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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. 

Quarantine arrangements for international travellers

A mandatory quarantine fee will apply to international travellers returning to NSW who need to quarantine.

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.

How the quarantine fee system will work

NSW border restrictions

NSW has temporarily shut its border with Victoria to contain the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health and jobs of NSW citizens.

Find out about the border restrictions.

Apply for a NSW border entry permit


NSW TrainLink: Melbourne to Sydney service 

The Melbourne to Sydney XPT service is not currently travelling across the NSW – Victoria border, instead operating only between Albury and Central Station.

Travel guidance

It is important to

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

A mandatory quarantine fee will apply to international travellers returning to NSW and needing to quarantine. Government-arranged quarantine hotels will remain mandatory, with no option to select hotels.

All non-essential domestic travel should be avoided.

The rules for NSW gatherings do not apply to people travelling in cars. Find out more about travel restrictions from Transport for NSW.

Download the Safety plan and checklist for the transport and freight industry.

COVIDSafe travel guidance for employers and employees

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.

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

There is no limit on the distance that a person may travel.

You can go on holiday to anywhere in regional NSW.

A person in Sydney can travel to visit someone in regional NSW. Overnight stays are not prohibited. 

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

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

The NSW Government has temporarily closed the border with Victoria. To enter NSW from Victoria you will need to apply for a NSW border entry permit.

If you are planning to travel interstate, find out about the stay-at-home restrictions in Victoria and check the entry requirements and travel restrictions for the Australian states and territories you will be travelling through.

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

NSW TrainLink: Melbourne to Sydney service 

The Melbourne to Sydney XPT service is not currently travelling across the NSW – Victoria border, instead operating only between Albury and Central Station.

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 manner that is safe for you and others. Check National Parks for information before visiting any park.

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.

Renewing your registration

If you need a safety inspection (pink slip) to register your vehicle, you may still leave your home to take your vehicle to an Authorised Inspection Station.

If you are unable to leave your home, you may be able to get a mobile pink slip provider to come to you.

Check if there is a provider in your area.

Once you have your pink slip, you can renew your registration online rather than visiting a service centre.

Licence renewal

You can still renew your licence online if you are eligible.

If you need to visit a service centre to renew your licence, requirements may have changed. Check you have the most up-to-date information about renewing in person.

Driving tests

Service NSW has postponed driver testing across NSW. Driver testing will be back at full capacity from 1 July.

Book a driver or rider licence test.

Service NSW transactions

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

  • Driver Knowledge Tests (DKTs)
  • Driver licence renewals that involve eyesight tests, medical reviews and age-based practical driving assessments
  • Interpreter services
  • 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.

Changes are being considered to increase public transport services where capacity and resources are available.

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.

The green dots will be gradually added across the transport network. Where a green dot is not yet available continue to maintain physical distancing

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

There is no restriction on travel to

  • buy, sell or pick up a vehicle, vessel or boating equipment
  • access your vessel or marina to make sure it is safe and compliant (per legal obligations to do so) and
  • transport or pick up a vessel for servicing.

A vehicle’s roadworthiness must be assessed for safety.

This includes customers to travel to RV (caravan, motorhome) dealers and repairers for the purpose of pick up and servicing of their vehicles.

Mechanics are open and continue to operate. 

Find more information at 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.

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.

  • 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.

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
  • cough 
  • sore/scratchy throat
  • shortness of breath
  • loss of taste or loss of smell.

Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms and help us identify as many cases in the community as quickly as possible.

To be tested for COVID-19, see your doctor or visit your local emergency department.

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.
 

Some countries and airline policies may prevent a child from travelling unaccompanied to NSW.

There is however an exemption to travel restrictions  that applies to:

  • Australian children (citizens or permanent residents) or
  • the children of Australian citizens or permanent residents.

To assist with arranging for a child in your care to return home to NSW you can provide the airline with copies of:

When your child returns home to NSW

Children under the age of 18 returning home to NSW are not required to be quarantined but they will need to self-isolate for 14 days. The child may self-isolate at home.

Standard requirements apply

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) advises that the child will still need to meet the standard requirements of the airline to travel as an unaccompanied minor.

A child will only be exempt if they can be released directly into the care of a parent or guardian on arrival at Sydney International Airport.

  • That person must be waiting for the child on arrival with proper documentation identifying them as the parent or legal guardian.
  • The child must then undertake mandatory 14-day self-isolation at home in compliance with the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines.
  • The parent or legal guardian must sign an isolation declaration card Coronavirus (COVID-19) on the child’s behalf.

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 reopened from Monday 1 June. Museums, galleries and zoos have also reopened for visitors.
National park

Last updated: 12 July 2020

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