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NSW-Victoria border restrictions

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria. Only persons authorised under the public health order may enter NSW if they have been in Victoria in the last 14 days.

Easing of restrictions for border region residents

From Thursday 17 September border region residents are able to travel within the border region for any reason with a current permit.

Victorian border region residents no longer need to comply with any Victorian Stay at Home Directions while in NSW.

If you have a border region resident permit that was current at 12.01am Thursday, 17 September it will 

  • be considered a new border region resident permit, with the new conditions
  • continue to be valid until the permit’s date of expiry.

Find more information for border residents

On this page

Border region changes

From Thursday 17 September the border region will be increased to include more towns and areas. 

Border region map and address check

Who can enter NSW

NSW has temporarily imposed border restrictions with Victoria.

Anyone seeking to enter NSW may apply for a NSW border entry permit.

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless:

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  • NSW resident 
    • A NSW resident must arrive in NSW only by flying to Sydney Airport and will then be required to quarantine at a quarantine facility (unless they are entering NSW under a different type of entry permit). This includes a person who is permanently relocating to NSW. Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit
    • Border region residents entering NSW with a border region permit for border region residents do not need to fly to Sydney Airport and quarantine.
  • NSW resident who has been quarantined in Victoria for the previous 14 days under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria, meaning someone who has returned from overseas and been mandatorily quarantined under the Victorian Act, is not required to quarantine again in NSW.
    • Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit.
    • The NSW resident must
      • have documentary evidence that they have completed the Victorian quarantine period and be able to produce this on request
      • must travel to NSW by the most practicable direct route from the place of quarantine to an airport in Victoria and then by aircraft landing at any airport in NSW.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The border region resident permit allows a border region resident to enter NSW. From Thursday 17 September border region residents can travel within the border region for any reason with a current permit. 

Find out more information for border region residents.

Under an exemption granted on 20 August 2020, if you are a resident of NSW and Victoria you may travel between the states, by the most direct route possible, to attend school for year 11 or year 12 or a vocational institute that provides senior secondary school qualifications.

Parents and guardians who accompany their children to school are also exempt (subject to conditions).

Staff employed to teach year 11 or 12 students (at a school or vocational institute that provides senior secondary school qualifications) are also entitled to the exemption.

If you do need to fly into NSW, you are exempt from quarantine.

You must carry documents with you at all times to support your need to travel under this exemption that demonstrate 

  • your enrolment or
  • your child’s enrolment or
  • your employment at the school or institute.

If you have been in a restricted area or a COVID-19 area of concern in Victoria the exemption does not apply and you may not enter NSW.

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, however mild, you should stay at home and not travel until you have been tested and received a negative result.

Permit required:

If you are a critical service worker

  • who entered NSW on a permit issued before 7 August
    • your permit is valid for the specified period
    • you must continue to follow the conditions on your permit.
  • who has a permit issued before 7 August, your permit is no longer valid and you will need to apply for a new permit. This does not apply to critical service workers living in a border region, or critical service workers moving freight or persons on a commercial basis.

The critical services exemption is to ensure major infrastructure and essential services are maintained and not interrupted.

Under the public health order, critical services include

  • movement of freight on a commercial basis
  • movement of persons on a commercial basis
  • medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • Commonwealth defence and security services
  • mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing
  • environmental cleaning and disinfection in a workplace or other non-residential premises to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on a commercial basis that is not available locally.

It does not apply to all persons working in the mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing sectors, only those with frontline operational roles undertaking direct and essential operational activities. It does not, for example, cover internal or external management meetings, routine maintenance that can be delayed.

Freight or persons on a commercial basis

Critical service workers that move freight on a commercial basis must follow the COVID-19 Safety Plan at all times.

Critical service workers that move people on a commercial basis must self-isolate except when providing the critical service.

Highly specialised critical service

Certain workers are considered highly specialised critical services when they provide a service not available remotely, locally, or in the same or substantially the same form, in NSW or Victoria.

If you are a highly specialised critical service worker, you must

  • travel to NSW by aircraft landing at Sydney Airport, and
  • self-isolate except when providing the critical service, and
  • have documentary evidence that the critical service meets the criteria (this must be signed by the head of the organisation that employs you or if you are self-employed, the person you are providing the service to).

Permit required: your organisation will need to register you for a COVID-19 NSW border entry permit. Find out about the application process

A critical service agriculture worker is a NSW or Victorian resident who is employed in an agricultural or primary production industry in New South Wales or Victoria in the following roles or to provide the following services:

  • Beekeepers – commercial operators.
  • Biosecurity Officers – pest trap inspectors, pest and weed controllers.
  • Bushfire recovery workers.
  • Commercial fishing crew and operators, Aquaculture operators/technicians.
  • Commercial wine production – technicians, specialists involved in the production, harvest, testing and management of vintage.
  • Crop harvesters, hay and silage contractors, rice sowing contractors, crop spray/fertilizer contractors.
  • Cross-border rural property landowners, leaseholders, agistment holders or their agents directly involved in, or responsible for, land management, livestock husbandry, agronomy pest and disease control and production management.
  • Dairy technicians, dairy consultants, artificial insemination specialists.
  • Forestry workers/technicians.
  • Horticultural technicians, machinery operators and mechanics, harvesters, pruners. Horticultural consultants for agronomy, plant health, harvest management, pest and disease.
  • Intensive livestock piggery/poultry (egg and broiler) technicians, processing workers, stockfeed mill operators.
  • Specialist agricultural service providers – market access inspectors, saleyard operators and agents, livestock carriers.
  • Specialist consultants – agronomists, nutritionists, veterinary, seed and crop researchers.
  • Agribusiness specialists for locations where internet or video conference facilities cannot be accessed.
  • Specialist contractors/equipment – irrigation specialists, fencing contractors.
  • Wool testing technicians, shearers.

 

A critical agricultural service must

  • not be able to be provided remotely
  • not be available within a 100km radius in the State where the service is to be provided.

If you are a critical service agriculture worker, to enter NSW you must

  • not have been in a restricted area or a COVID-19 area of concern within the last 14 days
  • travel by the most practicable direct route between where the service is provided and your home or accommodation
  • comply with a COVID-19 Safety Plan for critical agricultural workers
  • have documentary evidence that the critical agricultural service meets the criteria (this must be signed by the head of the organisation that employs you or if you are self-employed, the person you are providing the service to).

If you are a Victorian resident, in addition to the above which applies to all critical service agriculture workers, you must: 

  • self-isolate except when providing a critical agricultural service, and
  • not travel more than 100km north of the border into NSW.

If you are a NSW resident, in addition to the above which applies to all critical service agriculture workers, you must: 

  • self-isolate upon your return to NSW, except: 
    • when you are providing a critical agricultural service, or 
    • if you self-isolated while in Victoria when you were not providing a critical agriculture service 
  • not travel more than 100km south of the border into Victoria.

Permit not required.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The member must self-isolate except when undertaking official duties or leaving NSW by the most practicable direct route.

Permit not required.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The Victorian education visitor must

  • arrive in NSW only by flying to Sydney Airport
  • upon arriving at Sydney Airport, complete 14 days of quarantine. The quarantine system and arrangements are the same as applies to people who arrive from overseas.

A Victorian education visitor means a resident of Victoria who is

  • a student at a boarding school or university entering NSW for the purposes of receiving instruction or
  • a parent or guardian accompanying that student if the student is under 18 years of age or
  • a staff member at a boarding school or university entering NSW for the purpose of working at the school. 

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The specialist school visitor must travel by the most practicable direct route between their place of residence and the school.

The specialist school visitor must comply with any directions about attendance at school issued by the Secretary of the NSW Department of Education.

If the specialist school visitor lives in Victoria, the visitor must not enter NSW if the visitor has, within the previous 14 days, been in an area that is a restricted area in accordance with an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria.

If the specialist school visitor lives in New South Wales, the visitor must self-isolate if the visitor returns to New South Wales and has, within the previous 14 days, been in an area that is a restricted area in accordance with an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria.

A specialist school means a government or non-government school, other than a
boarding school, for students with

  • intellectual disability
  • mental health issues
  • autism
  • physical disability
  • sensory impairment
  • learning difficulties
  • behaviour disorders.
     

A specialist school visitor means

  1. a resident of Victoria who is
  • a student at a specialist school entering NSW for their education or
  • a parent or guardian accompanying that student if the student is under 18 years of age or
  • a staff member of a specialist school entering NSW to attend work or
  • another person (such as a cleaner or bus driver) entering NSW to work or provide services at a NSW specialist school or provide services to the school.
  1. a NSW resident who is
  • a student at a specialist school in Victoria returning to NSW after attending school or
  • a parent or guardian accompanying that student if the student is under 18 years of age or
  • a staff member of a specialist school in Victoria who is returning to NSW after entering Victoria for work or
  • another person (such as a cleaner or bus driver) returning to NSW after entering Victoria to work or provide services at a specialist school in Victoria or provide services to the school.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The NSW resident returning from boarding school must

  • arrive in NSW only by flying to Sydney Airport
  • self-isolate.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

You must comply with the following COVID-19 Safety Plan.

COVID-19 Safety Plan for child access and care arrangements

This is a plan for people who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days and have a permit to enter NSW for the purpose of child access and care arrangement.

It is a condition of your permit that you follow this plan while in NSW.

If you do not follow this plan, you must self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in NSW. 

During your time in Victoria

You should:

  • not enter a restricted area within the meaning of an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria or an area that is a COVID-19 area of concern
  • maintain good hand hygiene and physical distancing as much as reasonably possible 
  • minimise contact with others outside your direct household whilst in Victoria
  • not have any passengers accompanying you in NSW who do not have a permit to enter (your children and other dependents may be covered by your permit)
  • keep a record or log of your movements whilst in Victoria, including rest stops, for 14 days before entering NSW
  • seek COVID-19 testing and isolate immediately if you develop any symptoms, however mild. 

During your time in NSW

You are required to:

  • seek COVID-19 testing and self isolate immediately should you develop any symptoms, however mild
  • minimise your contact with others outside of your direct household or work for 14 days after leaving Victoria 
  • keep a record or log of your movement whilst in NSW for 14 days after leaving Victoria.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The person must travel by the most practicable direct route to the place where the service is provided. 

The person must not enter NSW if the person has, within the previous 14 days, been an area that is a restricted area in accordance with an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria.

The person is authorised to enter NSW only if the service is not available locally in Victoria or cannot be accessed remotely.

Permit not required.

The person must travel by the most practicable direct route

  • to the place where the service is provided and
  • from the place where the service is provided to their place of residence.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The person must

  • enter NSW only if the person has lawful authority to enter the place outside NSW to which the person is travelling, and
  • transit through NSW by air for the purposes of leaving NSW to another state, territory or overseas
  • arrive in NSW only by flying to Sydney Airport and is required to stay in Sydney Airport, however may be authorised to leave to go to quarantine.

Transit permits expire 3 days after the date of issue.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border permit

Compassionate grounds are to

  • provide end of life support
  • attend a funeral or memorial service
  • other exceptional circumstances. 

You will need to apply to NSW Health for a compassionate permit exemption code before applying for your border entry permit. All cases are reviewed by a medical team for eligibility.

Permit required: apply for a NSW border entry permit

The person must self-isolate except to meet obligations imposed by a Court or an Act (such as bail or parole obligations).

Border entry rules

Permits

In most cases, if you are authorised, you (and anyone travelling with you) will need a current NSW border entry permit.

If parents, students or staff have questions they should contact their Principal. For general information regarding COVID-19 and schools, visit the NSW Department of Education.

Mandatory quarantine

People entering NSW from Victoria and all international travellers arriving in NSW are required to enter mandatory quarantine. A quarantine accommodation fee applies.

Mandatory self-isolation

If a person is required to self-isolate under the public health order, they must: 

  • go directly to their place of residence or another suitable place to stay, or
  • travel directly out of NSW.

Remain in self-isolation for 14 days

Once a person arrives at their place of residence or suitable accommodation, the person must remain at that place for 14 days since they entered NSW.

During the 14 day period, the affected person must follow the requirements of the NSW Health self-isolation guidelines and not leave the residence or place except 

  • to obtain medical care or medical supplies
  • to comply with a legal obligation
  • in an emergency
  • to provide a critical service
  • to leave NSW by a direct route.

If the person in self-isolation leaves the residence or place for any of these reasons, they must take all reasonable steps to minimise contact with other people.

No other person can enter the residence or place except if the other person

  • usually lives there or is complying with a direction under the public health order
  • is providing medical care or an emergency service
  • is delivering food or essential items.

Travel to other Australian states and territories

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.

Find out the rules that apply for travel to and from other states and territories.

Enforcement and penalties

Police officers at the border will have the power to refuse entry if you are not a resident of NSW and you present an unacceptable risk of transmitting COVID-19.

Police and public health officers will also be able to direct you to leave NSW if you are not a NSW resident and you are not authorised to enter NSW under the public health order.

A person found breaching the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 faces an $11,000 fine and six months in prison.

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COVID-19 NSW border entry permit

Last updated: 17 September 2020

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