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Where can I travel in Australia as restrictions ease?

An up-to-date guide on where you can go and what you can do as travel restrictions due to coronavirus ease

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Pair of kangaroos on a beach looking into the distance.

Intrastate and interstate restrictions across Australia are constantly being changed. Since 8 July, borders have closed with Victoria and NSW due to rising COVID-19 cases.

So where can you go and what can you do right now? We've laid out each state's current domestic travel restrictions so you get it right.

Which state do you live in?

Which borders are open?

The domestic travel rules and regulations are changing constantly. The latest border statuses are below:

Interactive map courtesy of Tourism Australia.

StateBorder statusWho can enter without restrictions?Do I need a permit?More information
Australian Capital TerritoryPartially openAll states and territories except Victoria and NSW hotspots.No, everyone may enter freely except Victorians.ACT Government website
New South WalesPartially openAll states and territories except Victoria.Anyone who has been to Victoria within the last 14 days must have a NSW permit. Border zone residents may travel for work, education and medical care with a permit. NSW Government website
Northern TerritoryPartially openAll states and territories except Victoria and NSW hotspots.Yes, all arrivals must complete a border entry formNorthern Territory Government website
QueenslandPartially openAll states and territories, except Victoria, NSW and the ACT.All arrivals must present a border declaration passQueensland Government website
South AustraliaPartially openVisitors from Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and ACT who haven't been to a COVID hotspot.All eligible visitors must fill out a Cross Border Travel RegistrationSouth Australia Government website
TasmaniaClosedOnly essential travellers. All eligible visitors must complete a G2G passTasmania Government website
VictoriaClosedOnly essential travellers.No.Victoria Government website
Western AustraliaClosedOnly essential travellers.All visitors must present a G2G passWestern Australia Government website

Key domestic border opening dates

Borders to Victoria are closed due to rising COVID-19 cases. If you enter Victoria you will likely have to quaratine when your return home. Most states and territories have also closed their borders to NSW and the ACT due to the pandemic.

Future border openings and closures for other states, territories and destinations that have been announced are below:

  • 1am on 25 September: Queensland reopens borders with the ACT.
  • 9 October: Northern Territory borders reopen to Greater Sydney, pending low COVID case numbers.
  • 27 November: Lord Howe Island opens for domestic tourism.
  • 1 December: Tasmania reopens its borders for domestic tourism.

16 September: South Australia reopens borders to the ACT.

19 August: Tasmanian premier Peter Gutwein announces Tasmania's borders extends border closure until 1 December.

13-17 August: ACT residents travelling home from Victoria are cleared to travel by road via Wodonga only. Crossings must be made between 9am and 11.30am to ensure their return to the ACT by 3pm.

3 August: Tasmania reconsiders opening its borders to Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory on 7 August. The state will remain closed until 31 August.

1am on 8 August: Queensland closes its borders to all of NSW and the ACT. This is on top of its current border closure to Victoria and Greater Sydney.

1 August: Queensland borders close to anyone from Greater Sydney. All arrivals from this date onward will need to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense. Queensland's borders are currently also closed to Victorians.

9 July: South Australia closes its borders to Victoria. The only exceptions are South Australians returning home and essential travellers. The state has no set date on when it'll open up to NSW, ACT and Victoria. For now, NSW and ACT travellers who do enter must self quarantine for 14 days.

7 July: NSW closes its borders to Victoria.

6 July: Canberra closes its borders to Victoria.

Western Australia's borders are closed with no plans to reopen until at least 8 August.

Dates are correct as at 15 September 2020.

Frequently asked questions about the domestic travel restricitons in Australia

When will domestic travel resume in Australia?

While some borders have reopened, due to the rise in numbers from Victoria in early July it may be quite a while until full domestic travel resumes.

At the present, all states have their borders shut to Victorians.

The Northern Territory has placed restrictions on anyone who is from a Sydney hotspot. Queensland has shut its borders to NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

Western Australia, Tasmania and South Australia are closed to NSW visitors. Anyone entering the ACT from NSW may also be required to quarantine for 14 days.

South Australia is open to Western Australians, Tasmanians, Queenslanders, Northern Territorians and residents of the ACT. It has not set date to reopen the borders to Victoria and NSW.

The reopening of all other state and territory borders is dependent on the current health advice. As part of the nation's Three Step Plan to reopen Australia, when a state or territory reaches Step 3, interstate borders are expected to reopen.

When will international travel resume?

New Zealand is expected to be the first international destination that Australians will be allowed to travel to.

While the Australia and New Zealand prime ministers have been discussing the potential for a trans-Tasman travel bubble, a date has not officially been set.

Due to the recent outbreaks in Victoria and New South Wales, international travel won't likely be available in the near future.

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern told the AM Show on 3 August: "Anywhere where we have COVID-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time – that will be some time for Australia". She suggested due to the spike in cases the trans-Tasman bubble wouldn't be on the table until 2021.

Are there any rules or regulations I should expect when travelling?

Travelling in a post-COVID environment is quite different to travelling during normal times.

You can expect a lot of venues, restaurants and attractions to have COVIDSafe measures in place. This may include having to provide your contact details to the venue, mandatory sanitisation, physical distancing measures such as spaced out tables and contactless payments, and the need to pre-book tickets. Yes, even if the entry is free. This is generally to comply with current maximum gathering limits.

For a full list of what you can expect per state, check out the guides above.

Will I be covered by domestic travel insurance during the coronavirus pandemic?

Yes, you can still get domestic travel insurance, but if you need to claim anything that's directly impacted you due to coronavirus (i.e. you got sick while travelling interstate and have needed to self-isolate where you are or your flight has been cancelled due to border closures), you won't be covered.

Can I visit beaches?

Yes. Beaches around Australia are open. However, due to social distancing there may be restrictions regarding what you can and can't do on them.

In some states and hotspots, you may only be allowed to use the beach for exercise such as swimming and surfing with sunbathing not yet permitted.

Check with your state or the specific beach for full details.

Can I visit amusement and theme parks?

While Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia have been given permission to reopen their theme parks, many have chosen to remain closed.

This is likely due to gathering limits and physical distancing measures that the government has set.

Can I visit my holiday home?

Yes. All states and territories currently allow you to visit your private holiday home or shack.

The exception is if you are living in a hotspot and have been placed under lockdown in which case you are NOT permitted to travel to your holiday home.

Can I go camping?

Most states and territories now allow camping, with restrictions attached. Generally communal facilities such as kitchens and showers are closed, so if you don't have a self-contained vehicle you may want to consider booking a cabin.

Gathering limits apply.

If you live in a hotspot and are in lockdown you are not permitted to go camping as it is a non-essential activity.

Check with your state for a full list of permissions.

Can I stay in hotels?

Yes. All states now allow you to stay in hotels, hostels and other accommodation as long as you're not in quarantine or lockdown.

To keep in line with social distancing, any communal facilities such as dining rooms, gyms and swimming pools in hotels, and kitchens and bathrooms in hostels, may be restricted or closed.

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