Covid: New Christmas travel rules for each Aussie state and territory

Yahoo News Australia and agencies
·6-min read

States and territories across Australia have implemented border restrictions on NSW in light of Sydney’s Northern Beaches Covid outbreak.

On Saturday, the cluster on the Northern Beaches grew by 23, 10 of which were reported on Friday.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced the Northern Beaches would go into lockdown from 5pm on Saturday until midnight on Wednesday.

States and territories have taken measures to ensure Covid doesn’t spread across the nation. Here is everything you need to know about the restrictions.

A man walks his dog in Sydney's Northern Beaches as a public health message is seen on temporary signage at Dee Why.
Sydney's Northern Beaches will enter lockdown from Saturday evening as the coronavirus outbreak in the area grows. Source: AAP

Victoria’s ‘traffic light’ permit system

On Friday, Victoria announced as of midnight a permit system would be in place, with three different zones which impact whether you can travel to Victoria or not.

Right now, the only part of NSW that is a “red zone” is the Northern Beaches.

“If passengers do arrive from a red zone, they will be transferred to hotel quarantining for 14 days for the duration of that quarantine period,” Victorian Health Minister Martin Foley said on Saturday.

Greater Sydney is declared an “orange zone”, which means people can apply for a permit to go to Victoria, though it is advised they get tested for Covid as soon as possible after entering the state.

NSW Police officers are seen at the NSW-Victoria border crossing in Howlong near Albury.
Victoria has implemented a permit system with NSW amid the Northern Beaches outbreak. Source: AAP

The health minister added there was a “significant risk” Covid had spread from the Northern Beaches to other parts of Sydney.

“If that is the case, and I stress that is an if, then we will have no choice but to declare all of Sydney a red zone,” he said.

“That will mean anyone who has been in Sydney will not be allowed into Victoria.”

The rest of NSW is considered a “green zone” and anyone who has travelled from a green zone is able to apply for a permit and enter Victoria, though they must monitor for coronavirus symptoms.

Queensland now requires border pass declaration

Travellers coming from NSW to Queensland will require a border pass declaration from 1am on Sunday.

Visitors from NSW will be able to apply for border passes online from 8pm on Saturday.

“We won’t have barriers up at the borders but what we will be doing is putting electronic signs up that let everybody know they should have a border pass and the police will be doing random audits and checks as people come across the borders,” Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said on Saturday.

The declaration includes information such as previous travel to hotspots, Covid-19 symptoms and contact with known cases.

Ms D’Ath asked Queenslanders intending to travel to NSW to reconsider their plans as more coronavirus cases are likely to be identified in coming days.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said anyone coming from Sydney's Northern Beaches must have an exemption to enter Queensland and must go into hotel quarantine.

There is a 14-day hotel quarantine requirement for all arrivals from Sydney's Northern Beaches.

ACT declares Northern Beaches as a Covid affected area

The ACT has declared the Northern Beaches local government area as a Covid-19 affected area.

The Public Health Direction means anyone who has been in that area from Friday, December 11 are legally required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they were there.

Anyone who has travelled from the Northern Beaches must get tested for Covid and quarantine for the 14 days, even if the result is negative.

The ACT Government advises at the moment the testing clinics are at high demand, and asks for people to quarantine and get tested at a later time.

ACT residents are still allowed to travel to NSW, though it is advised to not travel to the Northern Beaches.

Pictured are cars lined up at a Covid-19 testing centre in NSW.
Anyone in the ACT who has travelled from Sydney’s Northern Beaches must get a Covid test and self-isolate. Source: AAP

Anyone from Sydney must quarantine in Tasmania

Travellers from all parts of Sydney will have to quarantine upon entry to Tasmania from 11.59pm on Saturday.

Premier Peter Gutwein told reporters in a late Saturday afternoon press conference after being in meetings with health officials all day, he'd been advised to raise Greater Sydney to "medium risk" level.

This means travellers from the Northern Beaches, as well as from any other part of metropolitan Sydney, would be required to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival.

The island state's move towards stricter quarantine requirements comes a day after the Northern Beaches and several other locations were declared "high risk".

Anybody who has spent time in a high-risk area will not be allowed to travel into Tasmania unless approved by the state's deputy state controller.

South Australia keeps borders open

South Australia has left its border open to travellers from NSW but warns it won't hesitate to act if Sydney’s Covid-19 cluster continues to expand.

However people from the Northern Beaches and two other suburbs will face immediate restrictions with some being forced into hotel quarantine and others into home isolation.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says Sydney's northern peninsula has been declared a high community transmission zone.

He says people who recently travelled to SA and had visited Avalon RSL and Avalon Bowlo will be placed into hotel quarantine.

Anyone else who visited those two locations who is still planning to travel to SA will not be permitted to enter.

Those travelling from the wider Northern Beaches area will be required to self-isolate for 14 days and get tested.

The same applies to people who have been in Sydney's Penrith or Lavender Bay since December 11.

Western Australia reintroduces hard border

Western Australia reinstated its hard border with NSW on Saturday.

Premier Mark McGowan said WA’s “low risk” rating for the eastern state had been upgraded to “medium risk”, meaning it would reinstate the same strict measures seen earlier in the year.

Travellers from NSW will no longer be allowed to enter WA unless they have an exemption.

“This has been a difficult decision to make especially given the time of year,” Mr McGowan said on Saturday.

“I understand this will be devastating news for people looking to meet family for Christmas in NSW.”

The only people from NSW able to fly into WA after midnight on Saturday will be those with special exemptions.

A general view of Perth domestic airport where a Qantas plane is seen out the window.
All travellers from NSW coming into WA must self isolate for 14 days. Source: AAP

Northern Territory declares ‘hotspot’

The Northern Territory has declared the Northern Beaches a Covid hotspot, meaning anyone who enters from or through the Northern Beaches in the last 14 days has to complete 14 days in mandatory quarantine.

People in quarantine will be tested on day 10 and supervised quarantine is at your own expense of $2500 in the NT.

Like all previous declared hotspots, people from or travelling through the Northern Beaches to the NT are advised to cancel their plans.

Anyone from anywhere in Australia must complete a border entry form before entering the NT.

With AAP

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