Queensland has announced it will reopen to all of NSW and Victoria from 1 December 2020 as both states pass 28 days without a case of COVID-19 community transmission. Queensland already reopened its border to regional NSW on 3 November, but last week closed its border to SA following an outbreak in Adelaide.
WA, Queensland and Tasmania have all reinstated bans on travellers from South Australia since the recent outbreak in that state, and South Australians now require a permit to enter Victoria. But NT has already revoked SA’s hotspot status, and the SA border with NSW and ACT remains open for essential travel with some screening measures in place.
Western Australia reopened on 14 November to travellers from “very low risk” jurisdictions. Anyone coming from an Australian state or territory other than NSW, Victoria and now also South Australia is now permitted to enter WA. But travellers will need to meet certain requirements and may be tested for COVID-19 at the airport.
It comes as NSW and ACT yesterday reopened their borders with Victoria. Tasmania is on track to welcome visitors from Victoria again from 27 November, and SA was planning to remove its border with Victoria from 1 December.
Several weeks ago, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that all states except WA had agreed in principle to reopen borders by Christmas and ensure measures were in place to keep borders open in 2021 until a vaccine arrives. But there are no guarantees; state leaders were very quick to close their borders to SA – with almost no notice – following an outbreak there last week. So, for now at least, the yo-yo of state borders opening and closing on a whim continues…
With constant changes to Australian state border restrictions, it can be hard to keep up. So, which states are currently allowing cross-border travel, and from where?
Summary of current state border restrictions
We’ve put together a summary of the latest border restrictions for each Australian state and territory. Below, you’ll find the current entry and quarantine restrictions for every state & territory, as of the time of writing. Note that these restrictions are subject to change at any time…
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Travellers from anywhere in Australia are currently permitted to enter the ACT, however non-essential travel from SA is currently discouraged and travellers cannot enter the ACT if they have been in a place declared as a COVID-19 health risk by the SA government in the past 14 days.
For the latest information, see the ACT government website.
New South Wales (NSW)
Travellers from anywhere in Australia except designated areas of concern in SA are currently permitted to enter NSW. However, anyone that has been in SA during the past 14 days is required to submit a health declaration on arrival.
For the latest information, see the NSW government website.
Northern Territory (NT)
Australians may enter the Northern Territory provided they have not been to a declared hotspot in the last 14 days. Declared hotspots currently include Melbourne, but regional Victoria was removed from this list from 2 November.
A Border Entry Form must be completed and printed within 72 hours of arrival, and you may be required to show proof that you have not been in a hotspot. If you have been to a hotspot within the last 14 days, you’ll be placed into mandatory supervised quarantine at a cost of $2,500.
For the latest information, see the NT government website.
Travellers that have been to the declared hotspots of greater Adelaide, Victoria or greater Sydney in the past 14 days are not currently permitted to enter Queensland. Returning residents may enter the state but must fly in and undergo 14 days of hotel quarantine at their own expense. But travel from greater Sydney and Victoria to Queenland will be allowed to resume on 1 December.
For the latest information, see the QLD government website.
South Australia (SA)
Australians may enter South Australia without quarantining as long as they have not been in Victoria during the past 14 days. Travellers are now permitted to enter if they have been in Victoria during the previous fortnight, but must self-isolate for 14 days. The border with Victoria is due to be lifted on 1 December 2020.
For the latest information, see the SA government website.
People from NSW, WA, QLD, NT and ACT may now enter Tasmania without needing to quarantine.
South Australia and Victoria are currently classified as medium-risk areas. All non-essential travellers entering Tasmania from these areas must quarantine for 14 days. But Tasmania will reopen quarantine-free travel with Victoria from 27 November.
For the latest information, see the Tasmanian government website.
Victoria is currently permitting arrivals from all Australian states & territories except South Australia. Travellers from South Australia may be able to enter Victoria with a Victorian Border Crossing Permit, but only if they have not been in a designated “Red Zone”.
For the latest information, see the Victorian government website.
Western Australia (WA)
Travellers from the designated “very low risk states & territories” of NT, QLD, TAS and ACT may now enter WA without quarantine, but must complete a G2G PASS declaration and undergo health screening on arrival at Perth Airport.
However, the WA government also says:
Travellers from a very low risk state or territory who have knowingly had contact with a person from a medium or low risk state or territory in the 14 days before travelling will be subject to the same quarantine conditions as that person and must self-quarantine for 14 days when returning to WA.
NSW and Victoria are currently considered “low risk states”. Travellers from these states (or anyone who has had contact with someone from these states in the past 14 days) must enter 14 days of self-quarantine upon arrival. There are also requirements to apply for a G2G PASS and present for a COVID-19 test on day 11 of the quarantine period.
SA is currently considered a “medium risk state”, so arrivals from SA are not permitted without an exemption.
For the latest information, see the WA government website.
Quarantine-free travel to Norfolk Island is currently permitted from all Australian states & territories. As of 23 November, this includes Victoria.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island (technically part of NSW) reopened to tourists on 2 October 2020. There is no longer a requirement to quarantine after arriving on Lord Howe Island and QantasLink has resumed regular flights from Sydney.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Australian state border restrictions