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Queensland travel restrictions | What’s open in August 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

Regional travel is permitted throughout Queensland and its borders are open to the rest of Australia, except Victoria and, as of 1am on 1 August 2020, Greater Sydney. These have both been deemed hotspots.

Outside of those, anyone entering Queensland from midday 10 July is required to present a border declaration pass.

Yes, restrictions are easing. If you're curious what's open and what's still closed then we've got you covered.

Accommodation in Queensland

With 1 June bringing more easing of restrictions, you are now able to travel freely within the state of Queensland. There is currently a limit of 20 people for gatherings within homes - which includes places you're staying overnight.

Staying with family or friends

You can now stay overnight with relatives and friends within the state borders. Bear in mind that homes can have a maximum of 20 people, but it's recommended to keep numbers low if vulnerable family members reside there.

Staying at a hotel

Hotels are also reopening for stays. You can book a hotel for both business and leisure across Queensland.

During your stay you may notice that hotels are implementing more regular cleaning services within rooms and common areas. 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, then you are more than welcome to stay in a holiday home. Just one of the great perks includes 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:

Staying at a hostel

Along with hotels and holiday homes, hostels are now open for business and booking.

Hostelworld has noted that accommodations are upping safety and hygiene measures. You can expect 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 automatically 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 20 people to a group and this still applies to outdoor spaces.

If you are looking to find accommodation in a caravan park, 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, all 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:

  • Australia Zoo
  • Sea World Resort
  • MovieWorld
  • Sea World
  • Wet'n'Wild
  • Outback Spectacular
  • Paradise Country
  • Mossman Gorge Centre

Movie World, Outback Spectacular and Wet'n'Wild are open but operating at 50% capacity. They intend to reach full capacity in September.

National parks

Most national parks and rainforests are now open for all your outdoor adventures. Minjerribah, Mulgumpin, Cape York Peninsula, Cooloola and Bribie Island all require booking in advance via the online sites since they are not taking over-the-phone bookings at this time. Cooloola and Bribie Island are restricted areas, so you will need COVID-19 access passes to enter.

We recommend checking out park alerts for all the latest before leaving home.

Beaches and parks

Restrictions are slowly easing and most beaches have reopened to the public. Before you head out, check the beaches 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 and your group at 20 people or less.

Getting to and from your holiday destination

Driving within Queensland

With the latest easing of restrictions, you can drive freely anywhere within the Sunshine State. If you meet the government criteria, you can obtain a Queensland Entry Pass which allows you to travel interstate.

For those of you in need of a car rental, 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 state. Some of which include the following:

  • Brisbane to Townsville - Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia
  • Brisbane to Macaky - 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. This provides added peace of mind through increased cleaning schedules of the planes and high-contact areas, hygiene screening at airports and contactless check-in. Jetstar is also offering masks and sanitising wipes for passengers onboard.

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: Service has returned on Tuesdays with Thursday services returning on 24 September and Friday services recommencing on 25 September.
  • Eastbound Westlander: Services has returned.
  • Spirit of the Outback: Timetable has recommenced.
  • Westbound Inlander: Wednesday and Tuesday services have returned, Saturday service will return from 19 September and Sunday service from 20 September.

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. However, interstate services have been paused with Greyhound. This includes its Brisbane-Byron Bay, Brisbane-Coffs Harbour, Brisbane-Melbourne, Brisbane-Sydney and Brisbane-Port Macquarie routes.

Train services

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 has fewer people.

Regional services. Train travel throughout Queensland is still running and permitted. Following the border opening on 10 July, interstate trains on the NSW TransLink have resumed services. The border is still closed to Victorians. South Australia's borders are also still closed with one service operating for essential travellers only.

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Frequently asked questions about travelling within 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.

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

Queensland's borders reopened on 10 July. This allows all states and territories, except Victoria and Sydney hotspots, to travel into Queensland without the need to quarantine or self-isolate. Victorians are not allowed to enter and quarantine in the state. Anyone from Greater Sydney, which has been declared a hotspot, must quarantine in a Queensland hotel at their own expense from 1am on 1 August 2020.

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

As of 1 June 2020, you can travel with up to 20 people. 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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