Home > Destinations > Australia > Where you can and can’t travel

When will those borders open up for travel? Where can I actually go? Can I book a getaway soon? All these questions can be hard to find answers to when the travel restrictions for Australians keep changing so frequently.

Captured Travel has round up the latest updates and popped them into a quick and easy check list to help you plan your travel, or know when you can.

Here is the most up to date news on where Australians can and can’t travel internationally and domestically in Australia

International Travel

person with toy airplane on world map

As per the Smartraveller website and Australian Government statements, there is a ban on overseas travel from Australia. You can’t leave Australia unless you get an exemption from the Department of Home Affairs.

If you’re overseas and wish to return to Australia, you are encouraged to plan your travel home. However, be prepared for possible delays due to travel restrictions, closed transit hubs and limits on the number of arrivals allowed into Australia.

When you arrive in Australia you must quarantine for 14 days at designated facilities in your port of arrival, unless you have an exemption. You may be required to pay for the costs of your quarantine.

If you’re staying overseas, make plans to remain for an extended period. Read and subscribe to the Smartraveller news and travel advice, follow the advice of local authorities and minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19.

For more information please visit https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/COVID-19

Domestic travel in Australia

photo of a kangaroo on road

At present, the border situation in Australia is as follows. We do recommend that you visit the links supplied for each states updates from the Government.

Western Australia

As of August 5, you cannot enter WA unless you are an exempt traveller. WA Government has announced the strict temporary closure of the WA borders for all non-WA residents.

The WA Government has announced they will not be reopening their borders until further notice and potentially not until 2021.

As of June 5, The Kimberley region reopened to the rest of Western Australia, the biosecurity zones in parts of the Shire of East Pilbara however access to remote Aboriginal communities will remain restricted under the State Government’s Emergency Management Act.

Find out more: www.wa.gov.au


From November 1, all residents of NSW will be allowed to enter Queensland if there are 28 days of no community transmission. Residents will still need to apply for a border declaration pass.

From October 1, residents of Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes in Northern NSW will be allowed to enter Queensland. Residents will still need to apply for a border declaration pass.

From October 1, Queensland residents will also be allowed to travel to Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes in Northern NSW without having to quarantine on their return.

QLD’s borders are currently closed to ALL residents from VIC and NSW until further notice – estimated to be December 2020.

All of Victoria and most areas of New South Wales are considered COVID-19 hotspots.

Anyone from VIC or NSW attempting to fly into Queensland will be refused entry and sent back if they attempt to arrive in the state without meeting the requested criteria.

Any Queenslanders returning from Victoria, other areas of New South Wales will be forced to quarantine for 14-days at their own expense.

Find out more: www.covid19.qld.gov.au

South Australia

As of Thursday, 24 September, NSW residents can enter South Australia along with all other state and territories except Victoria.

A pre-approval process is now in place for NT, QLD, TAS, ACT, NSW and WA travellers wishing to enter South Australia. Aim to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration at least three days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins.

As of Friday, August 28, only essential travellers will be able to enter SA from Victoria. South Australians will no longer be able to return to SA from Victoria.

Find out more: www.covid-19.sa.gov.au


Currently, Tasmania has a strict temporary closure of its border for all non-Tasmanian residents.

As of October 26, Tasmania will reopen its border to South Australia, Queensland, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the ACT residents.

Once a border reopening date is confirmed, entrants from NT, SA and WA will need to fill out their information on the Good to Go App in terms of where they have been in the past 14 days.

A new online travel registration system – G2G PASS – has been introduced for people needing to travel to Tasmania.

Find out more: www.coronavirus.tas.gov.au

The Northern Territory

As of Monday, November 2, The Northern Territory border will reopen to residents of Regional Victoria – as long as cases are kept low.

As of Friday, October 9, The Northern Territory border will reopen again to all NSW residents (as long as cases remain low). Currently, people who have spent time in Greater Sydney have to undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine on arrival.

As of July 17, The NT border reopened to all other states and territories except Victoria and Sydney/NSW hotspot residents.

Anyone arriving in the NT must complete a Border Entry Form. You must do this online up to 72 hours before entering the NT.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park is closed until further notice. Find out more here.

Find out more: www.coronavirus.nt.gov.au


VIC’s borders are open, though travel to the state is not currently advised. There are more severe lock downs in place for Melbourne. As of September 28, Melbourne has lifted its curfew, increased outdoor gatherings to five people from two households, opened childcare facilities, allowed certain workers to return to work, and will be reopening primary schools from 12 October.

The rest of Victoria will also gradually ease restrictions out of the current stage 3, but quicker than metropolitan Melbourne.

Find out more: www.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

New South Wales

As of July 8, New South Wales borders are open except to Victorian residents. Any New South Wales residents returning from Victoria will be forced to quarantine for 14-days at their own expense.

There are no other closures or restrictions on NSW’s borders.

Find out more: www.dpi.nsw.gov.au

Australian Capital Territory

As of July 8, the ACT border is closed to travellers from Victoria.

There are no other closures or restrictions on ACT’s borders.

Find out more: www.covid19.act.gov.au/help-and-advice/travellers

Kate Webster
Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.