A Break Down of Australia’s Current Border Restrictions [Update]

A Break Down of Australia’s Current Border Restrictions [Update]

Since COVID-19 began in March 2020, the state and territory governments have been enforcing their own border control measures to limit travel from various coronavirus hotspots around Australia.

Over the past few months, the border restrictions have changed a number of times to adapt to emerging coronavirus clusters. If you’re at a loss of where we’re at with all this change, especially with the holidays fast approaching, don’t worry. We’ve created a guide for you below.

New South Wales

NSW’s Northern Beaches lockdown finally ended over the weekend but certain restrictions are still in place for the Greater Sydney area. If you would like to keep an eye on local hotspots, there’s a Google map you can use to keep up to date.

NSW doesn’t have any active border restrictions with any other state or territory.


Queensland ended its self-imposed lockdown on Monday, January 11. However, there are still restrictions in place for those in the Brisbane region, such as mandatory masks, until January 22.

Queensland has updated border restrictions based on NSW’s latest outbreak. The state has declared the Greater Sydney region a hot spot. The Queensland border has been closed to anyone who has been in an active hotspot in the last 14 days.

The state’s website writes:

  • “Anyone travelling to Queensland who has been in NSW at any time since 1am Friday 11 December must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass before they enter Queensland.”
  • “Anyone who is already in Queensland that has been in Greater Sydney or the Central Coast at any time since 1am Friday 11 December should get a test and quarantine in their home or accommodation until they receive a negative result.”

Those who are travelling from or have visited Victoria recently are also asked to get a COVID test upon arrival and to self-isolate until a negative result has been received.

Queensland currently has no other restrictions in place with other Australian states or territories, however, Queenslanders have been asked to reconsider non-essential travel to NSW and VIC.

South Australia

From January 9, 2021, the South Australian government requires any travellers from the area of Greater Brisbane to self-quarantine for 14 days on arrival and get tested on days 1, 5 and 12 of their isolation (this is set to end at 12:01 on Sunday).

South Australia has closed its borders to the Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Central Coast areas in NSW. You can find the latest health advice on this situation here. There is an established cross border community for the SA/NSW border which allows for those within 100km of the border to cross with an approved application.

South Australia currently requires a Cross Border Travel Registration from all travellers.

Western Australia

All visitors to Western Australia must complete a G2G PASS to obtain permission to enter the state.

Western Australia has reinstated a hard border with QLD following the new lockdown. Those who have arrived in WA from QLD since January 2 need to self-quarantine at home for 14 days and present for a COVID test by January 12. They must also get a second test on day 11 after their arrival. No one can travel from QLD into WA without an exemption.

These same rules apply for other medium-risk states which currently includes NSW. Victoria has been downgraded to low risk, which asks that you complete 14 days self-quarantine on arrival and complete a COVID-19 test on day 11 of your stay.

WA currently allows those from very low-risk jurisdictions (TAS, SA, ACT and NT) to enter without quarantining.


Tasmania has announced that its restrictions regarding NSW, VIC and QLD have been relaxed. Parts of NSW (The Greater Sydney Region, Northern Beaches LGA and Wollongong LGA) and QLD (The Greater Brisbane Region including Brisbane, Moreton Bay, Ipswich, Redlands and Logan LGAs) are still considered medium-risk in the state, and visitors who have been in any of these areas are asked to self-quarantine either at an appropriate venue or in a designated hotel.

There are no other restrictions in place for Tasmania, although all travellers must register their intent to visit.

Northern Territory

A number of areas in NSW have been declared hot spots by the NT. Visitors arriving into the Northern Territory who have been in a hot spot are required to complete mandatory quarantine at their own cost. NT no longer considers Greater Brisbane a hotspot.

The NT Government website offers a useful checklist of things to consider before travelling to the state.


Those who are in the ACT and have recently visited Greater Brisbane no longer need to quarantine.

The ACT has updated its restrictions regarding NSW. “The COVID-19 affected areas of Greater Sydney have been reduced to 10 specific Local Government Areas (LGAs),” the ACT Covid website reads. Those are “Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Northern Beaches, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality”. If you have been to any of the listed areas, you must declare your travel from the area and quarantine for 14 days.

The ACT has no restrictions for those coming from other states at the moment.


Victoria has relaxed its restrictions on visitors from Greater Brisbane. The area has been downgraded from a “red zone” to an “orange zone” – visitors from this region will be required to “self-quarantine, get a coronavirus (COVID-19) test within 72 hours and remain in self-quarantine until you receive a negative test result”.

Victoria has also loosened its restrictions with NSW, stating that it now only considers the following locations “red zone” spots: “Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality”.

Victoria currently has no border restrictions to other states or territories.


All international travellers arriving into any Australian state or territory will need to go into government arranged hotel quarantine for two weeks. Travellers are now required to return a negative COVID test before travelling to Australia and masks are now mandatory on flights and in Australian airports.

This article has been updated with additional information. 

Log in to comment on this story!