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

A Break Down of Australia’s Current Border Restrictions [Update]
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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 has eased its restrictions in recent days. As of Friday, February 12 NSW will shift to a 2sqm rule across Greater Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and the Central Coast, new updates state.

The 1 person per 2sqm rule will be in place across all venues save for gyms. Weddings and funerals will be limited to 300 guests. Masks remain mandatory on public transport and are strongly encouraged in other environments where social distancing is not possible.

If you would like to keep an eye on local hotspots, there’s a Google map you can use to keep up to date.

The state has recently declared Victoria an affected area, and has announced that any visitors arriving from the state will have to need to undergo a health screening and complete a declaration form. Restrictions regarding WA have been lifted.

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


Queensland ended its self-imposed lockdown on Monday, January 11 and has since reverted back to more relaxed COVID-19 restrictions.

The Queensland border has opened up to Greater Sydney again from February 1, meaning all of NSW and QLD are free to travel across the border without quarantining.

WA’s status as a hotspot has been revoked as of February 6.

As of 1am AEST February 13, 2021, anyone entering Queensland who has been in Victoria on or since Friday 29 January 2021 will need to apply for a border pass. Borders have not been closed but Queensland asks Victorians to reconsider their need for travel.

South Australia

South Australia has restrictions in place for Victoria, Western Australia and NSW.

As of February 11, SA has closed its borders to anyone who as at the Holiday Inn, 10/14 Centre Road, Melbourne Airport (or is a close contact of someone at the hotel) on or after 12.01am January 27. Greater Melbourne is considered a prohibited site to SA.

“People who have been in Greater Melbourne on or after 4 February are not permitted to enter South Australia unless they are essential travellers, escaping domestic violence, returning South Australian residents or relocating to SA.”

Travellers entering into SA by plane from a low community transmission zone may travel through Greater Melbourne, as long as their stay does not exceed two hours, and masks are worn. Rules for those entering via car are similar, though the two-hour time limit is not in place. Instead, you must use the “most direct route”.

For NSW, the SA website states that “Anyone who was at one of the public exposure sites identified on the NSW Health website at the specified dates and times must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days from the day of last exposure and get a COVID-19 test”. You must notify the state of your visit to these areas.

People visiting from Greater Sydney, Wollongong and Central Coast areas in NSW, and Perth, Peel, or South-West regions of Western Australia must get a Covid test within 24 hours of arrival and quarantine until receiving a negative result. You must also get tested on days 5 and 12 while in SA, although self-isolation is not required if you’ve received a negative result in your first test.

The same restrictions are in place for visitors from New Zealand.

You can find the latest health advice on this situation here.

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.

As of February 12, WA will introduce a 72-hour hard border with Victoria. Only exempt travellers are permitted to enter the state.

Western Australia has announced that NSW is classed as ‘low-risk’ areas and travel is permitted but visitors must complete 14 days of self-quarantine and present for COVID-19 testing.

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


Tasmania has announced that areas in NSW and Victoria have been declared high risk by the state. If arriving into Tasmania from high-risk areas, Tasmania asks that you self-isolate for 14 days. However, if you have completed 14 days self-isolation prior to departing a high-risk area, you will be permitted to enter without quarantining.

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 and Victoria 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.

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


The ACT is set to introduce border restrictions for Victoria as of 11.59pm Friday 12 February. ACT residents who return home before midnight will not have to quarantine, ABC reports. Those returning tomorrow onwards will be asked to isolate, in line with Melbourne’s 5-day lockdown.

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


Victoria has announced it will enter into a 5-day lockdown. Masks must be worn everywhere outside of your own home.

Victoria has announced that the Perth metropolitan area, the Peel region and the South West region of Western Australia are now considered ‘orange zones’ by the state. If visiting from an orange zone, you “can apply for a permit to enter Victoria provided they have not been in close contact with a coronavirus (COVID-19) case and do not have any coronavirus (COVID19) symptoms”. On arrival, orange zone visitors must get a test and isolate until they receive a negative result.

Victoria currently has no border restrictions to other states or territories but all travellers need to apply for a permit to enter the state.

Victoria has also stated that the travel bubble between New Zealand is once again effective as of January 31. Some travellers from New Zealand will be required to present negative test results.


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. 

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