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Your guide to border restrictions

What you need to know about the NSW-Victorian border restrictions and applying for an entry permit.

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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

Border region changes

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

Border region map and address check

NSW border entry permit

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.

About the border closure

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:

Learn more about the NSW-Victoria border rules.

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

but does not include services provided by a seasonal worker.

If you

Find out more about what are critical services

 

The NSW Government will continue to review the arrangements on the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

The order applies to all people who have been in Victoria in the past 14 days and wish to travel to or through NSW.

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.

For information on the requirements for other states, visit the relevant government website.

No. Flights are still permitted to land at Sydney Airport. If a person has been in Victoria in the previous 14 days they may not enter NSW unless they are authorised to do so. All travellers will be expected to have border entry permits and may be subjected to mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

People who live in another State or Territory should not transit through Victoria on their way to NSW.

No. Transit permits are available for people transiting through NSW by air for the purpose of travelling by air to a place outside NSW.

You will need to apply for a border entry permit to transit through NSW by air to catch a flight to another state or overseas. Transit permits expire 3 days after the date of issue. You must travel to NSW by flying into Sydney Airport and you will be required to stay in Sydney Airport until your next flight departs NSW. You may be authorised to leave the Airport to go to a quarantine facility (if, for example, your connecting flight is the next day).

Checkpoints and crossings

Visit Live Traffic for the latest information on checkpoints at border crossings.
 

At a border checkpoint, you are required to prove your identity with documents that match the name on your permit. 

Acceptable identity documents include

  • state-issued driver’s licence (includes digital licences)
  • identity card with a photo
  • Australian passport
  • passport from an international traveller's home country.

To avoid queues and make your crossing faster

  • ensure you have a valid border entry permit
  • keep your supporting documents ready before you approach the border checkpoint
  • follow traffic regulations, drive safely and obey police direction. 

You must present your border entry permit and any supporting documents at the checkpoint.

Even if you have a permit, under the latest order any non-NSW resident who is seen as a health risk may be refused entry into NSW.

For example, if anyone in the vehicle has visited a COVID-19 hotspot in Victoria within the past 14 days, all passengers may be refused entry into NSW.

Anyone who flies into NSW from Victoria must have a relevant permit that allows entry into NSW. Upon arrival into NSW all passengers from Victoria are:

  • given masks if they left on them the plane

  • temperature checked

  • asked relevant questions about their health

  • their permit is checked to ensure it complies with the strict permit system.

Anyone without a valid permit is referred to NSW Police and taken to the Special Health Accommodation to complete 14 days of quarantine.

Strict instructions and rules are in place for those going into ‘Home Isolation’ including:

  • recommended they be collected in a private car by family or friends

  • not to use public transport to get home

  • to only sit in the back seat of a car with the windows open and air conditioning not on recirculation

  • told to wear their face masks and observe hand hygiene recommendations 

  • called to make sure they arrive home.

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.

NSW Health is provided the contact details of everyone who enters NSW from Victoria.

Permits

Apply online via Service NSW website.

Border entry permits are not required if you

  • need emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • provide emergency or law enforcement services 
  • are avoiding injury or harm or are in an emergency such as family or domestic violence.

You may be asked for details of how you fall into a particular category and, where possible, you should have documentary evidence, such as a letter from your doctor or hospital.

Less than 10 minutes.

Your permit will specify how long it lasts for. 

Permits will generally expire after 14 days, except transit permits which generally expire after 3 days. Permits granted on compassionate grounds may vary according to circumstances.

Exemptions on compassionate grounds are assessed according to the urgency of the request. It is not possible to provide a specific timeframe. 

Conditions are written clearly on your permit. You should receive your permit within 10 minutes of submitting your application online. 

Border region residents

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. 

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

  • be considered the same as the 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 region residents or apply for a permit.

View the border region map to check if your address or the place you’re travelling to is in the border region.

Border region postcode check: find out if your residential address is in the border region. People who live in the border region are eligible for a border region resident permit.

Border region maps

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

  • If you are a border region resident who is a NSW resident:

    • you must not travel to any part of Victoria that is outside of the border region or is a COVID-19 area of concern

    • if you do travel outside the border region in Victoria or to a COVID-19 area of concern your permit will no longer authorise you to enter NSW and you will need to apply for a NSW resident’s permit to re-enter NSW (requiring flight to Sydney Airport and quarantine).

  • If you are a border region resident who is a Victorian resident:

Find more information for border region residents.

The public health order does not prevent NSW residents from entering Victoria, however you will need a border entry permit for when you return from Victoria back into NSW. Returning NSW residents will be required to arrive in NSW only by flying to Sydney Airport and must quarantine at a quarantine facility for 14 days.

If you have any further questions, the COVID-19 hotline is available with advice and support. It operates 24/7 on 13 77 88.

Border region residents with a border region resident permit can travel within the border region for any reason.

If you

  • live within the border region and work within the border region, including critical service workers, then you may be able to get a border region resident permit and cross the border for work
  • live either outside the border region or work outside the border region, a border region resident permit will not allow you to travel from home to work
  • are moving freight or persons on a commercial basis, you can apply for a NSW border entry permit to cross the border into NSW.
  • are an organisation employing critical service workers in a non-border region you will need to register for a border entry permit for a critical service worker or critical service (agriculture) worker

  • have symptoms, however mild, get tested and do not cross the border, even if you are a critical service worker. 

Self-isolation and quarantine

Your permit will indicate if you need to self-isolate for 14 days, get tested for COVID-19 or any other conditions. Almost all permits will require you to self-isolate. Check your eligibility

When you arrive at your place of residence or suitable accommodation, you must self-isolate and remain at that place for 14 days from the time you entered NSW. 

During the 14-day self-isolation period, you must not leave the residence or place except:

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

If you leave the residence or place for any of these reasons, you must take all reasonable steps to minimise contact with other people.

You must comply with the NSW Health Self-Isolation Guidelines.

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.

You and your family must apply for a NSW border entry permit and provide proof of having completed your quarantine in Victoria.

You must travel from your place of quarantine directly to a Victorian airport and fly into NSW.

No, provided you travel directly home after your quarantine.

NSW residents returning from Victoria must go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days unless they have already quarantined in Victoria.

NSW residents returning from Victoria must fly into Sydney Airport.

There are no changes to existing arrangements for border communities.

There are a limited number of permit holders who are subject to different conditions, such as persons entering on a permit for compassionate grounds.

Victorians can only enter NSW if they have a border entry permit. They must adhere to the conditions on the permit. This may include mandatory hotel quarantine.

For example, Victorian education visitors to NSW (such as boarding school students) must arrive in NSW at Sydney airport and go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Other permits, such as those for border region residents and critical service workers, are subject to different conditions.

Mandatory hotel quarantine only applies to travellers entering NSW who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days, if it is a condition of their permit.

All details around invoicing and payment can be found at quarantine rules.

The NSW Government will arrange transport from Sydney Airport to the quarantine hotel.

Unless you hold a border entry permit to enter NSW, you are not allowed to enter NSW.

No. Existing arrangements will continue for permits for child access or care arrangements.

All details around invoicing and payment can be found at quarantine rules.

Working across the border

If you

All critical service providers except freight workers are required to self-isolate on arrival in NSW, except when providing the critical service or directly leaving NSW.

A person moving freight on a commercial basis must comply with the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan at all times.

  • If you live in a border region and are providing a critical service in the border region, you can apply for a NSW border entry permit to cross the border into NSW. 
  • If you are moving freight or persons on a commercial basis, you can apply for a NSW border entry permit to cross the border into NSW.
  • Critical service workers in a non-border region need to have their employer register them for a permit. For people that are self-employed the client who is receiving the service needs to complete the registration. To register and apply for a permit:
    1. Log in or create a MyServiceNSW account and register for a code on Service NSW for a critical service worker or a critical service (agricultural) worker.
    2. The request will be reviewed and processed over 5 days. The employer may be contacted to discuss the request or provide further supporting documentation.
    3. The employer will receive an email from Service NSW with the outcome of the application. If the application is approved a registration code will be included, which the employer needs to forward to the employee.
    4. When the employee receives the unique registration code they can apply for a permit.

Seasonal workers are not critical workers, so are not eligible for a critical services permit.

However, if you are a seasonal worker who lives inside the border region, you can apply for a border region permit to undertake farm work within the border region.

Find out more information for border region residents.

No, if you have a border region resident permit you do not have to self-isolate when not at work. 

Find out more information for border region residents.

Yes, freight will continue to move freely across the border, including the transportation of livestock.

Drivers of freight vehicles will need a border entry permit and they must comply with the relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan.

No, the racing industry is not listed in the critical services in the order. 

Breeders are considered agriculture, which is a critical service. You will need to comply with the conditions on your permit, including having a relevant COVID-19 Safety Plan.

  • Individuals are responsible for their own permits.
  • Permits may be granted for critical service workers. If you employ critical service workers in a non-border region you may be eligible to register for border entry permits for your critical service workers or critical service (agricultural) workers.
  • If you are crossing the border from outside the border region, you will need to self-isolate at all times when you are not performing your critical service work (unless your critical service is freight in which case you must comply with your COVID-19 Safety Plan).

Even if you are a critical service worker, you should not cross the border if you have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, however mild, get tested.
 

If you

  • are living in NSW and have not been to Victoria since Wednesday 8 July, you do not need a permit to stay in NSW
  • have been in Victoria in the last 14 days you will need a permit to enter NSW
  • live in the border region and want to come into the NSW part of the border region for necessary goods and services, care, work or education you may be able to get a border resident permit
  • live outside the border region you will only be allowed to cross the border and enter NSW if you have a relevant class of permit.

Be sure to always carry documents that prove your temporary residence in NSW.

No. You must self-isolate for 14 days every time you return to NSW from Victoria. If you are a critical service worker who needs to cross the border, you must self-isolate whenever not at work.

Even if you are a critical service worker, no one should cross the border if they have symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, however mild, it is important that you get tested.

No. However, other conditions will apply:

  • People who live within the border region can work within the border region. This includes critical service work. These service providers are not required to enter NSW by flying to Sydney Airport.
  • People providing a highly specialised critical service that cannot be provided remotely and is not available in NSW must enter NSW by flying to Sydney Airport. They must self-isolate when not working. The employer will need to register a critical services worker for a COVID-19 NSW border entry permit.
  • Commercial transportation of people service providers (such as bus drivers and taxi drivers) must self-isolate when not working.
  • Freight service workers must comply with their company’s COVID-19 Safety Plan at all times.

Your border entry permit will outline the conditions of entry into NSW. You can apply for a border permit.

There are two types of critical service worker permits people who do not live in the border region may be eligible for:

  1. People providing a highly specialised critical service that cannot be provided remotely and that is not available in NSW.
  2. People providing a critical service that is the movement of freight or people on a commercial basis.

Cross-border travel

From Friday 4 September you can apply for a permit as a NSW resident if you are permanently relocating to NSW. You will be required to fly to Sydney and quarantine. 

If you live in the Victorian border region and are permanently relocating to an address in the NSW border region, you can apply for a permit as a border region resident.

The NSW-operated XPT service from Sydney to Melbourne will not operate for the duration of the border control period. V/Line services originating in Melbourne will turn around at the border. 

No.

You must apply for a NSW border entry permit.

No.

No. There is not a relevant class of permit that would allow entry to NSW for this reason.

You can obtain a permit to enter NSW if you need to enter NSW to attend court (for example as a defendant, a witness or a lawyer in case) or meet other legal obligations imposed by a court or an Act, such as attending a police station as part of bail conditions.

The Minister may, in writing and subject to the conditions that the Minister considers appropriate, grant an exemption to the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020.

If you have queries regarding an exemption, please contact the COVID-19 hotline to discuss your situation on 13 77 88.

Children and education

You are eligible to apply for a NSW border entry permit if you are carrying out child access and care arrangements.

When you apply for your permit you will be advised whether you need to either

Yes. Under the amended public health order, a Victorian resident who is a boarding school student, parent of such a student, or school staff member of a boarding school or university can travel to NSW for the purpose of education.

However, anyone entering NSW 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.

If you live outside the border region and are studying or teaching year 11 or year 12, you may be eligible for an exemption. Conditions apply.

Yes. However, anyone entering NSW 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.

Children, their parents and staff who live and go and school in the border region, should apply for a border resident permit.

Children, their parents and staff who go to a specialist school can apply for a specialist school visitor permit.

Find out more about requirements for a

If you live outside the border region and are studying or teaching year 11 or year 12, you may be eligible for an exemption, provided you have not been in a restricted area or an area of concern in Victoria

Health services

You will require a permit to enter NSW for medical reasons unless it is an emergency.

You can only enter NSW from Victoria for medical or hospital services that are not available to you in Victoria or remotely. You must travel directly to where the service is being provided.

The permit is subject to conditions including:

  • You can only enter NSW from Victoria for medical or hospital services that are not available to you in Victoria or remotely.
  • You must travel directly to where the service is being provided.

If you have a border region permit, you can enter the NSW side of the border region to access medical care of supplies or health services.

If it’s a medical emergency, seek treatment immediately at your closest emergency department.

Access to emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care will be allowed without a permit if you enter NSW and travel by the most direct practicable route to where the services are provided, and then from that place back home to your place of residence.

NSW residents may also cross the border into Victoria to access to emergency hospital, dental or veterinary care without a permit. Unless directed, they can return home without a permit or self-isolating as long as they take the most direct route.

You can apply for a NSW border entry permit on compassionate grounds.

Yes. However, you will require a permit to re-enter NSW when you return. You can apply for:

Any medical or hospital services are covered by a person entering for medical or hospital except in emergency situation - NSW resident permit. However, you must comply with the conditions below.

The permit does not cover any health services that are non-medical or non-hospital services.

If you have a person entering for medical or hospital except in emergency situation - NSW resident permit, you will not need to self-isolate on your return provided that:

  • A medical practitioner has certified that the medical or hospital services you received are necessary to treat or maintain your health
  • The service is not available locally and cannot be accessed remotely (for example: online or by telehealth)
  • You have travelled directly to where your medical service is provided and return home directly after.
  • You have not 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 within the previous 14 days.

If you do not have a person entering for medical or hospital except in emergency situation - NSW resident permit and have a returning NSW resident permit then you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have been in a restricted area in accordance with an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria in the past 14 days, you must self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have stopped in transit or interacted with members of the community in Victoria, you must self-isolate on your return to NSW.

Medical practitioners must provide a certificate stating the patient’s name and treatment or service and that the medical or hospital services are necessary to maintain or treat the person’s health.

A person who provides care or support – or any dependent person – can be included on another’s permit. If their name is on the permit, they may accompany the person in their care to the hospital or medical clinic. You must take the most direct route to and from the hospital or medical clinic.

If the person accompanying has been in a restricted area in accordance with an Area Direction made under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 of Victoria, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days on return to NSW.

Yes, provided that the person you care for has an appropriate permit and your name is included on the permit.

You must take the most direct route to the hospital or clinic and return directly home after the treatment or service.

A border region resident can enter the border region on the NSW side to access medical care or supplies or health services provided they can validly enter on the border region permit.

You will require a permit to enter NSW for medical reasons unless it is an emergency.

You can only enter NSW from Victoria for medical or hospital services that are not available to you in Victoria or remotely. You must travel directly to where the service is being provided.

The permit is subject to conditions including:

  • You can only enter NSW from Victoria for medical or hospital services that are not available to you in Victoria or remotely.
  • You must travel directly to where the service is being provided.

If you have a border region permit, you can enter the NSW side of the border region to access medical care or supplies or health services.

If it’s a medical emergency, seek treatment immediately at your closest emergency department.

Holidays and recreation

If you are travelling from Victoria to Queensland you will need a NSW border entry permit and a QLD border declaration pass.

When travelling, you must be transiting through NSW by air for the purposes of leaving NSW to another State, Territory or overseas. You may only transit through Sydney Airport. You are required to be legally allowed to enter the place that you are travelling to in order to be allowed to transit through NSW.

Follow the prompts when you apply for a NSW border entry permit. If you are eligible for a permit, the system will guide you to the correct one.

No.

If you have not been in Victoria in the last 14 days then there is no reason for you to leave NSW or take any specific action.

If you are hiking in Victoria and do not have a permit to enter NSW, then you must not enter NSW. 

If you are a NSW resident and you cross into Victoria you will need to apply for a NSW resident’s permit to re-enter NSW (requiring flight to Sydney Airport and quarantine).

If you are a border region resident you can travel within the border region for any reason. 

Find out more information for border region residents.

Penalties

Anyone in the community can report public health order breaches via Crime Stoppers.

Breach of a public health order is a serious criminal offence with a maximum penalty of imprisonment for 6 months or a fine of up to $11,000 (or both).

They could also incur a further $5,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Corporations that fail to comply with a direction are liable to a fine of $55,000 and a $27,500 fine each day the offence continues.

Anyone who breaches the public health order may be fined and/or imprisoned.

The on the spot fines that can be issued are:

  • $4,000 for failing to provide or falsifying information to an enforcement officer
  • $1,000 for individuals or $5000 for corporations in other cases.

Last updated: 17 September 2020

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