COVID-19 :: Border Restrictions

Last Update 23/9/2020

We are aware that the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to contain it have the potential to significantly impact your business, particularly where the movement of goods and workers are concerned.  This page is dedicated to providing the latest information on border restrictions for interstate travel.

Although we are endeavouring to ensure this is kept fully up-to-date, with the rapidly changing situation, we recommend that you always review the state information direct on the relevant state website prior to making business decisions.

There is now a useful online tool from Healthdirect.gov.au that allows you to select the state you are interested in and it provides all the latest information about where you can and cannot travel domestically.

There are no travel restrictions for the movement of freight including fresh food.  All state border directions still apply, but freight is flowing through across the country from growing regions to markets and onward to customers.

Summary of current Border restrictions

STATEPRE-ENTRY BORDER DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED?SPECIAL CONDITIONS FOR AGRICULTURE WORKERS?QUARANTINE REQUIRED?
QUEENSLANDYES – CLICK HERE

Apply online – valid for 7 days from date of issue

FREIGHT DRIVERS MUST APPLY TOO

YES – STRICT CONDITIONS
‘Agribusiness specialist worker’

Exemption extended for 1 month from 21 Sep for NSW-Qld Ag movements

MAYBE – CLICK HERE

Overseas travellers – YES

Anyone who has been in a HotSpot – NO ENTRY

NSWYES – CLICK HERE

APPLY FOR A PERMIT

NEW Freight Permit now online

YES – CLICK HERE

PLEASE NOTE: NSW exceptions for Agriculture workers DO NOT apply to seasonal workers i.e. backpackers.
Seasonal Workers are no longer able to travel from Vic to NSW from 22 July

YES – CLICK HERE

PLEASE NOTE: New arrangements for NSW-Vic border from 12.01am Thursday 17 September

VICNONOYES – for international arrivals only
SAYES – CLICK HERE

Submit online at least 72 hours prior to travel

Border with VIC – changes made 28/8/20

NO – everyone who is entering South Australia will need to complete the pre-approval process or apply for a status when they arrive on the border.MAYBE – CLICK HERE

NO ENTRY to people coming from VIC

TASYES – CLICK HEREMAYBE – CLICK HERE

Essential Travellers from Victoria under the ‘specialist skills critical to maintaining key industries and businesses’ category of specified person, will now need prior approval to travel from the State Controller.

YES – CLICK HERE

Applies to all entrants to TASMANIA including Essential Travellers

From 31 July FEE applies for all Quarantine Arrangements

WAYES – CLICK HERE

Submit 14 days prior to travel

MAYBE – CLICK HERE

No one* will be allowed into WA if they have been in, or have transited through, Victoria or NSW in the previous 14 days, unless they meet new exemption requirements.

YES – CLICK HERE

PLEASE NOTE: You cannot enter WA unless you are an exempt traveller

ACTYES – for ACT returning residents – CLICK HERE

Anyone (other than ACT residents) travelling into the ACT from Victoria will be denied entry unless they are granted an exemption. ACT residents will be able to return home, but they will be required to enter quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria, and must notify ACT Health of their intention to return.

NOMAYBE

ACT residents will be required to enter quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria

There is currently no quarantine required for interstate visits from any state outside of Victoria

International entrants are still required to complete 14 days of hotel quarantine

NTFor all arrivals you must complete a:

Border Entry Form

MAYBE – CLICK HERE

No entry for anyone travelling from an identified hotspot

YES – CLICK HERE

QUEENSLAND

Queensland – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) | Queensland Government

Updated at 23 Sept 2020

KEY CHANGES

  • New changes come into effect at 1am on Thursday, October 1 to NSW postcodes allowed into Qld – the postcodes included will be:
    • The Tweed Shire
    • Byron Shire
    • City of Lismore
    • Ballina Shire
    • Richmond Valley Council
    • Glen Innes Shire
    • And these border postcodes: 2880, 2840, 2839, 2838, 2834, 2833, 2406, 2405, 2409, 2410, 2361, 2372, 2476, 2474, 2484, 2489, 2488, 2484, 2486

    If you stay in the above areas on your visit, you won’t need to quarantine for 14 days upon returning to Queensland.

    But, if you decide to venture any further, you’ll face 14 days’ quarantine at your own expense when you re-enter Queensland.

Border restrictions Direction (No. 13)

What changed from 1:00 am Saturday 5 September?

The Direction has been updated to make the following changes to the border zone (PDF)

  • include postcode 2400 to the New South Wales Border zone
  • amend postcode 4352 to only include the parts within Goondiwindi and Southern Downs Local Government Areas
  • amend postcode 4222 to only include the parts within Gold Coast City Local Government Area.

The Queensland Government has implemented enhanced border control measures, including border passes and identification screening to help protect Queensland.

More information is also available for:

  • exemption requests—find out what you need to consider prior to requesting an exemption
  • other restrictions and conditions— including requirements for quarantine in government arranged accommodation at your own expense (unless exceptional circumstances apply).

Apply now for a border pass

You need to apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass to enter Queensland. A pass does not guarantee entry into Queensland as this is determined by an Emergency Officer at the border checkpoint in accordance with the current published public health directions of the Chief Health Officer.

There are 4 border pass options:

Anyone who has been in a COVID-19 declared hotspot in the previous 14 days cannot enter Queensland. Few exemptions and tough penalties apply.

Find out more about the requirements, restrictions and conditions that apply, including helpful questions and answers.

Note:

Currently the only people allowed to enter Queensland by road are:

  • truck drivers
  • workers related to the transport of freight and logistics
  • people performing essential activities and
  • border zone residents

Find out more

Border zone residents

Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in New South Wales (but can travel anywhere within Queensland) and New South Wales border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in either Queensland or New South Wales. The border zones were expanded on 20 August 2020 (Border restriction direction no. 12).

Read more about restrictions on border residents and view a map of the zones.

Essential activities for which you may be allowed entry

A class exemption for farmers and agribusiness workers

The 1-month class exemption that commenced on 22 August 2020 has been extended for 1 month from 21 September 2020.

The class exemption is for farmers and agribusiness workers needing to move between Queensland and New South Wales by road to perform essential agribusiness services or farming activities, such as tending to livestock or crops. The class exemption does not apply to seasonal workers.

To be eligible for the exemption you must be a:

  1. Queensland resident who needs to re-enter Queensland after travelling to New South Wales to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
  2. Queensland resident who needs to re-enter Queensland after entering New South Wales to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock
  3. New South Wales resident who needs to enter Queensland to perform essential agribusiness services for the agriculture supply chain or farming activities
  4. New South Wales resident who needs to access Queensland to access or provide timely veterinary services, or to provide care for livestock.

If you do not meet one of these criteria and you need to enter Queensland to provide services critical to agribusiness operation, you may be eligible to apply for a specialist worker exemption (see below).

To enter Queensland under a class exemption, you will need:

  1. A copy of the Chief Health Officer’s class exemption letter from 21 September 2020 (PDF, 178KB)
  2. Evidence of your identity, confirming your place of residence
  3. Evidence you are an agribusiness essential worker (e.g. letter of employment, business contract, evidence of property ownership or lease, evidence of agistment arrangements).

You will need to complete a written Queensland border declaration pass upon arrival at the Queensland border. You will not be able to complete an electronic Queensland border declaration pass.

Requirements for workers travelling under the class exemption

All agribusinesses must have a plan in place to prevent the introduction and transmission of COVID-19 among workers and the community. You are also encouraged to have a worker-specific quarantine management plan (DOCX, 121KB) showing how you will minimise interactions with the community.

Queensland residents:

  • must travel directly to and from the relevant farm or premises
  • must only exit their mode of transport to access rest-stop facilities, refuelling, and activities directly related to their agribusiness activity, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management
  • may stay at overnight accommodation when necessary in order to fulfil fatigue-management requirements
  • must remain isolated, to the extent reasonably practicable, from the general public at the agribusiness or farm in New South Wales until they return to Queensland
  • must only remain in New South Wales for the time necessary to perform the essential agribusiness or farming activities.

New South Wales residents:

  • must travel directly to and from the relevant farm or premises
  • must only exit their mode of transport to access rest-stop facilities, refuelling, and activities directly related to their agribusiness activity, or to meet required regulation activities such as workplace health and safety or fatigue management
  • may stay at overnight accommodation when necessary in order to fulfil fatigue management requirements
  • must remain isolated, to the extent reasonably practicable, from the general public at the agribusiness or farm in Queensland until they depart Queensland or for 14 days, whichever period is shorter
  • must only remain in Queensland for the time necessary to perform the essential agribusiness or farming activities.

Specialist worker

A specialist worker is a person who provides emergency services or continuity of government or government-funded services, industry, infrastructure or utilities critical to Queensland, in industries including agribusiness, commercial fishing and food manufacturing (for example, critical agricultural operations necessary to maintain food supply). Read the industry applicant guidelines for advice on the type of specialist workers considered for an exemption (PDF, 520KB).

If you are unable to source a specialist worker in Queensland or outside the declared COVID-19 hotspots, you can apply for an exemption.

Exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria and will be very limited. We are unable to discuss individual circumstances and applications. You should allow at least 5 working days for your application to be assessed.

Specialist worker exemption applications must be submitted by the employer, government agency or entity that the specialist worker is working/contracting for, with evidence of the following:

  1. A written explanation of the essential activity the specialist worker will be undertaking in Queensland
  2. Documentation that demonstrates why this service is critical to Queensland. It must detail why:
    1. these services cannot be obtained in Queensland
    2. these services must be provided without delay
    3. the specialist worker must be physically present in Queensland to provide the service or perform the duty.
  3. The application must also include as attachments:
    1. the employer’s plan to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 among employees and the community (for example, a workplace health management plan or workplace health and safety plan)
    2. a detailed quarantine management plan for the specialist worker(s), describing all travel arrangements and how the worker(s) will minimise contact with others.

If an exemption is granted, an exempt specialist worker will need to provide the following information on arrival in Queensland:

  1. your status as an approved specialist worker
  2. name of your employer
  3. that you are entering Queensland to go directly to work
  4. your worksite location
  5. where your accommodation is located in Queensland while performing the essential activity.

Employers are strongly encouraged to have resourcing and workforce plans in place and not rely on exemptions being granted.

Specialist worker application process

If you are a farmer or agribusiness worker who is a resident of Queensland or New South Wales, check if you are eligible for a class exemption prior to applying as a specialist worker.

The status of the person as a specialist worker must be approved by the Chief Health Officer through the exemption process. To apply for a specialist worker exemption:

  1. The business or company seeking to bring the specialist worker into Queensland completes the application for specialist worker exemption.
  2. The application will be assessed against the criteria outlined in the industry applicants guideline (PDF, 520KB).
  3. If approval is given, a letter will be sent to the business/company advising that the specialist worker(s) has been granted an exemption from the Chief Health Officer.
  4. The business/company should provide a copy of the letter to the relevant specialist worker to support their Border declaration pass on entry to Queensland.
  5. The business/company and specialist worker must abide by the public health directions and any additional requirements outlined in the exemption letter.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

South Australia – COVID-19 – Home

Updated: 23 Sept 2020

CLICK HERE for the latest travel restrictions in SA

COVID-19 FAQ 

Travel within SA

Travel within South Australia is largely unrestricted. People are free to visit most regional areas, and travel within South Australia is a great way to support our regional communities and economies.

Victorian border restrictions

Travellers from Victoria, other than approved categories of Essential Travellers, are not permitted to travel to South Australia. Checkpoints or road blocks will be set up at all border crossings between South Australia and Victoria.

New South Wales border restrictions

Travellers from NSW, other than essential travellers, will be required to:

  • self-quarantine for 14 days after entering SA
  • submit for COVID-19 testing on:
    • the first day of entry to SA (the day of arrival)
    • the twelfth day of arrival.

New South Wales border restriction update

From 12.01am Thursday 24 September, people entering South Australia from New South Wales will no longer be required to complete 14 days self-quarantine.

People entering SA before this time will still be required to complete the full mandatory 14 days quarantine. This is because people who have arrived in the preceding 14 days present a different health risk.

People entering SA from NSW from 12.01am Thursday 24 September are still required to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration.

All other states

Travellers from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA are able to enter South Australia directly without restriction.

Those travelling to South Australia via air from low community transmission zones can now transit through Sydney without the requirement for COVID-19 testing or 14 day self-quarantine upon arrival, providing they do not leave the airport and have been in a low community transmission zone for 14 days.

Exemption information for travel into South Australia

South Australia’s management of COVID-19 has allowed the Government to ease restrictions throughout South Australia. This has only been possible by ensuring the virus is not unknowingly brought into South Australia and this is why there are restrictions on movement of people into South Australia from areas of high community transmission. These considerations are reviewed regularly and may change based on community transmission rates in other jurisdictions.

Travel exemption information fact sheet (PDF, 152.4 KB) – 24 August 2020
Travel exemption information fact sheet (DOCX, 177.7 KB) – 24 August 2020

Specialist workers in essential sectors – COVID-19 Workplace Risk Mitigation

Essential sectors with the need for individual specialist workers to enter and exit South Australia need to have Workplace Risk Mitigation strategies for COVID-19. This includes identifying potential risks, hazards and the controls in place to mitigate these potential risks.

Who needs a COVID-19 Essential Traveller Workplace Risk Mitigation Plan?

Only essential sectors in the Cross Border Travel Direction are required to have approval by the Department of Health and Wellbeing (SA Health) about their workplace risk mitigation plan.

Find out more and submit your Risk Mitigation Plan.

Cross-border communities

Victorian border communities

Cross Border Community Members on the South Australia/Victoria border are now permitted to enter SA if they reside within 40km of the border for essential purposes only.

You must have had a COVID-19 test within last 7 days.

If you are entering from VIC you cannot travel further than 40 kilometres (PDF, 553.6 KB) over the border into South Australia.

Anyone wishing to enter South Australia from Victoria as an Essential traveller will need to complete a Cross Border Travel Registration form.

New South Wales border communities

Cross-border community residents from New South Wales can enter within 50km for Essential Travel activities. No self-quarantine is required, unless you have travelled more than 50 km into NSW, then you must self-quarantine for 14 days.

No mask is required but you must have had a COVID-19 test within last 7 days.

If you are entering from NSW you cannot travel further than 50 kilometres (PDF, 688.5 KB) over the border into South Australia.

Anyone wishing to enter South Australia from NSW as an Essential traveller will need to complete a Cross Border Travel Registration form.

Entering SA from interstate

Before you travel

A pre-approval process is now in place for travellers wishing to enter South Australia. The Cross Border Travel Registration should speed up the border crossing process and provide certainty for people who want to enter SA.

Registration

If you are planning travel to South Australia, aim to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration at least three days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins.

All travellers intending to enter SA should register for pre-approval. This includes:

  • people entering from unrestricted states (NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • people entering from permissible states (ACT and NSW), including those applying for essential traveller status
  • essential travellers entering from Victoria
  • SA residents returning home from any other state other than Victoria, regardless of how long they were interstate.

Provide details in the short description of why you are travelling. If you are an essential skills worker, transport, or entering for compassionate grounds, include a summary of:

  • who you work for, or the business or person you are visiting
  • why you are entering the state
  • how long you will be in the state and whether you will return often.

If you want to apply for an Essential Traveller status then you will need a letter confirming why you are seeking this status, it could be from your employer or a funeral home for example.

If you are unable to complete registration before you leave, proceed to the border and you will be assisted by police and given an ‘interim status’ while your registration is assessed.

Assessment

Your registration will be assessed to determine whether you are:

  • able to travel without restriction (including people arriving directly from NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days and submit for testing (including people arriving directly from ACT or NSW)
  • an essential traveller, with or without self-quarantine restrictions
  • unable to enter South Australia (Victorian residents who are not essential travellers)

South Australia Police (SAPOL) will confirm each registration and assess them to determine a traveller’s status.

Notification

You will be notified by email of your status within 72 hours and given a unique number. You will need to produce this number when crossing the border.

If your application is declined you may receive an email asking for more information, this can include documentation or adding to your description information about why you want to enter South Australia.

Complete your Cross Border Travel Registration on the SAPOL website.

Arriving in SA

There are checkpoints at roads leading into SA from other states, and at Adelaide airport. You will need to produce your pre-approval number at one of these checkpoints. Your arrival will then be recorded by police.

Video – Online pre-approval form instructions

Self-quarantine requirements

You can only leave self-quarantine to obtain urgent medical care or medical supplies, to get tested for COVID-19, or for any other emergency situation.

You must ensure no one else enters or stays at the place you are self-quarantining unless:

  • they usually live there and you need to provide care/support to them, or receive care/support from them, or
  • they are also self-quarantining, or
  • your place of self-quarantine is appropriately set up so you do not have contact with others.

Because we need to minimise the number of people you are in contact with, you may need to make arrangements for yourself or other household members to stay somewhere else.

Testing of arrivals

If you enter South Australia as a non-essential traveller from the ACT, NSW, you will be required to take a COVID-19 test:

  • on your first day in SA (the day you arrive)
  • again, on your twelfth day in SA.

This applies to anyone who has arrived in SA on or after Wednesday, 8 July. It is mandatory for anyone 16 years or over, and strongly recommended for children under 16.

Travelling interstate from SA

Not all border-crossing arrangements are reciprocal. People leaving South Australia should research restrictions in other states before planning any interstate travel.

The Healthdirect Australia Restriction Checker has advice on what restrictions are in place in each state and territory across Australia.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Western Australia – COVID-19 Hub

Updated at 18 Sept 2020

Strict border controls are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19.

You cannot enter WA unless you are an exempt traveller. The Quarantine (Closing the Border) Directions, as amended, set out exempt traveller categories. Entry into Western Australia may be subject to terms and conditions, including a requirement to quarantine for 14 days. You may apply for an exemption via G2G PASS.

If coming from overseas, you’ll be subject to the Australian Government’s mandatory 14 day quarantine period at your own expense in the first Australian port of entry.

The categories of “exempt traveller” are set out in detail in the Directions. It is important that any person who is seeking to enter Western Australia reads and understands the categories of exempt traveller that are set out in the Directions.  In summary, the categories include:

  • any person performing a function under a Commonwealth law
  • truck drivers who deliver goods to Western Australia as part of their normal duties
  • people with specialist skills, involved in time-sensitive critical maintenance or repair of critical infrastructure
  • people employed in agriculture, food production or primary industry who need to be in Western Australia
  • FIFO workers, subject to requirements to isolate for 14 days at an approved location at their employer’s expense
  • emergency service workers
  • compassionate grounds – including urgent and essential medical treatment, visiting a relative who has suffered a serious medical episode, or whose death is imminent, and to attend a funeral
  • members of the House of Representatives and Senators of the Commonwealth Parliament and their staff members
  • carers and relatives who need to care for a dependent person in Western Australia
  • dependent persons who need to enter Western Australia to be cared for by a carer or relative because they can no longer be cared for interstate
  • people whose residential facility, such as a boarding school, has closed, who need to return to Western Australia to stay with family or a carer
  • people who need to enter Western Australia to comply with a court order.

FIND OUT MORE

NORTHERN TERRITORY

Northern Territory – COVID Hub

Updated: 18 Sept 2020

There are strict border controls in place for all arrivals to the Territory, including returning Territorians. CLICK HERE MORE DETAIL

All arrivals to the Northern Territory (NT) must:

NEW SOUTH WALES

New South Wales – COVID-19 advice

Updated 23 Sept 2020

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria. Only persons authorised under the public health order may enter NSW if they have been in Victoria in the last 14 days.

Easing of restrictions for border region residents

From 12.01am Thursday 17 September border region residents are able to travel within the border region for any reason with a current permit.

Victorian border region residents no longer need to comply with any Victorian Stay at Home Directions while in NSW.

If you have a border region resident permit that was current at 12.01am Thursday, 17 September it will

  • be considered a new border region resident permit, with the new conditions
  • continue to be valid until the permit’s date of expiry.

Border region changes

From 12.01am Thursday 17 September the border region will be increased to include more towns and areas.

Border region map and address check

VICTORIA

Victoria – Department of Health and Human Services Victoria | Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Updated: 18 Sept 2020

  • Stage 4 restrictions now apply across metropolitan Melbourne to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) by reducing the number of people leaving their homes and moving around Victoria.
  • Under these restrictions, only permitted workplaces are allowed to operate on-site, and they must have a COVIDSafe Plan in place.
  • Several industries have also been identified as high-risk. The businesses in these sectors must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan to complement their COVIDSafe Plan.
  • Stage 4 restrictions apply to metropolitan Melbourne only. Stage 4 restrictions also apply to some high-risk industries such as abattoirs and meat processing businesses that also operate in regional Victoria.
  • Workplaces in Melbourne must be closed unless:

    Employers that require their staff to attend a worksite must issue a worker permit to their employees. Issuing the permitted worker permit is the employer’s responsibility. The dates on existing permits can be edited and added to by employers as required.

    Advice on access to childcare for permitted workers is provided below. Permitted workplaces must have implemented their COVIDSafe Plan.

TASMANIA

Tasmania – COVID-19 Hub

Updated: 18 Sept 2020