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 year, the border restrictions have changed a number of times to adapt to emerging coronavirus clusters. While we had a pretty good run there for a minute, new positive cases mean restrictions are back for certain areas.
If you’re at a loss of where we’re at with all this change, don’t worry. We’ve created a guide for you below.
You can also keep up to date with COVID locations by referring to government resources along with this Google map of hot spots.
New South Wales
(Update 15/7) NSW’s COVID-19 outbreak continues to grow, now having reached over 700 positive cases with more testing positive every day.
Greater Sydney, the Blue Mountains, the Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour entered lockdown on Saturday, June 26 at 6:00 pm.
On July 14, the lockdown for these regions was extended until Friday, July 30.
The NSW government is asking those in regional areas of the state not to travel to Greater Sydney without a reasonable excuse.
As for those entering NSW from interstate, the government has identified parts of the Northern Territory, QLD, Victoria and WA as areas of concern and those entering the state must complete a border declaration.
Bear in mind that anyone entering the LGAs currently in lockdown will need to also follow the stay at home orders.
Update (16/7) Victoria has entered into a snap 5-day lockdown as of 12:00 am July 16, 2021. This is the fifth for the state.
Update (15/7) All of NSW and the ACT are considered red zones under the Victorian government’s border guidelines as of July 11. Learn more about the border closure here.
Areas of QLD are considered orange zones which means visitors must apply for a permit and agree to self-quarantine, get a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result.
Find out more about the current Victorian border restrictions here.
Update (16/7) Queensland will be declaring Victoria a hotspot from 1:00 am July 17, 2021.
“That is 1:00 am Saturday and that means that anyone returning after that time from — Queenslanders will have to do the 14 days mandatory quarantine,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shell Harbour in New South Wales remain hotspots for Queensland. You may only enter into Queensland from a hotspot if you are a resident of the state or have an exemption – anyone allowed to enter into Queensland must go into hotel quarantine.
Update (15/7) Following a snap three-day lockdown restrictions are in place for residents of QLD.
Those who have been in a declared hotspot outside of QLD will not be permitted to enter the state without an exemption or conducting two weeks mandatory quarantine. This currently includes exposure sites in NSW and Victoria.
Currently, the border between QLD and NSW is not completely closed and residents in the border zone can apply for a pass.
QLD has implemented a traffic light system similar to that of Victoria. You can see which areas are hotspots on the map here.
The state has also announced it will now require a declaration to enter into QLD from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand. This will be effective as of 1:00 am AEST Saturday 19 June 2021.
See all the Queensland restrictions here.
Update (16/7) South Australia has announced it has also closed its borders to Victoria as of 12:01 am July 16, 2021. This excludes essential travellers, SA residents, those relocating and people escaping domestic violence.
The state has also tightened rules around mask-wearing in high-risk areas, and social distancing capacity rules now apply, the ABC reports.
Update (15/7) South Australia has closed its borders to NSW and the ACT, as well as certain areas of Queensland.
Those travelling from Victoria are subject to level 1 requirements which means they must get a COVID-19 test within the first 24 hours of arrival and not enter a high-risk setting until they’ve received a negative result.
Everyone travelling interstate into SA must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration.
Update (15/7) Following a short lockdown, some COVID-19 restrictions are still in place in Western Australia. Find out more here.
The ACT and Victoria have been marked as low risk. This classification asks that you wear a mask, self-quarantine (or if that’s not possible enter into mandatory quarantine) for 14 days on arrival. You must also have a health screening, and on day 11 of your stay, present for Covid testing.
NSW and QLD are considered medium risk. Under this classification, you may not enter into the state without exemption.
All visitors to Western Australia must complete a G2G PASS to obtain permission to enter the state.
Update (16/7) Tasmania has announced it has closed its borders to Victoria overnight, declaring the state high risk.
Update (15/7) Tasmania has named specific areas from NSW, Victoria, Queensland, and SA as high risk. Visitors from high-risk areas may not enter Tasmania without exemption.
All travellers must register their intent to visit, however.
Update (16/7) The NT has declared Greater Melbourne and Greater Geelong in Victoria hotspots as of 5:00 pm July 15.
Update (15/7) A number of locations in NSW have been declared hot spots by the NT – list here. “Anyone arriving into the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot must do 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine“.
You can check the current restrictions between NT and other Australian states below.
- Australian Capital Territory
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
The NT Government website offers a useful checklist of things to consider before travelling to the state including a mandatory Border Entry Form.
Update (15/7) ACT Health has introduced mask-wearing regulations in the region.
Border restrictions are in place for areas of NSW, QLD, VIC and TAS. Check whether you’re allowed to enter ACT from these regions here.
ACT residents returning from exposure locations must follow the below:
- call ACT Health on (02) 5124 6209
- complete a declaration form within 24 hours from the commencement of the Areas of Concern notice
- immediately quarantine for 14 days since you were last at the exposure location
- get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether you have any symptoms or not.
Update: (15/7) The Trans-Tasman travel bubble came into effect as of April 18. You can find details on that here.
New Zealand has placed an indefinite pause on the travel bubble with NSW and Victoria.
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. We will continue to add to this article as more news becomes available.