Covid border restrictions and travel bans: where you can and can’t go within Australia – and to New Zealand

·6 min read
<span>Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters</span>
Photograph: Loren Elliott/Reuters

As families prepare for winter school holidays, Covid outbreaks have once again resulted in state border restrictions and forced plans to be cancelled.

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

While interstate arrivals are welcome, many Sydneysiders are unable to travel to regional NSW for one week from 4pm Wednesday.

People who live or work in seven Sydney local government areas will be barred from leaving the city, except for essential purposes.

Related: Covid NSW restrictions explained: new coronavirus rules for Sydney and regional NSW

The rule applies to the LGAs of City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra.

Interstate arrivals to NSW – except those from Victoria – do not require a permit.

Travellers from Victoria will need to complete a travel declaration within 24 hours immediately before you enter 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.

The NSW local government areas of City of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick have been declared ‘red zones’, meaning these residents are banned from entering the state.

Victorian residents returning from a ‘red zone’ can enter the state, but must quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone arriving from other parts of Sydney and Wollongong must also self-quarantine, get a Covid-19 test within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until a negative test result is received.

Related: Covid Victoria restrictions explained: new coronavirus rules for Melbourne and regional Vic


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

This means from 1am, Thursday 24 June people who live in or have visited these areas are barred from entering the state, unless they are granted a special exemption.

People who live or have visited Waverley council area in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, are already barred from entering Queensland, following the government’s decision to declare the area a Covid hotspot.

Greater Melbourne is also still a Covid hotspot, which means anyone who has been in the city in the previous 14 days will not be allowed to enter the state, except for a limited number of people deemed to be travelling for “essential purposes”. However, authorities have announced plans to lift the ban on Melbourne travellers at 1am on Friday.

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

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

Western Australia

A hard border with NSW has been reinstated, meaning no one who has been in the state since 11 June (unless they have since spent 14 days outside of NSW) is allowed to enter.

Travellers arriving from Victoria will need to quarantine for 14 days, either at a suitable premise or at a government-approved quarantine facility, which arrivals will need to pay for. Victorian travellers will also need to complete the G2G pass registration and declaration.

All other states and territories are deemed “very low risk” by Western Australia’s government, which means there are no quarantine measures for anyone arriving from those states and territories.

Arrivals will still have to complete the mandatory G2G pass registration and declaration, as well as completing a health screening on arrival.

Australian Capital Territory

In line with NSW restrictions, the ACT government says people should not be travelling between greater Sydney and Canberra. Non-ACT residents who has been in the Local Government Areas of City of Sydney, Waverley, Randwick, Canada Bay, Inner West, Bayside and Woollahra will not be allowed to enter.

ACT residents leaving the affected LGAs will be required to stay at home until at least 11.59pm on 30 June.

Anyone who has been in the broader greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions of NSW in the past 14 days, will need to complete an online declaration form, available on the Covid-19 website from 6pm Wednesday.

Anyone arriving from Queensland 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.

Anyone arriving from Victoria must complete a declaration form within 24 hours prior to arriving, and follow the same rules on casual and close contact exposure locations as Queensland.

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

South Australia

South Australia has closed its border with NSW. However, a 100km buffer zone is in place to allow people living near the border, including in Broken Hill, to travel into SA.

South Australian residents or anyone escaping domestic violence can enter, but will still need to self-quarantine for a fortnight.

People from greater Melbourne are not permitted to enter SA at all until 12.01am on Friday when the border restriction is set to lift. People from regional Victoria must get a Covid test on day one and must self-quarantine until a negative result is received.

All travellers coming to South Australia must complete the Cross Border Travel Registration form prior to their trip.

Northern Territory

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

The Territory declared the Woollahra and Waverley local government areas in NSW Covid-19 hotspots, meaning visitors from there will need to go into quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone deemed a close contact by the NSW government 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. The same directions apply to those coming from Queensland.

As of 6pm Monday 21 June, travellers from greater Melbourne no longer need to go into quarantine.


People who live or have visited seven Sydney local government areas within the last two weeks are not permitted to enter. They are: City of Sydney, Randwick, Inner West, Woollahra, Waverley, Canada Bay and Bayside.

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

On Tuesday, a ban on people travelling from metropolitan Melbourne was lifted, with the city downgraded to low risk.

Anyone who has been to an exposure site in Victoria, NSW, ACT and Queensland are not permitted to enter the state.

New Zealand

From Wednesday, tourists and visitors from Victoria will be welcome back in New Zealand.

However, NZ has suspended quarantine-free travel with NSW for an initial 72 hours from midnight Tuesday NZT.

People who have visited an exposure site in any state are also barred from travelling to New Zealand within 14 days of visiting that site.

  • 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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