Where can you go in NSW? April 2021 travel restrictions explained | Finder

Where can you go in New South Wales in April 2021? | NSW travel restrictions explained

As the state lifts COVID-19 travel bans, here's where you can go now, what you can do and what to keep in mind.

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All New South Wales residents are allowed to travel for leisure anywhere in the state and the state has its borders open to everyone else in Australia. So local trips up and down the coast or inland for hiking and wine are very much possible.

Travellers from Queensland who have entered NSW from 12:01 am on 27 March 2021, and who have been in Brisbane City Council or Moreton Bay Regional Council since 11 March, must complete a NSW entry declaration form.

Despite this freedom of movement, you will still need to practise physical distancing when out and about. As of 29 March, you are no longer required to wear a face mask on public transport (although it remains strongly recommended) and there are no restrictions on singing including in places of worship.

We're covering what else you need to know for travelling throughout New South Wales in this guide.

Accommodation in New South Wales

Overnight recreational stays are allowed within the state. This includes both stays at family and friends' properties and at paid accommodation, like hotels and Airbnbs.

Can I stay overnight with family and friends?

Yes. You can invite visitors over to your home, as long as there aren't more than 100 people - including children.

This person limit also applies to overnight stays until further notice.

It's recommended if you're vulnerable (for example, immunocompromised) or older than 70 that you should limit the number of overnight guests even further.

Can I book a stay at a hotel?

Under the latest recommendations by the New South Wales government, there are no restrictions to paid accommodation at hotels unless you're in a locked-down area. Across the state, you can check-in as a leisure traveller. However, there may be some changes to check-in and fewer amenities will be available at the hotel.

You can book into and stay at a New South Wales hotel if you are coming from another state, but you may need to quarantine or self-isolate upon arrival back home as per the regulations of your state.

Some hotels, especially in Sydney, are still being used as quarantine hotels for people returning from overseas.

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Can I stay at a privately owned or paid holiday home (such as an Airbnb)?

Staying in a holiday home is permitted across the state, unless you're currently in lockdown. This includes a home you own or one you've booked on an accommodation site such as Airbnb and Stayz.

Holiday home groups are limited to a maximum of 100 people for overnight stays.

Am I able to book a bed or a private room at a hostel?

Hostels are taking in guests with physical distancing measures in place.

For example, the YHA chain has limited the occupancy in shared dorm rooms. It's offering more sanitisation stations, especially in shared spaces like bathrooms and kitchens.

Base Hostels allows guests to check in with their phone using an app.

At all hostels physical distancing should be practised.

Is camping and caravanning allowed?

There's no limit to how many people can stay at a campground, but you will need to practise physical distancing with other campers.

In New South Wales you can use shared barbeque and kitchen facilities as long as there is ample physical distancing space per person.

If you're planning a camping trip to a New South Wales national park you may need to reserve a spot in advance – even if it's to a campground that has been free in the past.

Tourist attractions in New South Wales

Popular attractions across the state are permitted to operate with COVIDSafe plans in place. This includes zoos, aquariums, museums and galleries.

Alternatively, you can pre-book or purchase vouchers for future travel if the activity isn't yet available.

Some attractions that are open across the state include:

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Are national parks in New South Wales open to visitors?

Most NSW National Parks are open to recreational visits, including camp sites within the parks. Camp sites need to be pre-booked for overnight stays.

A few parks may be closed for safety reasons or to regenerate. Confirm on the NSW National Parks website before heading out to avoid disappointment.

Can I go to beaches and parks?

The opening status of beaches and local parks depends on the local council. Before you hit the surf check the local council website to make sure you won't have to turn back.

If the beach is open, you should practise the state's physical distancing restrictions. Stay in small groups and make sure there's at least 1.5m distance from you to the next group of people.

Will ski areas be open this year?

The ski season is anticipated to open in 2021. The season opening dates are as follows:

  • Thredbo: 12 June
  • Perisher: TBC
  • Charlotte Pass: TBC
  • Selwyn Snow Resort: TBC

Last year there were limited tickets available. This year we're anticipating the same with pre-purchase bound to ne necessary to ensure no overcrowding.

Getting to and from your holiday destination

Am I able do drive anywhere within New South Wales or into the ACT/Canberra?

There are no limitations when driving your own vehicle. Generally, you can go anywhere within the state unless you're in a locked-down area, in which case you must stay at home unless you're out for essential reasons.

These 10 road trips take you along the state's most beautiful and unique landscapes.

If you're hiring a car, there may be additional protocols due to COVID-19 in place, including when you can pick up and drop off your vehicle.

For example, Europcar has a zero-contact policy where the car keys will be disinfected and put into a sealed envelope.


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Am I able to fly within New South Wales (or to the ACT)?

Yes. There are no coronavirus-related restrictions on who can book flights within the state or to Canberra. So if you're hoping to take off to Byron Bay, Newcastle, Sydney, Canberra or any other destination in New South Wales, you can.

Qantas and Virgin Australia are offering flexible bookings for travel until 31 January 2022.

Extra safety measures are in place when flying. For example, Jetstar asks passengers to limit movement around the plane cabin and is offering all passengers masks and sanitising wipes to clean the seat belt, trays and armrests. These are offered for added comfort but aren't mandatory to use.

As of 8 January 2021, face masks are mandatory on all domestic and international flights.

Are coach buses operating between cities?

As long as the services are still running, you can travel by coach between cities:

  • Greyhound: Still operating routes, including those with destinations outside the state. The buses stop at the border to comply with any restrictions.
  • Murrays: Murrays routes from Canberra to Sydney, Wollongong and Narooma are operating.
  • Premier: Still operating intrastate routes.

Can I take a train within the city or to regional New South Wales?

City rail services: The government is urging travellers not to use public transport during peak hour to more easily allow for physical distancing.

There are green "Sit here" and "Stand here" stickers on trains to identify where to sit so passengers are safely spread out within carriages.

Regional services: NSW TrainLink trains running between NSW and Queensland recommenced at 1am on 1 December 2020. Food services on board trains may be operating with some changes. For example, water fountains won't be available and only pre-packaged food items will be served.

The Great Southern rail journey which travels from Brisbane to Adelaide via NSW, ACT and Victoria recommenced on 1 January 2021.

Which states can I travel to?

Many state and territory borders have reopened their borders to NSW residents without the need for quarantine. However, passes may be required to cross the borders.

State Border status What should I know? More info
ACT Open No requirements needed. More info
Northern Territory Open All arrivals must complete a border entry form. More info
Queensland Open No permits required to enter. More info
South Australia Open All travellers must complete a Cross Border Travel Registration. More info
Tasmania Open Travellers from low-risk areas need to register through Tas e-Travel System. More info
Victoria Open All NSW residents need a permit and those living along Victoria and NSW border communities are allowed to access the border bubble using their driver license for proof of residential address. More info
Western Australia Open All visitors must apply for a G2G pass. More info

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