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How to plan your travel around the coronavirus

How to plan your travel around the coronavirus

When will it be safe to travel again? Where can I travel? We take a look at some of the most commonly asked questions about COVID-19 and travel.

This story was last updated on 25 November 2020 to reflect changes in Queensland’s border policy. Due to the rapidly changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article is being updated regularly to reflect the latest changes. Any significant changes made to this article will be marked here.


Interstate travel

Depending on where in Australia you live, interstate travel may be feasible. Be sure to book ahead though, particularly for dining and any attractions, as many places are limiting numbers of customers to comply with social distancing restrictions. Dinner bookings at restaurants in particular are sometimes booking out more than two weeks in advance, so get in early.

Below we’ve broken down entry restrictions by state.

New South Wales

After months of strict policing, the NSW-Victoria border is now open once again. There is no requirement to quarantine or apply for a pass.

Residents of all other states are permitted to freely enter NSW.

More information here.


Anyone who has been in a COVID-19 hotspot (as determined by the Queensland Government) may not enter Queensland. Currently only suburban Adelaide is considered a hotspot.

Residents of the rest of Australia can enter the state, but will need to apply for a Queensland Border Declaration Pass first. The Queensland Government recommends that you complete this as close as possible to the date you plan on travelling.

More information here.

Australian Capital Territory

Residents of NSW are strongly discouraged from travelling to the ACT, but are still permitted to enter the state and don’t have to quarantine. Victorian residents are not permitted to enter the ACT unless they have an exemption. These include travel through Canberra Airport to another state, although it’s important to note that Victorians will have a hard time entering any other state.

Anyone living outside of NSW and Victoria is allowed to enter the ACT, but will need to also comply with NSW border restrictions unless they intend to fly into Canberra Airport.

More information here.


Victoria’s borders are now open, and the tough restrictions previously in place have now been lifted.

All states have opened their borders to Victoria except South Australia, which will open its borders to the state on December 1.

More information here.

Northern Territory

Anyone who has been in what the NT government declares a hotspot (currently Melbourne and surrounding suburbs) will be placed into hotel quarantine on entry, at a cost of $2,500 per person.

Arrivals from other states will need to fill in a Border Entry Form less than 72 hours before entering the NT, and may need to provide proof that they have not recently been in a hotspot.

More information here.

South Australia

Travellers from the ACT, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia are permitted to enter South Australia without restriction. Entry from Victoria is permitted from December 1. Regardless of where you enter from you will need to fill out the Cross Border Travel Registration Form at least three days before you depart.

More information here.

Western Australia

After a long period of tight border restrictions, Western Australia is now starting to allow entry to residents of some states. Those travelling from what the Western Australian government classifies as ‘very low risk’ (Tasmania, Queensland, the ACT and the NT) can enter without quarantining.

Travellers from NSW and Victoria are allowed to enter the state, but must quarantine for 14 days, either in their own “suitable premises,” or in government quarantine at their own expense.

More information here.


From 26 October 2020, anyone who has been in a low-risk location (all states and territories except South Australia: more information here) for the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania is free to enter without quarantining.

More information here.

Intrastate Travel

As Australia gets on top of its second COVID-19 wave, travel is beginning to open up again. However, as the recent experience with South Australia has shown, borders can shut at a moment’s notice. As such, the safest option is travel within your own state. With the exception of certain remote communities in Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia there are no restrictions on travel within your home state.

Again though, make sure you book ahead. Many restaurants are booking out for dinner more than two weeks in advance, and some attractions have strict entry protocols that require booking.

Use this as an opportunity to explore closer to home. Each state has its own charm, which we often forget in our mad rush to explore the next hot destination. And no matter what your holiday style – adventure, luxury or something in between – plenty of accommodation providers are reopening and need your support. So stay safe, but get out there!

International travel

The reality is that we won’t be heading abroad any time soon. There’s been much talk of ‘travel bubbles’ lately, but it’s highly unlikely that international travel will be able to resume on any significant scale until a vaccine can be produced and administered. And when that will happen – if that will happen – is anyone’s guess.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t dream. Many of the Signature Luxury Travel and Style writers have spent their lockdown time relentlessly researching and planning bucket lists, because at some point, this will pass. And when it does, the sights, sounds and experiences of foreign shores will be all the better for it.

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