Covid border restrictions and closures: where you can and can’t travel within Australia – and to New Zealand | Australia news

The latest Covid outbreak, centred mainly on NSW, has once again resulted in state border restrictions and cancelled plans.

State and territory health authorities are monitoring the cases and the situation is changing daily. Here is a state-by-state breakdown of where you can and can’t travel and what you need to do before you leave home.

New South Wales

Sydneysiders are unable to travel to regional NSW. That is expected to remain the case until at least 16 July.

People are barred from leaving the city, except for essential purposes, subject to the lockdown rules.

Interstate arrivals to NSW from the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria, including people who have been in those states for any time during the previous 14 days, need to complete an entry declaration.

Travellers from those jurisdictions will need to complete a travel declaration within the 24 hours immediately before entering NSW, or on entry. Anyone who has been to a venue of high concern (listed here) must follow testing and self isolation requirements.


All travellers from anywhere in Australia must apply for a permit to enter Victoria.

However, every area that is currently in lockdown has been declared a “red zone”, meaning their residents are banned from entering Victoria.

That means all of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Other areas which had recently been in lockdown are now classed in the orange zone. So that’s greater Darwin and Alice Springs in the NT, the Perth and Peel region of WA, and south-east Queensland, Townsville, Palm Island and Magnetic Island in Queensland have been declared hotspots.

South-east Queensland includes the local government areas of Noosa, Ipswich, Logan, Redlands, Gold Coast, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley, and Somerset.

Victorian residents returning from a red zone can enter the state but must quarantine for 14 days. Anyone travelling from an orange zone must get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until they get a negative result.


The Queensland government has extended border restrictions to all of greater Sydney, including the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour.

People who live in or have visited these areas are barred from entering the state, unless they are granted a special exemption.

If you are a Queensland resident returning from these areas, you will need to quarantine at a hotel for 14 days at your own expense.

If you are not a Queensland resident, and you have been to these areas, you need to apply for an exemption, and if that is granted, you will need to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at your own expense.

Everyone needs to complete a travel declaration form up to three days prior to arrival to enter the state.

As of 2 July, no areas of the NT or of WA were declared Covid-19 hotspots by the Queensland government so travel is permitted, if a travel declaration form is signed.

NSW border zone residents are also required to complete a travel declaration to enter Queensland.

Western Australia

Border restrictions with NSW and with Queensland have been reinstated, meaning no one who has been in either state is allowed to enter, without an exemption. That applies to anyone who has been in NSW since 11 June (unless they have since spent 14 days outside of NSW or Queensland).

From 3pm Tuesday 29 June, non-WA residents will not be able to fly into the state from Queensland without an exemption.

Restrictions are in place for people coming from the NT and the ACT, which means anyone entering from those states or territories must go through 14 days’ quarantine and be tested.

Victoria, SA and Tasmania are the only states that do not have quarantine restrictions. Arrivals will still have to complete the mandatory G2G pass registration and declaration, as well as completing a health screening on arrival.

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Australian Capital Territory

The ACT has tightened its border restrictions in response to the Covid situation in NSW. Anyone entering from greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong and Shellharbour after 11.59pm 9 July will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Everyone, including ACT residents, will need to complete an online exemption form prior to their travel, but residents will receive an automatic exemption.

In addition, anyone arriving from any state or territory must check the close contact and casual contact exposure locations (listed here). Anyone who has visited a close contact exposure location cannot enter the ACT without an exemption. Anyone who has visited a casual contact location must complete a self-declaration form, and isolate until a negative test result.

Travellers from all other states and jurisdictions can travel freely to the ACT.

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South Australia

South Australia has closed its border with NSW, the ACT and some parts of Queensland.

All arrivals from NSW and from Brisbane, the Moreton Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Noosa Shire, the Gold Coast, Logan city, Ispwich city, Redland city, the Scenic Rim, the Lockyer Valley region and the Somerset region are not allowed to enter SA – unless they are an essential traveller or have an exemption.

For NSW, a 100km buffer zone is in place to allow people living near the border, including in Broken Hill, to travel into SA.

And South Australian residents, people genuinely relocating to SA, or anyone escaping domestic violence from the prohibited areas can enter, but will still need to self-quarantine for a fortnight.

Travellers from WA, the NT and from Townsville in Queensland are allowed, but must have Covid tests on day 1, 5 and 13, and must self-quarantine until receiving they receive their first negative result.

There are no restrictions on people from Victoria, Tasmania, or other parts of Queensland.

Northern Territory

All interstate arrivals to the Northern Territory must fill in a border entry form.

People in Greater Sydney, Wollongong, and the Central Coast of NSW, as well as the City of Brisbane and Moreton Bay region of Queensland, will not be able to enter without 14 days’ quarantine.

Anyone currently in the NT who is deemed a close contact by the NSW, Queensland or WA governments must undertake 14 days of quarantine in their home or at a suitable place. Any casual contacts must isolate, get a Covid-19 test and remain in self-quarantine until a negative test is returned.

Travellers from greater Melbourne no longer need to go into quarantine.


Tasmania has reopened to travellers from Western Australia’s Perth and Peel regions, the Northern Territory, and will reopen to Queensland from Saturday 10 July.

The state remains closed to people from the greater Sydney area, the Central Coast and Wollongong in NSW.

No one from the areas can enter Tasmania unless they have special permission from the deputy state controller.

People who have been to certain specific exposure sites will not be allowed to enter the state –and this includes shops, venues and airport terminals in Victoria, NT, SA WA and Queensland.

As with other states and territories, all arrivals into Tasmania must provide their contact and travel details before entering the state.

A ban on people travelling from metropolitan Melbourne has been lifted, with the city downgraded to low risk.

New Zealand

Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand has been paused from NSW and Queensland.

It has resumed, or is set to resume, from the ACT, the NT, WA, SA, Tasmania and Victoria.

Travellers to New Zealand must not have been in NSW on or after 11.59pm on 22 June.

From midnight on Friday 9 July, quarantine-free travel will resume between New Zealand and the NT and WA.

Australian travellers will be required to produce a negative Covid-19 test before departing.

  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus outbreak, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation at the date of publication. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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