Australia’s Covid-19 state border restrictions explained

Newstalk ZB /,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Nov 2020, 12:17PM
Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

Australia’s Covid-19 state border restrictions explained

Newstalk ZB /,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Nov 2020, 12:17PM

As multiple states and territories adjust their travel rules or get rid of them altogether, it’s hard to keep track of where you can and can’t travel in Australia.

Earlier this month Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed all of the nation’s borders will be open by Christmas, with the exception of Western Australia.

By December 1 most of the country’s borders should be reopened, with Mr Morrison saying it was welcome news for families desperate to spend time with loved ones at Christmas.

“That is a plan to have Australian open … with the exception of Western Australia,’’ he said.

“The plan importantly embeds public health metrics in ensuring that when Australia opens safely that it remains open safely, and that is incredibly important.”

So, from where you can go to whether you’ll have to quarantine, here’s a state-by-state guide to Australia’s border restrictions.


People travelling from anywhere in Australia, apart from Victoria, can enter the state without having to go into a mandatory 14-day quarantine.

Currently essential travellers from Victoria are allowed to enter the state but from December 1, the border will be completely open to all Victorians.

Anyone travelling in SA is still required to complete an online approval form before crossing the border.


Anyone can cross the border into Queensland unless they have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days.

Current hot spots include Sydney, 20 LGA’s in South Australia and all of Victoria but these rules are set to change.

From December 1, the border will open to all of NSW with Victorians also likely to be able to travel into Queensland from that date as well.

There is no timeline yet on when the border will reopen to all of South Australia, with chief health officer Jeannette Young saying the government was waiting “a little bit longer” before making a decision.

Anyone looking to travel into Queensland will still need to complete a Border Declaration Pass beforehand.


NSW opened its border with Victoria on November 23, ending months of tough restrictions due to Victoria’s second wave of COVID-19 infections.

Victorians entering NSW no longer require a permit or need to quarantine upon arrival.

The only border restrictions in force for the state relate to South Australian travellers.

Anyone travelling into NSW who has been to South Australia in the last 14 days must complete a NSW entry declaration form before entering the state.

“Non-NSW residents who have been to any areas of concern at the times specified will be unable to enter NSW unless you are transiting through,” the NSW government said.

NSW residents who have been in an area of concern and are re-entering the state must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days upon their return.


Like many other states, Victoria recently introduced travel restrictions for people crossing the border from South Australia.

Anyone entering Victoria from South Australia are required to have a Victorian Border Crossing Permit.

“A Victorian Border Crossing Permit will be issued for travellers based on the locations they have visited or travelled through in South Australia. These locations are categorised as green, orange and red zones,” the Victorian government’s website states.

“The 70km cross border permit arrangements between Victoria and South Australia are still in place. You can display your previous cross border permits or your driver’s licence with an address within 70km of the border, as long as you have not visited a location in the red zone.”

There are currently seven locations listed in the “red zone”, which can be found here.


If you’re travelling to the Top End from or through a declared coronavirus hotspot, you’ll be sent into mandatory quarantine for 14 days at your own expense.

Melbourne is still considered a hotspot by the NT government and anyone from the area looking to cross into the NT will need to quarantine.

But it looks like the borders could be reopened soon, with Chief Minister Michael Gunner saying the NT was “on track” to ease border restrictions with Melbourne before Christmas.

The NT briefly shut its borders to South Australia after the state was sent into a lockdown over a new COVID-19 outbreak.

However, the border was quickly reopened after it was revealed the state’s lockdown was based on misinformation given to contact tracers.

All arrivals to the NT must fill in a Border Entry Form before entering the Territory.


People wishing to enter Western Australia must first apply for a G2G Pass.

Premier Mark McGowan’s stance on keeping his state closed has held tight since the beginning of Australia’s COVID-19 outbreak, and is yet to name a date for when he’ll consider fully opening up again.

People from very low risk states and territories, including Tasmania, Queensland, the ACT and the Northern Territory, are not required to quarantine upon entering the state.

People from low risk states, including NSW and Victoria, must quarantine for 14 days upon arrival, either at a pre-approved premises or a government-approved facility at their own expense.

South Australia is classified as a medium risk state, with travellers not permitted to enter unless they have an exemption.

“Approved travellers are subject to a COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 11 of quarantine, or at any point when symptoms develop,” the WA government said.


All travellers heading to Tasmania are required to provide their contact and travel details before entering the state.

People travelling from low risk areas, including NSW, the ACT, the Northern Territory and Queensland, can register their travel through the Tas e-Travel system.

Anyone who spent time in Victoria or South Australia 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania will be required to undergo a two-week quarantine period.


The Australian Capital Territory has introduced travel restrictions for South Australian residents and those who have been in the state in the past 14 days.

All non-essential travel from South Australia to the ACT is being discouraged, with anyone travelling from SA required to complete an online declaration.