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What are the COVID-19 travel requirements for each state and territory?


Anastasia Tsirtsakis


20/12/2021 4:25:49 PM

UPDATED: As Australians continue to journey interstate over the summer, newsGP provides a breakdown of the various travel requirements, from vaccination to testing and isolation.

An airport departure board.
To help control COVID-19 outbreaks over the holiday period, each state and territory has its own entry requirements.

UPDATED at 9.30 am Wednesday 5 January to reflect changes to entry requirements in South Australia.

After almost two years of restrictions and sacrifices to curb COVID-19 transmission, high vaccine uptake has resulted in a sense of optimism as Australia attempts to live with the virus.
 
But the emergence of the Omicron variant has brought with it some uncertainty. Now detected in 89 countries, the World Health Organization has warned that cases are doubling every 1.5–3 days, even in countries with high vaccine coverage.
 
As a result, some countries in Europe tightened borders and reimposed public health measures ahead of Christmas.
 
Meanwhile, the variant is also wreaking havoc in parts of Australia, with New South Wales recording nearly 85,000 cases in the past four days alone, pushing the seven-day moving average to 18,479 per day, up from 5733 just one week ago.

As Australia’s booster program continues to ramp up, each state and territory is taking its own precautionary measures to control outbreaks.

To keep GPs and patients informed of testing requirements for domestic visitors, newsGP provides a breakdown of each state and territory’s COVID public health measures.
 
Victoria
With more than 90% of Victorians 16 and older fully vaccinated and 93.8% having received at least one dose, the state has eased restrictions for visitors.
 
Domestic travellers entering the state from all states and territories no longer require a travel permit to enter the state, nor are they required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, unless they have been overseas in the past 14 days.
 
For more information, visit the Victorian Government website.
 
NSW
Similarly in NSW, where vaccination rates have exceeded 90% among people 16 and older, most people from across the country can freely enter the state without having to complete an entry declaration form or be vaccinated.
 
Anyone who has visited a place of high concern, also known as a ‘close contact place’, is not permitted to enter NSW within 14 days of visiting the location or within seven days if they are fully vaccinated.
 
Meanwhile, anyone who has visited a ‘casual contact place’ must not enter the state unless they have undergone a PCR test for COVID-19 and received a negative result, which must be retained as proof.
 
NSW Health ‘strongly recommends’ any visitors planning to travel to rural and remote Aboriginal communities get vaccinated and avoid travel if they feel unwell.
 
For more information, visit the NSW Health website.
 
ACT
Similar to Victoria, the ACT has very few requirements for interstate visitors.
 
The territory has Australia’s highest vaccination rates, with 95% of residents over 16 fully vaccinated, and vaccination is not a requirement for anyone travelling to the ACT domestically. Likewise, an entry permit is not needed to enter the territory
 
However, anyone who is deemed a close contact of a positive COVID case needs to apply for an exemption.
 
For more information, visit the ACT Government website.
 
Queensland
People planning to visit Queensland from South Australia (except Greater Adelaide), WA, Tasmania or the NT (except Katherine and Robinson River) are required to apply for an entry permit, but do not have to be vaccinated, provided they have not been to a hotspot in the past 14 days.
 
Despite over-16s vaccination rates having now surpassed 80%, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is remaining cautious when it comes to parts of the country with high infection rates.
 
In addition to an entry permit, visitors travelling from declared hotspots, including Victoria, NSW, the ACT, Greater Adelaide or Katherine and Robinson River (including surrounding homelands), must also be fully vaccinated at least one week prior to entering the sunshine state. They also need to show proof of either a negative PCR or rapid antigen test result taken within 72 hours prior to entry.
 
For more information, visit the Queensland Government website.
 
SA
There are currently no restrictions for domestic travellers entering South Australia. 

If, however, a person has been identified as a contact of a confirmed case interstate, they are advised by SA Health not to enter the state until at least seven days after their last contact with the COVID-19 case while they were infectious.
  
For more information, visit the SA Health website.
 
NT
The Northern Territory Government has introduced the same requirements for all states, including full vaccination status for all visitors aged 16 and over and the completion of a Border Entry Application within seven days of arrival to obtain a permit.
 
Upon arrival at the airport, visitors will be given four rapid antigen tests and will be required to take one test and submit an online declaration within two hours.
 
All visitors are restricted from travelling to an ‘exclusion zone’ in the first 14 days after entry to protect communities that have less than 80% of residents aged five years and older fully vaccinated.
 
For more information, visit the Northern Territory Government website.
 
Tasmania
Tasmania has remained relatively COVID-free over the past 20 months and state Premier Peter Gutwein is hoping to keep it that way.
 
All visitors aged over 12 years and two months must be fully vaccinated and are required to obtain an entry permit.
 
Travellers must also show either a negative PCR test result taken within 72 hours prior to departure or a negative rapid antigen test taken 24 hours before departure. 
 
For more information, visit the Tasmanian Government website.
 
WA
Western Australia’s interstate borders are slated to ease on 5 February 2022. Until then, to enter the state, approval must be granted before entry by obtaining a G2G Pass.
 
All states and terriroties are currently classed as either extreme risk (Victoria, NSW, SA, Queensland), high risk (Tasmania, ACT) or medium risk (NT). To be approved, travellers must be fully vaccinated and undergo home quarantine for 14 days. They must also get tested within 24 hours of arrival and on day 12.
 
For more information, visit the WA Government website.
 
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