In the words of The Seekers, “we are one, but we are many”. And when it comes to interstate travel restrictions, we have many, many different rules.
Some states are just letting it all happen, while growing Covid clusters and Omicron are causing other states to take a more stringent approach.
It’s easy to get your head in a spin with all of the conflicting restrictions and requirements. So, here is everything you need to know when travelling interstate to visit family and friends this holiday season.
Before you travel always make sure to check the official government websites, as rules are changing all the time. Make sure you double check the conditions for returning to your state or territory. And of course, do not travel if you have symptoms, are a confirmed case or subject to any other stay-at-home orders.
New South Wales
Travelling to NSW
We’re starting with good news. There are no restrictions for interstate travel to NSW – no entry declaration form, no self-isolation. So, you can roll straight off the plane and head to the big Christmas tree at Martin Place.
This is unless you have been to an affected area, area of concern or place of high concern in the past 14 days. If you are coming from one of these areas you may need to comply with state-at-home or self-isolation rules. Find the detailed conditions here.
What are the Covid rules once you get to NSW?
NSW relaxed their Covid rules from 15 December. Most businesses in NSW are now open to everyone regardless of vaccination status. However businesses can choose to require people to be fully vaccinated or wear masks, so keep this in mind.
Masks are no longer mandated (except for on public transport) but are strongly encouraged due to rising case numbers. You also need to check-in using the Service NSW app at certain venue types such as gyms, pubs and hospitals.
If you symptoms form get tested at any of the NSW testing clinics.
See the official NSW government website for the latest information.
Travelling to QLD
You can finally catch some Sunshine State rays, but what you have to do will depend on where you’re travelling from.
If you’re travelling from a declared hotspot area (that’s most of NSW, most of SA, all of Victoria, all of the ACT, and the Robinson River region in the NT) you will have to:
- Be fully vaccinated (anyone under 16 is considered fully vaccinated)
- Apply for a QLD border pass
- Return a negative PCR test within 72 hours of crossing the border and then again on day five
You cannot enter Queensland if, in the previous 14 days, you have:
- Been to an interstate exposure site
- Been identified as a secondary or casual contact
What are the Covid rules once you get to QLD
You must still wear a mask on public transport and in all indoor retail settings such as supermarkets or shopping centres. They are also strongly encouraged when moving in and around hospitality venues. From 5am 23 December you will also need to wear a mask in theatres and cinemas.
See the official QLD government website for the latest information.
Travelling to Victoria
Just like NSW, Victoria has also eased interstate travel restrictions. You can visit Melbourne’s cultural hub or penguin-packed Phillip Island regardless of your vaccination status and without a travel permit.
What are the Covid rules once you get to Victoria?
You must wear a mask indoors in all indoor settings.
Even though you can get into Victoria unvaccinated, the rules for what you can do while you’re there are quite different. Unvaccinated people cannot attend food and drink, nightlife, entertainment, event, tourism and gaming venues. Basically, you can’t do most of the things people enjoy when on holidays.
If you’re feeling unwell go get a test at any of Victoria’s testing clinics.
See the official Victorian government website for the latest information.
Australian Capital Territory
Travelling to the ACT
Rejoice again, there are no longer any restrictions on interstate travel to the ACT. That is except for people who are close contacts.
What are the Covid rules once you get to the ACT?
Whether you’re visiting Parliament House or going for a stroll by Lake Burley Griffin you will need to abide by ACT’s Covid rules.
You will have to wear a mask in indoor settings and check in using the CBR app. Go get a test at an ACT clinic if you develop symptoms.
See the official ACT government website for the latest information.
Travelling to SA
SA is only open to fully vaccinated travellers. Vaccination requirements apply to all travellers of 12 years and 2 months of age.
They have relaxed their interstate travel restrictions, in light of waiting times at testing clinics reading six to eight hours. Vaccinated travellers from NSW, ACT and Victoria no longer have to get a Covid test on arrival. Here is what you still need to do.
- Receive a negative Covid test in the 72 hours prior to arriving in SA. This is only if you’re coming from NSW, ACT or Victoria.
- Complete your EntryCheck SA application. You can complete the EntryCheck 14 days before your arrival and you should apply at least 72 hours before arrival. Officials will assess your application and advise you of any further entry conditions.
What are the Covid rules once you get to SA?
Once you’re in SA you will have to follow their Covid rules. This includes wearing a mask in places such as beauty salons, restaurants and bars, shopping centres and public transport.
You will also have to produce your proof of your vaccination status and check in to venues using the COVID-SAfe Check In app.
See the official SA government website for the latest information.
Travelling to Tasmania
Travel restrictions for travel into Tasmania will change depending on you vaccination status and whether you have been an area of risk. So, before you start planning a getaway to the Great Oyster Bay, read thoroughly.
Fully vaccinated travellers, those under the age of 12 years and 2 months or those with an exemption will need to register their travel through the Tas e-Travel system.
If you have been in a high risk area 14 days before your arrival, you will need to produce a negative test result within the 72 hours before departure. High risk areas currently include all of ACT, and much of NSW and Victoria. Check the list of high-risk areas here.
What are the Covid rules once you get to Tasmania?
You will still have to wear masks in all indoor settings including public transport, gyms, shops, restaurants and hairdressers. You need to produce proof that you are fully vaccinated to enter venues like pubs, bars and nightclubs.
See the official Tasmanian government website for the latest information.
Travelling to the NT
We will see you in the NT, but only if you’re fully vaccinated or have an exemption.
Children aged 15 years or younger are also considered fully vaccinated.
You’ll have to complete a Border Entry form within seven days of your arrival. You will also have to produce a negative PCR test result within the 72 hours before you arrive in the NT and within the 72 hours after arrive in the NT.
What are the covid rules once you get to the NT?
Once you’re in the Territory you will have to follow their Covid rules. This includes things like providing your vaccination status, not travelling to exclusion areas, checking-in using The Territory app and getting tested at NT clinics if you develop symptoms.
See the official NT government website for the latest information.
Travelling to WA
WA isn’t planning on easing its interstate travel restrictions till 5 February 2022. Until then, if you want to visit you will have to get through some very strict conditions.
All visitors must be vaccinated.
If you are from a low risk area (TAS and NT) you must declare and register your travel through the G2G Pass. You will still have to quarantine for 14 days in a suitable premise. You will also have to return a negative test within 48 hours of your arrival and again on day 12 of quarantine.
If you are from a medium, high or extreme risk jurisdiction (QLD, SA, VIC, NSW and ACT) your travel will have to be approved through the G2G Pass. It is likely you will have to put your travels off until February 2022. WA is only accepting travellers from these areas only in extreme circumstances and they will be subject 14 days quarantine.
What are the Covid rules once you get to WA?
See the official WA government website for the latest information.
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