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