Border restrictions lifted in South Australia, Queensland - what is the policy state by state?

As South Australia and Queensland open borders with New South Wales, what are the border restrictions in place in each state?

A motorcyclist is stopped at a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland- New South Wales border.

A motorcyclist is stopped at a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland- New South Wales border. Source: AAP

South Australia and Queensland are opening borders to travellers from New South Wales. 

Qantas, JetStar and Virgin Australia say they have already provided extra flights to cater to demand for New South Wales residents seeking to travel to Adelaide, after South Australia implemented the border opening on Thursday.

Here is the border policy in each state: 


From 1 October, Queensland will open its border allowing New South Wales residents to enter the state. Queensland residents would likewise be able to travel to New South Wales and then return to their home state without the mandatory 14-day quarantine.

The mandatory quarantine is still required for Queensland residents returning from Victoria, which has declared by the state government as a hotspot, within the last 14 days.

Breaches of the border entry requirements, including providing false or misleading information on the Queensland Border Declaration Pass, could attract an on-the-spot fine of $4,003, a court-imposed penalty of up to $13,345 or six months' imprisonment.

South Australia 

From 24 September, New South Wales was added to South Australia's list of states and territories that are classified as low community-transmission zones, enabling residents to travel interstate without undergoing quarantine - as long as they have not been to Victoria in the last 14 days.

All travellers or returning SA residents must complete the cross-border travel registration form 14 days before travelling. Those driving to enter South Australia must not drive through Victoria to enter the state. 

Travellers from Victoria are prohibited from entry into the state, unless they fall under the list of exemptions, which includes persons escaping domestic violence, a person seeking to support a family member experiencing domestic violence, or essential travellers

Melbourne mum waiting a month to cross the border to South Australia to bury her daughter

New South Wales 

Excluding Victoria, there are no restrictions on entry for interstate travellers.

Those seeking to enter NSW after being in Victoria for the past fortnight must hold a NSW border entry permit

Exemptions and relaxed restrictions are in place for those applying for a permit who fit certain categories: critical service workers, residents on the NSW-Victoria border, child care arrangements, court attendance, access to essential medical services, compassionate grounds for end of life support of funeral attendance.

Those who breach COVID-19 regulations face an $11,000 fine and six months in prison or both.


Victoria has not restricted entry to interstate travellers, but other states have closed their borders to those people in Victoria.

Within the state, residents in metropolitan Melbourne are prevented from travelling into regional Victoria under the stage four restrictions.

However, those in regional Victoria are able to leave their home under the stage three restrictions, but are prohibited from travelling to metropolitan Melbourne, except for the reasons of: permitted work, care and compassionate reasons and shopping for food and supplies.

Western Australia 

Strict border controls are in place.

Those seeking to enter under the list of exemptions must apply for a G2G PASS, which includes 14 days of quarantine. 

Some of the categories for exemptions include: emergency service workers; compassionate grounds such as essential medical treatment, attending a funeral, and visiting a critically ill relative.


All travellers must register their intention to enter the state through the G2G PASS system.

A category of exemptions exists for essential travellers, such as health services and freight.

No entry for those travellers who in the last 14 days have been to Victoria or a declared hotspot in New South Wales. Approval for entry must be sought from the Deputy State Controller before entry. Those who fail to apply for approval will be asked to leave at the traveller's own expense.

Returning Tasmanian residents are required to self-quarantine at their primary residence for 14 days - even if they have not spent time in areas declared as hotspots by the state.

Northern Territory 

A mandatory 14-day quarantine at the users' expense of $2,500 per person applies to all those who have come from a declared hotspot in Victoria and Sydney - including returning Territorians.

Mandatory supervised quarantine will take place at the Howard Springs quarantine facility or another approved facility elsewhere in the Territory.

Mandatory testing is required before exiting quarantine. Refusal to comply will add an extra 10 days to the quarantine period.

Those found to have provided misleading information on their arrival form could face a fine of $5,056 for an individual, $25,280 for a business and a possible prison term of up to 3 years.

All those seeking to enter the territory must fill in a Border Entry Form.


No entry for those coming from Victoria.

Returning ACT residents who have been to Victoria will need apply for an exemption and undergo 14 days of quarantine.

Canberra residents allowed back into ACT after almost a week stranded in NSW

The list of exemptions include, among other things, urgent medical care and attending the funeral of an immediate family member.

Alerts are in place for New South Wales and Queensland applying to ACT residents considering travel to those regions, and interstate travellers seeking entry into the ACT.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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Published 25 September 2020 at 5:00pm, updated 25 September 2020 at 5:30pm
Source: SBS News