Covid border restrictions and closures: where you can and can’t travel within Australia – and to New Zealand

As families prepared for winter school holidays, Covid outbreaks once again resulted in state border restrictions and forced plans to be cancelled.

State and territory health authorities are monitoring the cases and the situation is changing daily. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of where you can and can’t travel and what you need to do before you leave home.

New South Wales

While interstate arrivals are welcome, Sydneysiders are unable to travel to regional NSW until 10 July.

People are barred from leaving the city, except for essential purposes.

Interstate arrivals to NSW – except those from Victoria – do not require a permit.

Travellers from Victoria will need to complete a travel declaration within the 24 hours immediately before entering NSW, or on entry. Anyone who has been to a venue of high concern (listed here) must follow testing and self isolation requirements.

Victoria

All travellers from anywhere in Australia must apply for a permit to enter Victoria.

Greater Sydney and Wollongong, as well as greater Darwin, have been declared “red zones”, meaning their residents are banned from entering Victoria.

Victorian residents returning from a red zone can enter the state but must quarantine for 14 days.

Queensland

The Queensland government has extended border restrictions to all of greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

This means from 1am on Thursday 24 June people who live in or have visited these areas are barred from entering the state, unless they are granted a special exemption.

If you are a Queensland resident returning from a hotspot, you will need to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days at your own expense.

Everyone else will need to complete a travel declaration form up to three days prior to arrival to enter the state.

From 1am on Monday 28 June, NSW border zone residents will also be required to complete a travel declaration to enter Queensland.

Western Australia

A hard border with NSW has been reinstated, meaning no one who has been in the state since 11 June (unless they have since spent 14 days outside of NSW) is allowed to enter.

Restrictions are in place for people coming from Victoria, Queensland, the NT and the ACT, which means anyone entering from those states or territories must go through 14 days’ quarantine and be tested.

SA and Tasmania are the only states that do not have quarantine restrictions. Arrivals will still have to complete the mandatory G2G pass registration and declaration, as well as completing a health screening on arrival.

Residents of Perth and the Peel region were put under increased restrictions on Sunday 27 June, but there are no restrictions on travel for them.

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Australian Capital Territory

The ACT has issued a stay-at-home order for all of greater Sydney, as well as the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast and Wollongong, effective from 4pm Friday 25 June.

Non-ACT residents who have been in greater Sydney will not be allowed into the ACT except in limited cases where exemptions are granted, and people who are given an exemption will still need to comply with the stay-at-home order.

Residents arriving back in the ACT who had been in greater Sydney after 4pm Friday 25 June will need to complete an online declaration form, and go direct to where they intend to stay for the stay-at-home period until at least 11.59pm on Friday 2 July.

Anyone arriving from Queensland must check the close contact and casual contact exposure locations (listed here). Anyone who has visited a close contact exposure location cannot enter the ACT without an exemption. Anyone who has visited a casual contact location must complete a self-declaration form, and isolate until a negative test result.

Anyone arriving from Victoria must complete a declaration form within 24 hours prior to arriving, and follow the same rules on casual and close contact exposure locations as Queensland.

Travellers from all other states and jurisdictions can travel freely to the ACT.

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South Australia

South Australia has closed its border with NSW, Western Australia, Queensland, the Northern Territory and the ACT. For NSW, a 100km buffer zone is in place to allow people living near the border, including in Broken Hill, to travel into SA.

SA Health has announced that anyone who arrived in the state from greater Sydney since Monday must now isolate for two weeks, and get a Covid-19 test on days one, five and 13.

Previously, that group only had to isolate until their first negative test.

South Australian residents or anyone escaping domestic violence can enter, but will still need to self-quarantine for a fortnight.

People from anywhere in Victoria, or who have visited the area within 14 days of arriving in SA, must get a Covid test on day one and must self-quarantine until a negative result is received. Previously that applied only to Melbourne.

All travellers coming to South Australia must complete the Cross Border Travel Registration form prior to their trip.

Northern Territory

All interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory must fill in a border entry form.

The territory has declared greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Wollongong NSW Covid-19 hotspots, meaning visitors from those areas will need to go into quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone deemed a close contact by the NSW government must undertake 14 days of quarantine in their home or at a suitable place. Any casual contacts must isolate, get a Covid-19 test and remain in self-quarantine until a negative test is returned. The same directions apply to those coming from Queensland.

Travellers from greater Melbourne no longer need to go into quarantine.

Tasmania

From 4pm on Saturday 26 June, Tasmania closed its borders to any travellers from the greater Sydney area.

As with other states and territories, all arrivals into Tasmania must provide their contact and travel details before entering the state.

On Tuesday, a ban on people travelling from metropolitan Melbourne was lifted, with the city downgraded to low risk.

Anyone who has been to an exposure site in Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland are not permitted to enter the state.

New Zealand

NZ has suspended quarantine-free travel with Australia until 9.59pm on Tuesday 29 June. People who have visited an exposure site in any state are also barred from travelling to New Zealand within 14 days of visiting that site.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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