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New coronavirus outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne have prompted states and territories to swiftly reinstate border and travel restrictions as Australia ends the year again divided in the fight against the pandemic.

As the new year rolls around, several changes have been made to the way residents can move from state to state. It is important to note that almost no border restrictions are reciprocal; you should always check the regulations of both states before traveling.

From hotspots to red zones and everything in between, this is where each state and territory currently stands:

Police detain motorists traveling from New South Wales at a checkpoint in Wodonga, on the Victoria-New South Wales border, on December 21, 2020. (Justin McManus)

The New South Wales border is currently open, which means residents of other states and territories can enter without a permit.

There are restrictions within some local government areas, for example a person from the northern beaches cannot travel outside of their local area.

You can also transit through NSW to another state, however, restrictions apply with other states.

Just because you can enter NSW does not mean that you can leave the state without restrictions.

The border crossing on Miles Street in Coolangatta. (Nine)

Starting at 11:59 p.m. on January 1, 2021, Victoria will close its border with New South Wales.

This means that any Victorian returning from an area of ​​New South Wales outside of the main hotspots (Greater Sydney, Central Coast, North Beaches) has until midnight on Friday to return home without facing quarantine.

Anyone arriving from a COVID-19 hotspot will be turned away at the border and forced to seek alternative accommodation in NSW.

Anyone returning to Victoria from New South Wales after this date will need a permit or face mandatory quarantine.

Victoria’s borders with other states remain open, but that does not mean that other states have their borders open to Victoria.

The Queensland border is closed to anyone from New South Wales or a COVID-19 hotspot who does not have a valid border pass.

Queensland’s only declared COVID-19 hotspot is Greater Sydney.

It is open to other states, including the Northern Territory.

700 police officers are on the Victoria / NSW border with congestion along the Hume Highway causing headaches for drivers. (Nine)

Starting at 12:01 a.m. From January 1, travelers from New South Wales will be banned from entering South Australia, with a few exceptions.

Those exemptions include returning SA residents, those permanently relocating to the state, or those classified as essential workers.

Border passes will continue to be required and 14-day self-isolation will apply.

A 100 km buffer zone will be imposed for people living in border cities.

No changes have been made to the Victorian border despite new cases this week.

All travelers coming to South Australia must complete a cross-border travel registration.

As of 12:01 am on January 1, 2021, travelers from New South Wales will be barred from entering South Australia, with a few exceptions. (Justin McManus)

The Western Australian border is currently closed to New South Wales, except for those with exemptions.

As of 12:00 am on January 1, 2021, the Western Australian border will close with Victoria.

Travel from Victoria will no longer be allowed, unless you are an exempt traveler. This also applies to anyone who has been in Victoria since December 21 and has not completed 14 days in a lower risk state or territory.

The Western Australian border is open to other states, but a G2G pass is required before entering and you must pass a health exam at Perth airport.

Travelers from very low risk states and territories (i.e. all except New South Wales and Victoria) are not required to self-quarantine.

The Northern Territory border is currently open to anyone other than a COVID-19 hotspot, including those in the New South Wales region.

Anyone arriving in the Northern Territory from or through a declared hotspot in the last 14 days is required to undergo a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine.

The Tasmanian border is currently open to all travelers from “low risk” areas, including the New South Wales region.

Currently, the restrictions only apply to those traveling to Tasmania from the Greater Sydney region.

As Sydney is defined as a “medium risk” area, travelers arriving in Tasmania will need to be quarantined for 14 days on their own.


The ACT border is currently open to those outside the COVID-19 hotspots.

Currently, these include the North Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and the Local Government Areas (LGA) of Wollongong, all in New South Wales.

Travelers who intend to travel from these areas to the ACT must notify ACT Health of their intention to travel to the ACT, via our online declaration form and go into quarantine for 14 days.

Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Well-Being Support Service is a free 24/7 service to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800 512 348
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