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Travel and transport advice

What you need to know about border restrictions, using public transport, holidaying in NSW or travelling interstate. 

Moratorium on hotel quarantine fee for NSW residents returning from Victoria

NSW residents returning from Victoria will have their hotel quarantine fee waived for the next month to ease the financial burden on returnees.

The charge will be waived retrospectively and apply to NSW residents already in hotel quarantine after travelling from Victoria.

The moratorium on the hotel quarantine charge for NSW residents will expire at 12:01am Friday, 11 September 2020.

An important update on the NSW and Victoria border closure

From Friday 7 August, returning New South Wales residents will only be allowed to return through Sydney Airport.

Returning NSW residents must also go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

There is no change to existing arrangements for border communities.

Read more about the border restrictions

Travel guidance

It is important to


There are new, active COVID-19 cases in NSW. Find out the locations of the NSW COVID-19 hotspots and get tested if you visited one of the locations.

If you are not currently travelling on the public transport network during peak times, now is not the time to start.

All international travel is banned. Find the most up-to-date information on Australian border arrangements during COVID-19 from the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs

There is currently no limit on the distance that a person may travel, however NSW Health recommends non-essential domestic travel should be avoided.

Transport and freight operators and businesses should develop a COVID-19 Safety plan. Download the Safety plan and checklist for the transport and freight industry.

For more advice on travel within NSW contact Service NSW on 13 77 88.

COVIDSafe Travel Choices can help employers and employees make the right decisions about how and when to travel for work, as restrictions begin to ease and you transition into your new normal. For many employees working from home will continue.

Transport for NSW is putting in place initiatives to help more people returning to their workplaces in a staged and considered way. Especially those employed in the retail, service and hospitality industries.

Ensure facilities for people walking or cycling to work are well stocked with hand soap and paper towels, and have posters with instructions on how to wash hands.

New ways of working in response to the Coronavirus outbreak can provide benefits to businesses and employees that may be desirable to keep in the longer term.

Find out more about the benefits to your business of flexible working.

NSW-Victoria border restrictions

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19. Anyone seeking to enter NSW may apply for a NSW border entry permit

You must comply with any conditions of the permit as well as other requirements of the public health order.

NSW residents returning from Victoria must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days. All returning NSW residents, unless they live within the NSW border regions, will only be allowed to return to NSW through Sydney Airport.

ACT residents returning home from Victoria via NSW

If you are an ACT resident returning to your home in the ACT from Victoria and have an Entry Authorisation Certificate that allows you to enter the ACT you may

  • drive from Victoria directly to the ACT between 13 and 17 August 2020
  • travel in NSW between the hours of 9am and 3pm.

Find out more about NSW-Victoria border restrictions or find answers to common questions about border restrictions and permits.

Interstate travel excluding Victoria

Excluding Victoria, there are no restrictions in place for all other states on crossing the NSW border. However, each state or territory has its own entry requirements and travel restrictions. You must comply with any border rules of the state or territory you are entering or leaving.

Visitors from all other Australian states, excluding Victoria, can come to NSW for a holiday or for work purposes. NSW has not closed its borders.

If you break any of the rules in NSW you may receive a fine or penalty.

There is currently no limit on the distance that a person may travel, however NSW Health recommends non-essential domestic travel should be avoided.

It is important that as restrictions are eased we continue to take precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19.

From 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members have been permitted to travel to Australia.

If you wish to return to Australia from overseas, you should return as soon as possible by commercial travel.

  • Anyone arriving in Australia from overseas must enter into quarantine for 14 days.
  • You will have to go into mandatory quarantine in the first place you arrive in Australia, not your final destination.
  • You won’t be able to travel domestically (including to your home) or continue on any domestic flight connections, until the 14 day mandatory quarantine period has been completed.

For up-to-date information and advice, see:

Flights with confirmed cases of COVID-19

Find out what to do if you were on a flight that had confirmed cases of COVID-19.

What to do when you arrive in Australia

Effective 29 March 2020, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been overseas in the previous 14 days are immediately placed into quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone, even if you have no symptoms. 

Testing for COVID-19 (coronavirus)

NSW Health is recommending COVID-19 testing for anyone with symptoms.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include 

  • fever (37.5 ° or higher)
  • cough 
  • sore/scratchy throat
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste or
  • loss of smell.

Find a testing clinic near you.

Other reported symptoms of COVID-19 include

  • fatigue
  • runny nose
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • headache
  • diarrhoea
  • nausea/vomiting or
  • loss of appetite.

Related information

A mandatory quarantine fee will apply to international travellers returning to NSW and needing to quarantine.

 

Mandatory quarantine is needed to stop the spread of COVID-19 in NSW.

Government-arranged quarantine hotels will remain mandatory, with no option to select hotels.

All other aspects of quarantine arrangements in NSW remain in place.

How the quarantine fee system will work

  • The NSW Government will begin to charge international travellers for their hotel quarantine accommodation from 12:01am Saturday, 18 July.
  • Travellers who purchased their flights before 11:59pm 12 July AEST will be excluded from quarantine fees. Conditions apply and evidence will need to be supplied. These travellers will still be required to quarantine in government arranged accommodation.
  • The NSW Government will invoice travellers a fixed fee at the end of their stay.

Find more information on the Quarantine arrangements for international travellers page. 

If you are transiting through NSW to an international location

International transit passengers arriving into Australia can depart on another international flight if your transit time is less than 8 hours and you can stay airside (i.e. in the transit zone). This will be possible only if your bags have been checked through to your next destination. You do not need to apply for an exemption and are able to continue your journey to another country.

If you go through immigration, you will require an exemption.

If  your departure flight is between 8 to 72 hours after arrival flight, you will be taken to a quarantine hotel to wait until your departing flight. An exemption must be approved.

To apply for an exemption refer to Exemptions for air and maritime quarantine.

If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 (symptoms include fever, cough, sore/scratchy throat, shortness of breath or loss of taste or loss of smell), let a member of the airline know immediately, or if you are in the airport tell a biosecurity officer or a health official.

If you are transiting through NSW to another location in Australia

If you arrive in NSW from overseas, you must go into quarantine for 14 days before continuing your journey to another state or territory. After this isolation period you can transit domestically and travel home.

Across Australia, states and territories have their own quarantine rules in place. Some require approval to travel across borders from NSW, or even a second 14 day isolation period when you arrive.

For the latest information visit Australian Interstate Quarantine.

Find more information for transiting passengers.
 

You may travel by any vehicle including car, motorhome, truck or motorbike. You can go for a drive or motorbike for any reason, this may include recreational or social reasons.

There is no limit on the number of people you can travel with in a car or other private vehicle such as a mini bus.

Four wheel-driving is permitted.

Please continue to follow applicable road rules, always drive in a way that is safe for you and others. Check National Parks for information before visiting any park.

Find out more about how COVID-19 restrictions affect NSW road users 

Tour buses, coaches, mini buses and hire vehicles

Changes to NSW Government trains, buses and ferries to encourage physical distancing do not apply to other modes of transport, including commercial tour buses, coaches and mini buses.

Truck stops, stations, platforms or other facilities do not have any restrictions. You can hire a vehicle. The usual road and safety rules apply.

Passengers do not need to be from the same household to travel together.

While there is no limit to the number of passengers you can have in a vehicle and passengers can sit in any seat, you should still follow transport and freight industry guidelines for COVID Safe workplaces.

There are limitations to the number of people that can gather for non-travel related purposes. Find out about gathering limits for other activities.

Learner drivers, riders and their instructors

Learner drivers may continue to take driving lessons – for example, with an instructor or a family member. This includes safer driver courses, rider training and heavy vehicle driver assessment.

Service NSW transactions

Some Service NSW transactions have changed to manage COVID-19, including:

  • Driver Knowledge Tests (DKTs)
  • learner rider licencing
  • licence application and renewal fee waivers
  • number plates.

Find out what has changed at Service NSW.

To travel safely it’s essential to plan your trip before deciding to make your journey for work, and to reconsider your need to travel if the transport network is busy.

Transport for NSW has been working with technology partners to provide information about the capacity of public transport services to help you decide when and whether to travel.

Estimated capacity information is now available in the Trip Planner and Opal Travel App for all metro and train, Opal-enabled bus, ferry and light rail services, to help you plan ahead. Find out how to use the apps to understand capacity information.

Before travelling, you should also consider downloading the CovidSafe app. This will assist in any case-tracing in the event that you or a fellow passenger travels on the network while infected with Covid-19.

If driving, you should also check Live Traffic NSW or download the Live Traffic NSW app to help you decide if travelling at this time is the best option, and for ideas about the best potential route.

Find more information and useful links below:

How to maintain physical distancing on public transport

Latest COVID-19 public transport advice

Transport trip planner 

Transport apps

Bicycle rider safety and rules

Walking and cycling advice and updates

Travel advice and checklist for if you must travel to remote Aboriginal communities

You can use public transport.

If you are not already using public transport in the peak, please do not start now. Services are already close to capacity to allow for distancing at these times. Off peak times are between 10am and 2pm.

More information is available from Transport for NSW.

You can use the Trip Planner, transport apps and social media to see which public transport services have space available to maintain physical distancing.

Follow physical distancing guidance‘No dot, no spot’

Distinctive green dots will be used on trains, buses and ferries to show you the safest places to sit and stand. This means you may be asked to wait for the next service.

School children and those who require assistance, such as those with disability will be given priority accesses.

We are also asking you to

  • Practise good hand hygiene by washing your hands regularly to protect yourself, fellow commuters and Transport for NSW staff.

  • Cover any sneezes or coughs with your inner elbow or with a tissue that is then discarded.

  • Avoid close contact with other people at stops, stations and onboard services.

  • Use Opal and contactless payments where possible.

To help protect the health of staff

  • Avoid close contact with staff at stations, stops, wharves and onboard services.

  • On bus services, do not use the Opal reader at the front of the bus and stand behind the red no standing zone.

  • On light rail, sit away from the driver's cabin as directed.

Initiatives to support “No dot, no spot’ on public transport include:

  • Real time capacity: Customers tare given real time information through apps, social media and Transport Info to see which services have space available to maintain physical distancing.
  • More services: Changes will be considered to increase services eg; more ferries, water taxis and private vehicle passenger services on the water.
  • Travel if essential: Work from home if you can or travel in off peak times to provide priority for essential workers and school children.

How we are supporting physical distancing

Transport for NSW is taking a number of actions to support physical distancing and keep services clean and safe. This includes:

  • Deep cleaning continues across all modes of transport and more hand sanitiser is being rolled out at key transport hubs for those who need to travel.
  • We are monitoring 1.5 metres physical distancing around the network in near real-time to help better manage customer flow and crowding.
  • Increased public transport services where capacity and resources are available.
  • Access to platforms, stations and interchanges will be controlled to help manage physical distancing where necessary.
  • In the case of buses, drivers should follow normal guidelines once they reach the new reduced capacity limits supporting 1.5 metres physical distancing.

Taxis and rideshare

When using point-to-point transport services like taxis and rideshare, social distancing should be practiced where possible, including by sitting in the back seat only, and paying by using contactless payment methods. Contact your point-to-point provider to find out more about their policies for travel during COVID-19.

Information about walking and cycling

  • Up to 20 people may stay in a holiday home or holiday rental.
  • There can be no more than 20 people, unless everyone is a member of the same household.

Caravan and camping grounds may open.

  • There is no limit to the number of customers in the park or grounds. 
  • If you are visiting someone who is staying at a caravan park or camping ground, limits apply for visitors.

If you are visiting a national park camp ground you must book ahead.

Find out more about National Parks including what facilities are open, cleaning and staying safe and how to book.

Find out about hygiene and cleaning at caravan parks and camping grounds.

Boating, fishing and water activities (including jet skis) are permitted.

Onboard a recreational vessel

All recreational boating is permitted.

If those onboard are members of the same household, there does not need to be four square metres of space for each person.

If those onboard are not members of the same household, they should maintain a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others, as is reasonably practicable.

People should always remember to practice good personal hygiene.

At boat ramps, wharves and marinas

The 20 person gathering rule applies applies in all public places such as boat ramps, wharves and marinas. A gathering of more than 20 people is not permitted regardless of how those 20 people are made up, including family. 

In NSW, there is no limit on the distance a person may travel within NSW to undertake these activities. For more information visit Transport for NSW.

There is no restriction on movement into or around NSW for heavy vehicles transporting freight, however hygiene and safety practices should be followed. Find out more at Transport for NSW.

Transport for NSW is working closely with other state jurisdictions and the freight industry to ensure the continued movement of essential goods across roads, ports and rail in NSW.

Stay up-to-date with the latest advice for freight operators.

Find more information about border restrictions and service centres for the freight industry.

As part of the NSW Government’s stimulus package in response to COVID-19, Multicultural NSW is running a $4 million emergency relief grants program. The program will support vulnerable temporary visa holders and specialist migrant and settlement NGOs across metropolitan and regional NSW.

There are two streams of funding.

Grants close 4pm Monday 27 July 2020.

Apply now

Stream 1

$2 million in funding is available to organisations providing direct emergency relief to vulnerable temporary visa holders who are not eligible for Commonwealth Government income support during COVID-19. Organisations must be able to deliver emergency financial assistance to those who have insufficient funds for following essentials:

  • food
  • medical support
  • telecommunications
  • transport
  • essential housing (to maintain tenancies and for crisis accommodation)

Stream 2

$2 million funding for organisations to support service delivery through:

  • culturally specific caseworkers
  • culturally specific community support workers
  • outreach transport costs for disconnected/isolated communities
  • interpreting and translation services
  • Asylum seekers and international students are excluded from this funding as they have been covered in previous funding measures.

Before starting your application, we strongly encourage you to read the Grant Program Guidelines.

You can also find more information in  grants for temporary visa holders FAQs .

For enquiries, please contact grants@multicultural.nsw.gov.au.

NSW Health recommends limiting non-essential travel to rural and remote Aboriginal (MM6 and MM7) communities in NSW.

Limiting movement into and between Aboriginal communities will assist in delaying, minimising and possibly preventing an outbreak of COVID-19.

View the travel advice and checklist for if you must travel to remote Aboriginal communities.

Lord Howe Island is declared to be a public health risk area.

From 18 June 2020 access to and from Lord Howe Island is restricted to the
following:

(a) residents of Lord Howe Island
(b) non-residents of Lord Howe Island but only to leave the Island
(c) persons required to provide, or support, health services and other essential
services to persons on the Island
(d) persons required to provide services to persons on the Island
(e) flight and ship crew for flights and ships providing essential goods and services.

Flights and ships can not arrive at Lord Howe Island unless it is to provide supplies, health services or other essential services to people on the Island.

You are required to quarantine if you arrive on Lord Howe Island.

Exceptions to restrictions must be approved by the Coordinator-General in writing.

Fines

Section 10 of the Public Health Act 2010 creates an offence if an individual fails to comply with a direction with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to $11,000 (or both) plus a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues. A corporation that fails to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000 and $27,500 each day the offence continues.

Find more details in the Public Health (COVID-19 Lord Howe Island)
Order (No 2) 2020
.

Related apps

Service NSW App

Service NSW

Stay up-to-date with the latest NSW Government COVID-19 information. Access digital licences, renew your rego and check fines and demerits.

Travel to regional NSW for a holiday

You can now travel to regional NSW for a holiday. Most national park campgrounds, cabins and cottages are open. Museums, galleries and zoos have also reopened for visitors.
National park

Last updated: 12 August 2020

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