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Queensland travel restrictions | What’s open in October 2020?

With restrictions continuing to be eased, we’ve got a complete guide on what exactly you can and can’t do in the sunshine state.

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Backpackers at Windin falls near Cairns, Australia

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Restrictions are easing and regional travel is permitted throughout Queensland under stage four restrictions. This includes travel to remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and into Northern NSW.

Queensland's borders are also now open to travellers from Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania, South Australia and the ACT.

It plans to open to the rest of New South Wales when the state records 28 days of no community transmission.

Travellers from Victoria and Greater NSW are currently not permitted to enter the state as they are deemed hotspots. If you're from Queensland and are travelling home from a hotspot, you are able to do so, but must quarantine.

Outside of those hotspots, anyone entering Queensland is now required to present a border declaration pass. This is free to apply for and is valid for seven days from the time you apply.

If you're curious about what's open, where in the state you can go and what's still closed then we've got you covered.

Gathering limits inside and outside of homes is 30, which includes the members of your household.

Accommodation in Queensland

Queenslanders may travel freely within the state with no restriction on how far or for how long they travel. However, there are gathering limits of 30 people to consider. This includes the members of your household.

Staying with family or friends

You can stay overnight with relatives and friends within the state as long as the maximum number of people in the home doesn't exceed 30.

It's recommended to keep numbers low if vulnerable family members reside there.

Staying at a hotel

Hotels are open for stays across the state and you can book a hotel for both business and leisure anywhere in Queensland.

During your stay you may notice that many hotels are implementing extra safety measure such as more frequent cleaning services or they have spaced out furnishings in common areas to encourage physical distancing.

Social distancing (1.5 metres) from other hotel patrons still applies within the hotel grounds.

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Staying in a holiday house

If you are booking a weekend away, you are more than welcome to stay in a holiday home. Just one of the great perks is fewer members of the public being around (compared to a hotel). So if socially distanced accommodation is what you're after, look no further.

The choice is yours with a variety of apartments, cabins, studios, chalets, cottages, homes and townhouses when you book with any of the following holiday home sites:

The official rule is no more than 30 to a home. However, Airbnb has placed a worldwide limit of 16pax for rentals, excluding boutique hotels and event venues to curb party homes.

Staying at a hostel

Along with hotels and holiday homes, hostels are now open for business and booking. This includes stays in shared dorm rooms.

Hostelworld has noted that accommodations are upping safety and hygiene measures. You can expect the bigger rooms hosting fewer guests to accommodate the 1.5-metre social distancing rule, regular cleaning of the bedrooms and common areas and providing hand sanitiser across the stays.

Venues not complying with these standards will be removed from the booking site.

Camping and caravanning

The great outdoors is waiting for you with camping sites and caravan parks back up and running. As mentioned earlier, there is a limit of 30 people to a group and this still applies to outdoor spaces.

If you are looking to find accommodation in a caravan park or at paid camp sites, we recommend calling up beforehand to lock in a spot. With restrictions being eased, it's likely to get busy.

Some camping spots require bookings in advance.

Tourist attractions in Queensland

Slowly but surely, your favourite tourist destinations in the sunshine state are opening back up to the public. RedBalloon is just one site that has added the new "Now Open" feature on experiences that you can book.

You can also purchase vouchers that last three years, so you'll have plenty of time to book a future experience.

RB Activity

RB activity

The following attractions have reopened across Queensland:

As of 1 October, Movie World, Outback Spectacular and Wet'n'Wild are open but operating at 75% capacity. COVIDSafe measures are in place, including increased hygiene sanitisation, physical distancing and contactless payments. Select rides and attractions have been altered or closed to ensure social distancing is met.

National parks

National parks and rainforests are now open for all your outdoor adventures. This includes Minjerribah, Mulgumpin, Cape York Peninsula, Cooloola and Bribie Island.

Cooloola and Bribie Island are restricted access areas and require a COVID-19 access pass to enter.

Before you set off, check out park alerts for all the latest, including any mandatory pre-bookings that may be required.

Beaches and parks

Restrictions at beaches have eased and Surf Life Saving Queensland has resumed patrols along the state's sands. Before you head out, check the beach's website in case it's no longer open due to COVID or surf conditions to avoid disappointment.

When you're at the beach or a park, social distancing must still be practised. Keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other groups and, if you can, from others within your own group.

Getting to and from your holiday destination

Driving within Queensland

You can drive freely anywhere within the sunshine state without restrictions on how far from your home you are or how many nights you spend away.

For those of you in need of a car rental or a campervan, many companies are integrating intensive hygiene practices.

Europcar and are implementing deeper cleans in high contact areas of the cars, including keys, radio, doors, gear changer, steering wheel and controls. Selected locations also offer contactless pick-up.

Flying within Queensland

Flying is also an option when travelling within Queensland.

Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have brought back numerous routes across the states, some of which are:

  • Brisbane to Townsville – Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia
  • Brisbane to Mackay – Qantas, Alliance Airlines, Virgin Australia and Jetstar
  • Brisbane to Trepell – Alliance Airlines
  • Brisbane to Gladstone – Virgin Australia, Qantas and Alliance Airlines
  • Brisbane to Cairns – Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia
  • Brisbane to Roma – Qantas and Alliance Airlines
  • Brisbane to Rockhampton – Alliance Airlines, Qantas and Virgin Australia
  • Brisbane to Mount Isa – Qantas, Virgin Australia and Regional Express
  • Brisbane to Moranbah – Qantas, Alliance Airlines and Hevilift
  • Brisbane to Bundaberg – Qantas
  • Brisbane to Whitsunday Coast – Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Alliance Airlines
  • Brisbane to Longreach – Qantas
  • Brisbane to Emerald – Alliance Airlines, Hevilift and Qantas
  • Brisbane to Hervey Bay – Qantas
  • Brisbane to Miles – Qantas
  • Cairns to Normanton – Regional Express
  • Cairns to Weipa – Qantas
  • Cairns to Townsville – Regional Express and Qantas
  • Mackay to Townsville – Qantas

Qantas and Jetstar have implemented a "Fly Well" program, where you'll be provided a surgical mask and sachets of sanitiser to use during your flight. This provides added peace of mind on top of increased cleaning schedules of the planes and high-contact areas, hygiene screening at airports and contactless check-in options.

Coach services

Many coach services that were temporarily suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic are being returned to service. This includes services on the Brisbane-Charleville, Rockhampton-Longreach and Townsville-Mount Isa corridors.

  • Westbound Westlander: Services are in operation on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
  • Eastbound Westlander: Services are back in operation.
  • Spirit of the Outback: Timetable has recommenced.
  • Westbound Inlander: Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday services are back in operation.

Visit the Department of Transport and Main Roads site for full service details.

Regional services on popular coach companies Greyhound and Bus Queensland are still running. In Queensland, the coach service travels from Brisbane up the coast to Cairns. An inland route is available from Rockhampton to Longreach.

Greyhound coaches are running at full capacity, so social distancing won't be in practice onboard. There will be sanitiser provided on board, but you're encouraged to bring your own as well.

Queensland rail travel

City services. Although city trains are still available, it is asked that they only be used if necessary. If you do need to take public transport, remember to keep a distance of 1.5 metres from other members of the public. There is no limit to how many people can ride on the trains, but if a carriage is getting busy, try moving to one that's quieter.

Regional services. Train travel throughout Queensland is still running and permitted. Despite border openings with Northern NSW interstate trains are still paused. To cross the border, coach services are running from Brisbane-Casino, Casino-Surfers Paradise and Casino-Robina.

The Great Southern, which travels from Adelaide to Brisbane, is expected to recommence services in December 2020.

Which states and territories can I travel to?

Queensland's borders are closed to hotspots, but Queenslanders can freely travel to a number of states and territories that have been less affected by the pandemic.

  • To NSW: Queenslanders may travel to NSW freely; however, only select border towns in NSW can enter Queensland. If you do travel further into NSW you may be forced into mandatory quarantine at your own expense when you return home. Queensland intends to reopen to the rest of NSW when the state announces no community transmission for 28 days.
  • To Victoria: Queenslanders may travel to Victoria. However, as it is a declared hotspot all non-essential travellers will be denied entry back into the state.
  • To Western Australia: Borders are closed and only essential workers may travel to Western Australia. Upon entering they will be taken into mandatory quarantine and need to take two COVID-19 tests.
  • To South Australia: Borders are open with Queensland and there is no mandatory quarantine upon return.
  • To Tasmania: Only essential travellers may enter. All other travellers must enter quarantine. If you've been to a declared hotspot you will be denied entry. These restrictions are planned to lift on 26 October.
  • To the ACT: Borders are open between Queensland and the ACT without the need to quarantine on either end.
  • To the Northern Territory: Borders are open to Queenslanders. If you've been to a hotspot in the past 14 days you'll need to undergo mandatory quarantine at your own expense.

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Frequently asked questions about travelling within and outside Queensland during COVID-19

How far can I travel from my home?

Queenslanders are free to travel across the country, except to Western Australia and Tasmania as their borders are still closed. You are required to obtain a Queensland Entry Pass to return back to the state.

Are there any regional travel restrictions in Queensland?

Yes. You can travel anywhere within the Queensland state except some remote and biosecurity areas. Unless you reside within them, some Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are still off-limits.

You may also travel to select NSW border towns.

Can I travel to Queensland if I live in another state?

Queensland's borders are open to all states and territories, except Victoria and NSW (except select border towns) which still are considered hotspots.

Anyone travelling from these states may be denied entry at the border. Exceptions may be made for essential workers. Residents returning home from a hotspot will be required to quarantine in government accommodation at their own expense.

Borders between Queensland and NSW are planned to reopen following no community transmissions for 28 days in NSW.

Do I need to limit the number of people I'm travelling with?

Gathering limits are set at 30 people – and this applies to your travelling party. Despite this large number, we still recommend trying to limit how many individuals you are travelling with.

Do I need to pre-book to visit dining venues and attractions?

Seeing that there are limits to how many people can be in one area at a time, we suggest calling in advance to double-check. Individual restaurants may be busier so to ensure you get a spot, try booking to reserve a seat.

Will I need to self-isolate or go into quarantine when I get back from my trip?

As a Queensland resident, you won't have to self-isolate upon your arrival back home – that is, unless you've been in a COVID-19 hotspot or have come back from overseas.

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