travel and border restrictions in australia

Travel and Border Restrictions Every Aussie Should Know

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Bored of staying home? Now is not really a good time to take your car for a cross-border road trip. Should you insist, make sure to learn the current state of interstate travelling in the country.

Below are the latest these updates on travel and border restrictions across different states in Australia.


The state is closed for Victorians as of now, but the rest of Aussies from other parts of the country can enter the state. However, they may have to self-isolate on their return home if they reside in a state or territory with border restrictions in place. Hotels, motels and other accommodation are open but are required to adhere to COVID-19 health protocols. The NSW-Victorian border is closed and anyone who crosses the border without a permit risks an $11,000 fine or six months’ jail.

There are no official travel restrictions on NSW residents. However, they are being urged to avoid all non-essential travel because of several coronavirus clusters, mostly in the Sydney metropolitan area. There is a long list of locations linked to cases of COVID-19. Click here to see them. People who visited those locations on certain dates are urged to self-isolate and seek testing.

As for camping or staying in a caravan park, some national parks have limited access to facilities. Not all caravan parks are open, so it’s best to call ahead and make a booking. Fishing and boating are allowed.

For skiers, Thredbo, Perisher and Charlotte Pass are open. However, they will be operating at about 50 per cent usual capacity to ensure social distancing and all lift tickets must be pre-purchased.

Meanwhile, art galleries, museums and zoos are allowed to open, but many are working at reduced capacity to allow 1.5m social distancing. Many are selling entry tickets only online and other purchases are contact-free.


Unfortunately, residents from Victoria are not allowed to travel outside the state. A state of disaster has been declared and the state government has imposed stage four restrictions on Melbourne and stage three on the remainder of the state. Under stage three rules, residents can leave their homes only for work and study (if they can’t be done at home), providing care, daily exercise, and buying food and other essentials. Melbourne residents are subject to a curfew from 8 pm to 5 am.

Restrictions are in place until at least September 13.


The Queensland government has introduced strict border controls, with residents of Victoria, NSW and ACT not permitted to enter the state. Anyone else entering the state needs a border declaration pass. They will have to sign a statement that they haven’t been in coronavirus hotspot in the preceding fortnight before they will be permitted entry. A false declaration attracts a fine of $4004.

For those who are planning to book a holiday house or a hotel room can find plenty of accommodation open across the state but they must have a health management plan in place. Some camping sites and caravan parks won’t provide access to a shared shower or kitchen facilities and bookings are essential for stays in national parks.

South Australia

No one can enter South Australia without pre-approval. The Cross Border Travel Registration process is accessed through the SA Police website, and processing takes about three days, with approval (or otherwise) delivered by email. Numerous checkpoints have been established at roads leading into the state and at Adelaide airport. Visitors from the NT, QLD, Tasmania and Western Australia can enter without having to self-isolate but those from NSW and ACT are still required to self-isolate for 14 days. They can expect to be checked on by SA Police to ensure they are complying and face a $1000 fine if they flout the rules. Victorians are not permitted to enter the state.

Meanwhile, Kangaroo Island welcomes visitors. Following summer’s bushfires, tourism operators on the island are keen to welcome tourists and there are some special deals on the SeaLink Ferry.

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Tasmania’s border restrictions have been extended to December 1, which means you can’t visit the state until the Christmas season.

Meanwhile, Tasmanian residents are being encouraged to travel locally, with the state government issuing travel vouchers $100 for a mid-week hotel stay or $50 for a tourism experience. The vouchers will be available for use from September 1 to the end of November to anyone over the age of 18 travelling outside their municipality.

Northern Territory

Northern Territory has lifted its border restrictions, but not to everyone. The NT remains closed to Victorians and travellers from metropolitan Sydney and other NSW and Queensland hotspots.

In early August Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park closed for three days following traditional owners’ objections to passengers being allowed to disembark a flight from Brisbane without entering quarantine. Under an agreement negotiated with Parks Australia and the indigenous community, August flights from Sydney and Brisbane have been cancelled. Flights from Melbourne are cancelled indefinitely.

Western Australia

You cannot enter WA unless you are an essential worker or have gained permission on compassionate grounds. If you believe you have valid reasons for obtaining an exemption, you should apply to the G2G website at least three days before you intend to travel. If you are caught without a pass you face a fine of up to $50,000 or jail. WA residents returning from interstate still need a pass to return to the state and have to self-isolate for 14 days.

Meanwhile, restrictions on access by WA residents to the Kimberley — as well as the East Pilbara and Ngaanyatjarraku shire — have been lifted, although many remote indigenous communities remain strictly off-limits. Anyone breaching those rules risks a fine of $50,000.

Residents can also go to Rottnest Island. It was used as a quarantine station for returning travellers during the COVID-19 lockdown but has since reopened to tourists.


Residents of Canberra and its surrounds are urged to reconsider non-essential travel to Victoria, and NSW and Queensland coronavirus hotspots are no-go zones. Queensland is not accepting visitors from the ACT.

You can visit Canberra’s museums and galleries, but they are subject to social-distancing measures that restrict capacity to one person per 4sq m. You need to book ahead online. The Australian War Memorial, National Museum of Australia, the National Gallery of Australia and the National Portrait Gallery are among those open.

Generally, now is not an ideal time for road-tripping in Australia. If you want to travel by land to another state, make sure that you’re well-informed of the ongoing restrictions. Before you jump in the car for a road trip or on a plane for a domestic holiday, find out where you can go within Australia and whether you need to quarantine.

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