This week Queensland and Tasmania will ease their border restrictions, opening up to parts of the country where COVID-19 has been spreading in the community.
However, while domestic travel is becoming more possible, each state and territory’s rules and restrictions differ.
Below is a guide on what restrictions you may currently face as a domestic traveller:
New South Wales
There are currently no restrictions on entry to NSW, unless you have been been to these places of high concern in the ACT or Queensland.
If you are a non-resident of NSW and a close contact in one of these places, you must not enter NSW until 14 days have passed or seven days if you are fully vaccinated.
Should you already be in NSW and a close contact, you must self isolate for seven days if fully vaccinated, and 14 days if you are not.
If you are a non-resident and have been a casual contact in one of these places you cannot enter NSW unless you have received a negative COVID-19 PCR test.
Should you already be in NSW and a casual contact, you must isolate until you receive a negative PCR test.
NSW residents who are a close contact of places of high concern must isolate at home or a suitable location until it has been 14 days since you visited the place of concern. If you are fully vaccinated, you only need to self isolate for seven days from the time visited.
And NSW residents returning home who are casual contacts are required to get tested immediately and isolate until they receive a negative result.
Domestic travellers no longer require a permit to enter Victoria.
Domestic travellers can enter the state without needing to quarantine, regardless of their vaccination status, as long as they have not been overseas in the previous 14 days.
Australian Capital Territory
Travellers who have not been in a high-risk geographical area or a close contact exposure location in the past 14 days can enter the ACT without restrictions.
That means people from NSW and Victoria must apply for and complete an exemption form within 72 hours of their intended arrival in the ACT.
Further restrictions also apply for travellers from close contact locations in Queensland and South Australia.
Until Wednesday, fully vaccinated travellers to Tasmania must register with the e-Travel system and have evidence of a vaccination certificate.
Travellers with medical exemptions, or who are under 12 years and two months of age are considered vaccinated.
People from high-risk areas — which currently include parts of NSW, the ACT and Victoria — are not able to enter Tasmania unless approved as an Essential Traveller.
From Wednesday, Tasmania’s borders will open to all fully vaccinated travellers.
Anyone who is coming to Tasmania from Wednesday, regardless of whether they are a resident or not, needs to test negative to COVID-19 in the 72 hours before arrival.
South Australia has opened its borders to fully vaccinated travellers. Travellers and returning South Australian residents must complete an EntryCheck SA application 14 days prior to arrival in the state.
If you are unvaccinated and do not have an approved exemption, you cannot travel to South Australia.
Travellers from the ACT, NSW and Victoria are subject to further restrictions, including:
- negative PCR test result received within 72 hours before arrival
- test upon arrival and quarantine until this test is taken
- test on day 6 after arrival
- symptom checking for 14 days after arrival.
Travellers from Katherine in the Northern Territory are also subject to the restrictions above, as well as:
- quarantine, as directed, for seven days after arrival
- COVID-19 PCR test within 24 hours of arrival in South Australia
- PCR test again on days 6 and 13.
Currently, vaccinated travellers from “green zones” with minimal COVID-19 risk can enter the Northern Territory without any testing or quarantine requirements.
Unvaccinated Northern Territory residents can travel into the territory from a green zone, but they are required to quarantine until they receive a negative test.
Double-vaccinated arrivals from “red zones” must home quarantine for seven days and be tested.
Everyone travelling to the Northern Territory is required to complete an online Border Entry Form.
From December 20, these rules will change, and there will be no distinctions between hotspots.
But PCR tests will be required for vaccinated travellers and arrivals will be required to stay within Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs for their first 14 days in the territory.
From 1am AEST on Monday, Queensland’s travel rules will change, with people from hotspots (as declared by Queensland authorities) allowed to travel into the state without quarantining as long as they:
- are fully vaccinated
- have a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to arriving in the state
- have a PCR test on day five after their arrival.
If you don’t meet these requirements, you need to arrive by air and will be required to complete 14 days’ quarantine.
Should you not be travelling from a hotspot, there are no restrictions on your entry and no quarantine is required.
Tomorrow, the West Australian government is expected to announce when the state will reopen its border to the eastern states and to overseas travellers.
Until then, Western Australia restricts travel into the state based on the level of COVID-19 spread in states or territories where you have been for 14 days prior to entry.
Very low risk
People travelling from Tasmania — and Queensland today only — can enter Western Australia as long as they complete a registration and declaration before travelling and complete a health screening at Perth Airport.
People travelling from the Northern Territory — and Queensland from Monday — must be fully vaccinated, except those aged under 12 years and those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons. These travellers then must self-quarantine for 14 days and get a COVID-19 PCR test within 48 hours of arrival and on day 12 of their quarantine.
People travelling from ACT and South Australia cannot enter Western Australia without prior approval through a GTG Pass and must show proof of vaccination. Approved travellers must get a PCR test 72 hours prior to departure and are also subject to quarantine and testing restrictions as outlined for low-risk travellers.
Travellers from New South Wales also need approval to enter Western Australia and are subject to the same restrictions as travellers from medium-risk jurisdictions but they also must get a PCR test if symptoms develop during their quarantine. The use of the G2G Now app is mandatory in quarantine for these travellers.
Travellers from Victoria need Western Australia government approval to enter the state, and are subject to the same restrictions as travellers from high-risk areas, but must quarantine at a government-approved hotel quarantine facility and also must get a COVID-19 PCR test on days 1, 5 and 12 of quarantine.