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Travel and transport advice

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

Travellers from New Zealand

From Friday 16 October you do not need to enter mandatory quarantine when you fly from New Zealand into NSW.

Read more advice for New Zealand travellers entering NSW.

New transit permits

From Friday 16 October you can enter NSW from Victoria if you have a permit and you are

  • driving from South Australia via the Sturt Highway
  • transiting by road, rail or air directly from the Spirit of Tasmania
  • transiting only through a Victorian airport without leaving the airport.

The exemption to enter NSW from South Australia after transiting through Victoria on the Sturt Highway expired at 12.01am Monday 19 October and you will need to apply for the new permit.

If you are transiting through NSW to another destination you can travel by road provided you have not been in a restricted area (Melbourne) or an area of concern in the last 14 days. You are no longer required to only transit by air. You will still need a permit to enter.

Apply for a permit

Travel guidance

It is important to

Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members are permitted to travel to Australia.

If you want to return to Australia from overseas, you should return as soon as possible by commercial travel. Quarantine rules will apply.

Travellers from New Zealand

You do not need to enter mandatory quarantine when you fly from New Zealand into NSW, if you have not been in a New Zealand COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days. There are currently no COVID-19 hotspots in New Zealand.

If you arrived before 16 October and are already in quarantine, you must complete your quarantine period.

If NSW Health considers you an unacceptable COVID-19 health risk then you may be required to enter quarantine or leave Australia.

At the airport, you may be required to undergo health screening. In this zone, you will not be in contact with passengers from any other countries.

You may travel on to locations in NSW and the Northern Territory. For other states and territories you intend to travel to, you should check local requirements prior to travelling there. Some states and territories may require travellers from safe zone countries to quarantine on arrival.

Quarantine for all other travellers

Travellers arriving in Australia from countries other than New Zealand, must enter into mandatory quarantine for 14 days. This applies to everyone, even if you have no symptoms. 

  • 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.
  • A mandatory quarantine fee will apply. The NSW Government will invoice you a fixed fee at the end of your stay.

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

Find out about quarantine fees and rules.

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.

Related information

Travel from Victoria to NSW

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria. 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.

If you are entering NSW from Victoria you are required to enter mandatory quarantine at your own expense, unless your permit has other conditions.   

Special arrangements are in place for border residents and communities

Travel to Victoria from NSW

There are no travel restrictions to go from NSW to Victoria. However you should check the latest travel advice from the Victorian Government.

Transiting through Victoria to NSW

If you are only transiting through Victoria from another state or territory you can apply for a permit. Permits are available to enter NSW if you are

  • driving from South Australia via Victoria on the Sturt Highway
  • transiting through Victoria by road or air from the Spirit of Tasmania
  • transiting through Victoria by air.

You must follow the conditions of the permit to be allowed to enter NSW. 

If you exit NSW and transit via Victoria to South Australia and return through Victoria again, you will require a permit to enter NSW. 

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

Travel to NSW from other states and territories

Excluding Victoria, there are no restrictions in place for all other states or territories on crossing the NSW border. 

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

Travel from NSW to other states and territories

Check the rules of the state or territory you are entering or leaving before you travel for the most up-to-date travel information.

Australian Capital Territory (ACT)

You can travel to the ACT from NSW. Anyone from COVID-affected areas should reconsider travel to the ACT. There is no requirement for people to quarantine.

Check the latest advice from the ACT Government

Northern Territory (NT)

You can travel to the NT from NSW. All people travelling to the Northern Territory must complete the border entry form. Anyone arriving into the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot in the last 14 days must undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine

Check the latest advice from the NT Government.

Queensland (QLD)

You cannot travel to QLD from NSW, which has been declared a hotspot. However there are special arrangements in place for Northern NSW residents who live within the QLD-NSW border region.

Check the latest advice from the QLD Government.

South Australia (SA)

You can travel to SA from NSW.

Check the latest advice from the SA Government.

Tasmania (TAS)

You can travel to TAS from NSW, however NSW is considered a medium risk location and you must quarantine when you arrive. You will need to submit your intended quarantine location.

Check the latest advice from the TAS Government.

Western Australia (WA)

You cannot travel to WA from NSW.

Check the latest advice from the WA Government.

There is currently no limit on the distance that a person may travel. However, it is important that as restrictions are eased we continue to take precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19.

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 from overseas 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.

If you are transiting through NSW from Victoria

You can transit through NSW to another location. However you must enter NSW only if you have lawful authority to enter the place outside NSW to which you are travelling.

You will need to follow border entry rules and apply for a border entry permit

Community and private bus operators, including inter-regional and charter bus services

Long distance bus travel such as inter-regional bus services or charter buses (which includes buses hired for group travel and tour buses) are not currently restricted under the COVID-19 Public Health Orders. However, bus companies need to provide a safe environment for their customers and staff.

COVID Safe recommendations for passengers and bus operators


Bus operators should also

  • provide hand sanitiser
  • clean surfaces thoroughly particularly all high contact areas such as doors, handles and toilets
  • maintain a record of customers and their seating allocation using a QR app or similar measure
  • have signage on board services to remind everyone of their responsibility to keep each other safe
  • Encourage passengers, drivers and staff to wear a face mask, particularly if physical distancing cannot be maintained.

Bus companies like other businesses should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that addresses how they will protect their staff and customers.

Party buses

A party bus is a vehicle being used on a commercial basis for the purposes of a party, whether or not the party takes place during transportation between locations.

Commercial party bus operators must

Party buses should also follow the guidance for community and private bus services.

You may travel by any vehicle including car, motorhome, truck, four-wheel drive or motorbike. 

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.

Please continue to follow applicable road rules, always drive in a way that is safe for you and others. Find out more about how COVID-19 restrictions affect NSW road users.

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

  • eyesight tests for online licence renewals
  • Driver Knowledge Tests (DKTs)
  • driver testing
  • interstate and overseas driver licence holders
  • learner rider licencing
  • licence application and renewal fee waivers
  • number plates.

Find out what has changed at Service NSW.

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.

Plan ahead if you must travel for work

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. 

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 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:

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

When using public transport you should

  • Wear a face mask.
  • Plan ahead and avoid travelling in the busiest times if you can. 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 physical distancing at these times. Off peak times are between 10am and 3pm. 
  • Check the capacity of services before you travel with the Trip Planner, transport apps or social media to see which services have space available to maintain physical distancing
  • Practise good personal hygiene and maintain physical distancing

Look for the green dots

You’ll see distinctive green dots on public transport. They are there to show you the safest places to sit and stand.

Physical distancing capacity limits on services 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 access.

More information is available from Transport for NSW.

Information about walking and cycling

Passengers

When you use taxis and rideshares (also called 'point-to-point services'), you should practice physical distancing where possible. As a passenger in a taxi or rideshare you should;

  • sit in the back seat 
  • use contactless payment
  • avoid travelling if you are unwell
  • handle your own luggage. 

If you are using in a taxi or rideshare within the 14-day isolation period to travel to your place of isolation, you should also wear a mask.

Read the Safe travel tips for the point to point transport industry factsheet. 

Operators

As the operator of a taxi or rideshare, you should follow advice from the Department of Transport. You can find out about the rules on cleaning, masks and eligibility for financial support by reading;

Point-to-point transport businesses should complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for Taxis, hire cars and ride share services to help minimise the risk of transmission when you are providing a point-to-point service. 

Video - Coronavirus update: Safety and hygiene for point to point drivers

 

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.

Find more COVID updates from Transport for NSW for boaters.

Transport and freight operators and businesses should develop a COVID-19 Safety plan.

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

If you are moving freight from Victoria you can apply for a NSW border entry permit to cross the border into NSW.

Stay up-to-date with the latest advice for freight operators. Find more information for the freight industry from Transport for NSW.

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

Advice for travellers

Due to the COVID-19 risk, many Aboriginal communities in NSW are uncomfortable about tourists travelling to their towns and communities.

Please be respectful of the concerns and wishes of the local community: Before you travel to or through a small remote town or community, please check the local town’s Community Action Plan or contact the Local Council for advice.

Advice for workers and organisations

It is crucial that workers do not visit Aboriginal communities if they are ill, no matter how mild the symptoms, or if they have had contact with someone with COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

The risk to Aboriginal communities from visiting workers could increase depending on the nature of the work, the locations the worker has travelled from and work practices.

To mitigate this risk, organisations with staff who travel to rural and remote Aboriginal communities should complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan which includes consideration of the issues outlined in this checklist.

More information

Visit COVID-19 for advice and information for community and businesses, including information about COVID-19 symptoms, testing and physical distancing.​​

From 12.01am Friday 2 October travel restrictions to Lord Howe Island have been lifted. You can travel to or from Lord Howe Island for any reason. There is no requirement to undertake quarantine. Find out about visiting Lord Howe Island.

Hotels and accommodation providers on Lord Howe Island will need a COVID Safety Plan and must register as a COVID-19 Safe business. Certain other businesses on Lord Howe Island must also register as a COVID-19 Safe business, including operators running commercial boat tours.

New, active COVID-19 cases in NSW

Find out the areas for increased testing and locations of cases in NSW. If you have visited one of the locations, follow the advice to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and get tested.

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.

Last updated: 24 October 2020

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