Australia

Have you recently been in Victoria? Here’s where you can and can’t go in Australia

Police stop motorists crossing the Queensland-NSW border to check to for permits. Source: AAP

All Australian states and territories have introduced some travel restrictions on people arriving from Victoria. Here's what you need to know.

Just as states and territories across Australia were preparing to reopen their borders, the coronavirus outbreak in Melbourne forced many jurisdictions to adopt further restrictions.

With some borders opening to residents of some states but not others, many have been left confused over what they can and can’t do. 

For example, on Monday, Queensland Police said they had turned away more than 850 people attempting to enter the state since the wider border restrictions were lifted on Friday.

Here are the travel restrictions for Victorian residents and travellers who have recently passed through the state as of 13 July. 

New South Wales

The border between New South Wales and its southern neighbour has been closed since 7 July. This means anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days is barred from entering NSW, unless they hold an entry permit or fall under another exemption.

Classes of people that are exempt from the ban include essential service workers (entry permit required), border community residents (entry permit required, must self-isolate if they have travelled in Victoria outside the border community), boarding school or university students (border permit required), and travel for compassionate reasons (entry permit required). The full list of exemptions can be found here

NSW And Victoria Prepare For Hard Border Closures To Come Into Effect To Stop COVID-19 Spread
Cars sit in a line at the Victoria-NSW border, near a police checkpoint in Albury.
Getty Images

A border community refers to “one that a reasonable person would consider a community located at or near the border”, and a resident someone who lives in these communities and has “reasonable cause” to cross the border for work, school or daily life.

While there are no formal travel restrictions within NSW for people who live in border communities, it is strongly recommended residents don’t travel beyond their region. 

Victorian residents who have been in NSW prior to the border closures are permitted to remain in the state, while NSW residents returning from Victoria are required to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Queensland 

Any person who has been in Victoria during the past 14 days is unable to enter Queensland, except Queensland residents, who will be required to quarantine for 14 days, people undertaking essential activities, or under another exempt category.

These categories include: to attend school or university, if they only entered Victoria for the purpose of transiting through an airport, to fulfil a legal childcare obligation, to attend court, or to escape an immediate risk of harm, such as domestic violence. 

All people entering Queensland, including residents, are required to complete a Border Declaration Pass. Anyone who provides false or misleading information on the declaration could be fined $4,004.

South Australia

Victorian residents are not permitted to enter South Australia unless they are essential travellers.

Residents of other states and territories that have travelled through Victoria recently (including South Australian residents) can enter South Australia, but must quarantine for 14 days. 

All travellers are expected to complete a cross border travel registration form prior to their arrival.

Residents of communities along the South Australian and Victorian border are allowed to enter the state for the purpose of employment, education, providing care and support to another person, or to buy food, petrol or other essential supplies. 

Border community residents from Victoria cannot travel more than 50km into the state. 

Australian Capital Territory

Anyone travelling into the Australian Capital Territory from Victoria will be turned away unless they have been granted an exemption. ACT residents can return home, but they must quarantine for 14 days.

Exemptions must be applied for at least 48 hours before the intended travel date.  

Northern Territory

Mandatory quarantine for interstate travellers to the Northern Territory is expected to end on 17 July, but people arriving from Victoria, and other identified hot spots, will still be required to undergo a supervised 14-day quarantine at an approved facility at their own cost.

Northern Territory residents returning home from Victoria will also have to undertake supervised quarantine at an approved location.

Western Australia

Interstate travellers are unable to enter Western Australia without an exemption, including those arriving after visiting Victoria in the past 14 days.

People who have recently visited Victoria require an additional level of exemption, which will only be issued for certain government officials, military personnel, a member of the Federal Parliament and their staff, people carrying out functions of the law, a person travelling at the request of the Chief Health Officer, and a person responsible for freight or logistics. 

Those who have been in Victoria and are then allowed to enter the state are required to attend a COVID-19 testing clinic 11 days after arriving.

Tasmania

Visitors arriving in Tasmania who have been in Victoria during the past 14 days will be turned away, unless they are an essential traveller.

People who are granted essential traveller status, such as freight and health workers, are expected to wear a mask and limit their movement outside of their workplace. 

While Victorians are able to apply for a travel exemption on compassionate grounds, the Tasmanian government has warned they are “unlikely to be granted in the short term due to rapidly changing circumstances” in Victoria. 

Tasmanian residents returning from Victoria will be required to quarantine for 14 days in government-provided accommodation. 

Victoria

Victoria’s borders are open, meaning residents are able to leave and enter the state freely unless they are located in metropolitan Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire, which are currently under Stage 3 Stay at Home orders.

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. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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