After months of uncertainty, interstate borders are finally opening up. Queensland opened its border on December 13, Tasmania reopened on December 15, and even Western Australia, which has had the strictest border regulations of any Australian state or territory since the pandemic began, has now pledged to reopen early in 2022. So, with all this newfound freedom, we're understandably excited to get travelling again – but what exactly are the rules right now?
The short answer is: they still vary from state to state and will continue to do so for some time. To help you travel with confidence, we've put together a state-by-state guide to help you make the most of your hot vax summer. These rules are for domestic travel only, so if you're considering international travel, make sure you check to see what the current requirements are.
Travelling to VIC
All domestic travellers, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Victoria. No test results or quarantine periods are currently required.
Travelling to NSW
All domestic travellers, except unvaccinated Victorians over 16 years of age or anyone who has been in a 'place of high concern', can enter New South Wales without restrictions. If you've been in a place of high concern, you need to wait seven days before entering NSW and present a negative PCR test on arrival. If you're unvaccinated, it's 14 days.
Anyone who has been in a 'casual contact place' can travel into the state, provided they can produce a negative PCR test result on arrival. Click here to learn about casual contact places and places of high concern.
Travelling to SA
Entry into South Australia requires an EntryCheck SA application, which is classified by a risk system running from 'very low' to 'high'. Those in the low-risk category can enter SA so long as they are vaccinated.
Low and moderate-risk travellers must present a pre-arrival negative test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival. Moderate risk travellers must get tested again six days after entering.
High-risk travellers must present a negative result on arrival, test again within 24 hours and then again on day six and 13. You'll also need to home quarantine for seven days, regardless of your results. As of December 4, all ACT, NSW and VIC arrivals have been downgraded from high to moderate risk.
Learn more about EntryCheck SA here.
Travelling to ACT
Entry to the ACT is dependant on whether you've been to a 'high-risk geographical area' in the last 14 days. If you're fully vaxxed and haven't been to a high-risk area, you can enter freely and without a declaration or exemption form.
If you have been in a high-risk area and are fully vaccinated, you'll need to complete an exemption form 72 hours prior to arriving. Once your form has been submitted, you'll be advised of the outcome of your application and given further instructions around test results and/or quarantine.
Travelling to QLD
Anyone travelling to Queensland must complete a Queensland entry pass. If you are fully vaccinated and have not been in a hotspot in the last 14 days, there are no testing or quarantine requirements to enter.
If you are fully vaccinated and have been in a declared hotspot in the past 14 days, you'll need to have a negative PCR within 72 hours prior to arrival, and then on day five following your arrival.
Travelling to NT
To travel to the Northern Territory, you'll need to be fully vaccinated (unless under 12 or exempt) and complete a Border Entry Form within five days prior to entry. Those entering from a 'green' zone will need to home quarantine until they can return a negative PCR test.
If fully vaccinated and entering from a 'red' zone, you may be permitted to complete seven days home quarantine – your Border Entry Form application will let you know if you are eligible. You will need a negative PCR within 72 hours prior to arrival and a rapid antigen test upon arrival. Another PCR test is required on day five, then again on days eight and 14.
See what is classified as a 'green' or 'red' zone here.
Travelling to TAS
All domestic travellers entering Tassie will need to register through the Tas e-Travel system. From December 15, fully vaccinated travellers that have not been in a 'high' or 'extreme-risk' area may enter without testing or quarantine requirements.
If you've been in a high-risk area, you'll need a negative PCR within 72 hours prior to arrival. If you have been in an extreme-risk area, you'll need an additional test on day five and potentially to quarantine, depending on the outcome of your Tas e-Travel application. Check the high and extreme risk sites here.
Unvaccinated travellers will need to be approved as an 'essential traveller' through the Tas e-Travel system. Register here.
Travelling to WA
For those looking to holiday in Western Australia, you'll have to wait a little while – until Saturday, February 5 to be exact. From this date, vaccinated travellers staying for five days or less will need to show a negative PCR within 72 hours prior to departure. Those staying six days or longer will need to show a negative PCR test within 72 hours prior to departure, and provide another within 48 hours of arrival.
Unvaccinated travellers will not be permitted to enter unless they are ineligible or medically exempt.