In response to COVID-19 outbreaks, some Australian states and territories have enacted new restrictions and closed their borders. These restrictions include mandatory quarantines, COVID-19 tests, and the completion of either declaration or registration forms. Australia has remained closed to international travelers, unless you are an Australia citizen, resident, immediate family member, or meet a specified exemption. If returning home to Australia or if an exception is met, travelers from oversees, with the exception of travelers from New Zealand who meet eligibility criteria, are required to quarantine at their port of arrival for 14 days at a government-designated accommodation.
Each state or territory in Australia has enacted its own entry requirements that travelers must comply with, and these requirements are often modified to further prevent the spread of COVID-19. Due to the mandatory quarantine upon entering Australia and individual state travel restrictions mandating quarantines, international travelers should plan to enter Australia in the state that is their desired location. This article examines current border closures and restrictions throughout Australia.
Australian Capital Territory (ACT)
Travelers from COVID-19 areas of concern in New South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, and New Zealand are not permitted to enter the ACT unless they are an ACT resident or meet certain limited exemptions. ACT residents returning from areas of concern are required to quarantine for 14 days. Further, travelers from casual contact exposure sites must complete an online declaration form 24 hours prior to entering the ACT.
If traveling to the Northern Territory, you must complete a Border Entry Form. Additionally, it is mandatory to complete a 14 day supervised quarantine at your own expense if you have recently been to an active declared COVID-19 hotspot, which includes areas in the Australian Capital Territory, North South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and areas of Victoria.
North South Wales (NSW)
The NSW Chief Health Officer released a new COVID-19 concerns notice, which commenced on June 30. The affected areas described in the concern notice include Victoria, the Northern Territory, Queensland, and Western Australia. If traveling to NSW from a location in the concerns notice, a NSW entry declaration form must be completed before or upon arrival. If you’ve entered a place of high concern, you are not permitted to enter NSW unless you are a NSW resident or an ACT resident transitioning to the ACT. Further, if traveling from a casual contact venue, you must immediately travel to your place of residence or a suitable place, get tested for COVID-19, and isolate until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. If traveling from a close contact venue, you must immediately travel to your place of residence or a suitable place, get tested for COVID-19, and self-isolate for 14 days regardless of the COVID-19 test result.
There are currently restrictions on traveling to South Australia from New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tier 1 or Tier 2 public exposure sites in Victoria. The exceptions to these restrictions include essential travelers, South Australian residents returning home or individuals genuinely relocating to South Australia, and individuals escaping domestic violence who have met certain requirements, including COVID-19 testing on Day 1, 5 and 13 along with self-quarantining for 14 days. All individuals traveling to South Australia must complete a Cross Border Traveler Registration Form.
The Chief Health Officer of Queensland released a list of declared hotspots, effective July 1 at 1:00 A.M. If you have entered a declared hotspot, which includes areas in the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and New South Wales, you are only able to enter Queensland if you are a resident or if you are required to enter for a limited range of essential reasons. Additionally, if permitted to enter, travelers from declared hotspots are required to quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.
The border to Tasmania is currently closed to travelers from high-risk areas, including areas in North South Wales, the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, and New Zealand, unless the individual is an “Essential Traveller.” If approved to enter Tasmania, travelers must quarantine either in a government-designated facility or suitable premises, depending on where the traveler is arriving from. If traveling from a medium-risk area, quarantining for 14 days in suitable premises is required. Travelers from low-risk areas are not required to quarantine. Further, if traveling to Tasmania, it is required that you register your travel.
All individuals traveling to Victoria are required to apply for a permit. If you have been in a red zone, which includes Greater Sydney, Greater Darwin, the Perth Metropolitan Region and Peel Region in Western Australia, and all local government areas (LGAs) in South East Queensland and LGAs of Townsville, you are not allowed to enter Victoria without an exception, exemption, or permit. Victorian residents who have not been at a “very high risk exposure site” can apply for a red zone permit to return home. If issued a red zone permit, Victorian residents are required to go straight home, quarantine for 14 days, and take a COVID-19 test within 72 hours of arriving in Victoria and again on Day 13 of quarantine.
Travelers arriving to Western Australia (WA) from “very low risk jurisdictions,” such as New Zealand, Tasmania, and South Austria, are required to apply for a G2G pass. If traveling to Western Australia from a “low risk jurisdiction,” including the Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory, or Victoria, you are required to apply for a G2G pass, complete a health screening upon arrival, quarantine for 14 days, and will be subject to a COVID-19 test on Day 11 if still in WA. If traveling from a “medium risk jurisdiction,” including North South Wales and Queensland, you are not able to enter without an exemption through a G2G pass. If permitted to enter through an exemption, you must quarantine for 14 days and are subject to COVID-19 testing within 48 hours of arrival and on Day 11 if you are still in WA.
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