Australia domestic border restrictions
What border restrictions apply to each Australian state & territory? Photo: Catarina Sousa from Pexels.

With parts of NSW, Victoria and the ACT currently in lockdown, all other states & territories currently have travel restrictions in place for people coming from these areas.

Over the past week, the NT has added all remaining parts of regional Victoria to its list of COVID-19 hotspots. But South Australia has removed its requirement for travellers from Brisbane to undergo COVID-19 testing.

Western Australia has announced that Victoria will move from its “high risk” category to “extreme risk” from Wednesday, making it virtually impossible for anyone except government officials to travel from Victoria to WA.

The trans-Tasman bubble remains suspended in both directions and the New Zealand government has said that travel from Australia will remain off-limits until at least late November 2021.

If you live in QLD, SA, WA, TAS or NT, you can currently travel to most other states & territories with minimal restrictions. But most states and territories require travellers to apply for a permit or complete a travel declaration before arriving.

You can check the current entry requirements below for each Australian state & territory, as well as New Zealand.

Summary of current state border restrictions

Here’s a quick summary of the current border restrictions and entry requirements for each Australian state & territory, and New Zealand, as of the morning of Monday, 27 September 2021:

ACT Open to all parts of Australia except NSW & VIC (online declaration required for returning residents coming from NSW or VIC)
NSW Open to all parts of Australia but restrictions apply to arrivals from VIC & ACT (anyone arriving from VIC, ACT or QLD must complete an online declaration)
NT Open to all parts of Australia except NSW, ACT & VIC (border entry form required)
QLD Open to all parts of Australia except NSW, VIC & ACT (Queensland Entry Pass required)
SA Open to TAS, NT & WA & QLD; travel not permitted from NSW, VIC or ACT (travel registration required)
TAS Open to all parts of Australia except NSW, ACT & VIC (Tas e-Travel registration required)
VIC Open to most parts of Australia except NSW & ACT (border permit required)
WA Open to SA, TAS & NT; travel not permitted from NSW, VIC or ACT; self-quarantine for arrivals from QLD (G2G pass required)
NZ Travel between Australia & New Zealand is suspended

For more detailed information, including about border passes which you may be required to apply for, please scroll down to the relevant section for that state or territory. Please note that these restrictions are subject to change at any time, including without notice.

 

Detailed border entry requirements by state/territory

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

The ACT government is not currently allowing non-essential travel from NSW or Victoria. Note that the ACT is currently in lockdown.

Returning ACT residents who have been in NSW or Victoria in the past 14 days are subject to 14-day quarantine requirements after arriving in the ACT. Returning residents must complete an online declaration form and non-ACT residents cannot enter the ACT from affected areas without an exemption. There are some exemptions for NSW border residents.

For the latest information, see the ACT government website.

New South Wales (NSW)

Travellers from anywhere in Australia are permitted to enter NSW, unless they have been in a designated “place of high concern” in the past fortnight. However, people coming from Victoria and ACT are subject to additional restrictions (including stay-at-home requirements) and anyone entering NSW who has been in QLD, ACT or VIC in the previous 14 days must complete a NSW entry declaration. There are limited exemptions for NSW/VIC border residents.

Note: As many parts of NSW are currently in lockdown, the NSW government is advising people not to travel to NSW without a reasonable excuse at this time.

For the latest information, see the NSW government website.

Northern Territory (NT)

Anyone coming from another Australian state may enter the Northern Territory provided they have not been to a declared hotspot in the last 14 days. A Border Entry Form must be completed and printed within 7 days before arrival.

As of 27 September 2021, the NT has declared the following parts of Australia as COVID-19 hotspots:

  • All of NSW
  • All of ACT
  • All of Victoria

The NT government has also declared Sydney and Canberra airports as hotspots for the purpose of transits.

If you have been to a hotspot within the last 14 days, you cannot travel to the Northern Territory unless you’re a returning NT resident or have received an exemption under one of the approved categories. After arriving in NT, you’ll be placed into mandatory supervised quarantine at a cost of $2,500 per person.

If you have just completed hotel quarantine in another state, you’ll need to enter supervised quarantine on arrival into the NT and remain there until you receive a negative COVID-19 test result 3 days later.

For the latest information, see the NT government website.

Queensland (QLD)

All of Victoria, NSW & ACT are currently declared COVID-19 hotspots and entry to Queensland is not permitted from a hotspot. Returning QLD residents or others with an exemption coming from NSW, ACT or VIC will be placed in hotel quarantine at their own expense. Before arriving from one of these states/territories, you must obtain a Queensland Entry Pass which will specify a date that you are allowed to fly into Queensland.

There are some exemptions for NSW/QLD border zone residents. The border zone is split into restricted and non-restricted LGAs.

Entry to Queensland from all other parts of Australia is currently permitted, but all travellers still need to apply for a Queensland Entry Pass within 3 days before arriving in Queensland.

For the latest information, see the QLD government website.

South Australia (SA)

Anyone who has been in the following places during the past 14 days cannot enter South Australia (except essential travellers, who must quarantine at home for 14 days after arrival):

  • NSW
  • ACT
  • VIC

There are some exceptions for short transits through airports in “hotspot” states and residents of Victorian border communities, although Broken Hill residents are no longer permitted to travel to SA and anyone transiting through Sydney Airport will need to self-quarantine for 14 days & get tested after arriving in SA.

Travellers from all other parts of Australia may currently enter SA without restrictions.

All interstate arrivals will need to complete a Cross border travel registration before arriving in SA. The SA government says to apply at least 7 days before travel, however it is possible to apply closer to the arrival date. You’ll need to provide your cross-border travel registration number at the border. Travellers are also advised to download the mySA GOV App prior to arrival in order to scan a QR code that uses this check-in App immediately after arrival.

For the latest information, see the SA government website.

Tasmania (TAS)

All parts of Australia except NSW, Victoria & ACT are currently considered “low-risk areas”. Travellers from low-risk areas can enter Tasmania without needing to quarantine for 14 days.

All of NSW, Victoria & ACT are classified as “high risk” areas and travellers from these places are not permitted to enter Tasmania or will need to quarantine on arrival, except essential travellers with an exemption.

Everyone arriving in Tasmania who has only been in a “low-risk area” in the past 14 days will need to register their travel with the Tas e-Travel system. Anyone who has been in a medium or high-risk area in the past fortnight needs to apply for a G2G Pass.

For the latest information, see the Tasmanian government website.

Victoria (VIC)

Victoria uses a “traffic light” system for entry to the state, based on where you have been in the past 14 days:

Zone Rule Areas affected
Extreme Risk Zone Entry to Victoria is not permitted without a special exemption Most parts of NSW & ACT
Red Zone Returning Victorian residents must self-isolate for 14 days after arrival; no entry for non-Victorians without an exemption Some parts of regional NSW
Orange Zone Entry to Victoria is permitted with a permit, but you’ll need to get a COVID-19 test within 3 days of arrival and self-isolate until you receive a negative result None
Green Zone Entry to Victoria is permitted with a permit All other parts of Australia

Before arriving in Victoria from anywhere in Australia, all travellers must apply for a permit to enter Victoria. This includes passengers transiting via Melbourne Airport.

For the latest information, see the Victorian government website.

Western Australia (WA)

Western Australia uses a “controlled border” system where entire states & territories are classified based on their risk level with different border entry rules attached to each classification:

Classification Rule Jurisdictions
Extreme risk Hard border – entry not permitted without an exemption
Exempt travellers must get a COVID-19 test and have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose before travelling
Exemptions limited to government officials
NSW
VIC (from 29 September)
High risk Hard border – entry not permitted without an exemption
Exempt travellers must get a COVID-19 test and have at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose before travelling
VIC (until 28 September)
Medium risk Hard border – entry not permitted without an exemption ACT
Low risk Must self-isolate for 14 days after arrival in WA and get a COVID-19 test on days 2 & 12 QLD
Very low risk Unrestricted entry to WA SA, NT, TAS

All travellers to WA must complete a G2G PASS declaration before arrival.

If you are considering travel to WA, be warned that the WA government may impose retrospective quarantine requirements on travellers who have already arrived in WA during the past 14 days from a state subsequently declared a hotspot.

For the latest information, see the WA government website.

New Zealand

Quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand has been suspended from all states since July. This pause has been extended until at least late November 2021, when it will be reviewed again and could be extended further. Anyone currently eligible to travel to New Zealand needs to have a booking for Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) to enter the country.

Australia has also temporarily suspended travel from New Zealand until further notice, due to Auckland currently being in lockdown. All states have reclassified New Zealand as an international location.

See the New Zealand immigration website and the NZ government “Unite Against COVID-19” website for more information.

Norfolk Island

Quarantine-free travel to Norfolk Island is currently permitted from most Australian states & territories, unless you have been anywhere in Victoria, ACT or NSW in the past 14 days. Transiting via Sydney Airport from elsewhere in Australia to Norfolk Island is permitted, provided you have not been in an affected lockdown area and do not leave the airport precinct during your transit.

For the latest information, see the Norfolk Island government website.

 

Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: Australian state border restrictions

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Matt Graham
The editor of Australian Frequent Flyer, Matt's passion for travel has taken him to over 60 countries… with the help of frequent flyer points, of course!
Matt's favourite destinations (so far) are Germany, Brazil, New Zealand & Kazakhstan. His interests include economics, aviation & foreign languages, and he has a soft spot for good food and red wine.

You can contact Matt at [email protected]