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(Image: Unsplash/John Lockwood)

How far can you travel from home during lockdown? Here is a state-by-state update on how far you can travel from home during the loosening of coronavirus restrictions across Australia. 

(This article will be regularly updated to keep you in the know about how far you may travel from your home during the pandemic.)

New South Wales

There is no limit on the distance that people may travel in New South Wales.

The latest easing of restrictions also means residents of Sydney may now travel to regional areas. Staying with people you know in regional areas is not prohibited, however, those travelling are advised to take precautions and maintain social distancing if they are travelling to regional areas. At present, residents of NSW are not allowed to holiday in regional areas. These current restrictions will be loosened starting on June 1. 

From June 1, residents of NSW will be allowed: 

  • To visit anywhere in regional NSW for recreational or holiday purposes
  • To visit caravan and camping grounds that are slowly beginning to re-open.

From June 1, Australians from other states will be allowed to travel to NSW for holiday purposes. Those travelling to NSW will need to follow guidelines set out by their state when returning from interstate travel.  

Victoria 

There is no limit on how far Victorians can travel around Victoria, however, the message from the Victorian government remains the same: “if you can stay at home, you must stay at home”. 

Despite the easing of restrictions, the government is still asking Victorians to maintain a safe distance from others, and to only travel when necessary: “It is not the time to be travelling long distances to visit family and friends if you need to stop and stay overnight. This is about seeing those you need to – if you need to.”

Those travelling in private modes of transport are being asked to avoid driving with people who live outside of their household. There are currently no restrictions on state borders, however, the rules of other states will apply to you if you cross them, and you need to have a reasonable reason to travel.

From June 1, restrictions will begin to ease further to allow Victorians to travel for recreational purposes. Tourist accommodation providers will be allowed to have guests stay overnight and camping grounds will also begin to re-open. 

Queensland

Queenslanders may travel 150 kilometres from their homes for recreational purposes.

Those living in the outback can travel 500 kilometres from home for recreational purposes.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said Queensland’s borders could remain closed until September, following the confirmation of two new coronavirus cases overnight.

Queensland closed its borders on March 25, and currently, only Queensland residents and residents of border communities undertaking essential activities, and those considered an ‘exempt person’, are allowed to enter Queensland via air, sea, rail or road from another state or territory.

Western Australia

Western Australians were not allowed to travel outside of their region from March 31, until the beginning of the restrictions easing on May 18. 

Since May 18, Western Australians have been allowed to travel between:

  • the South West, Great Southern, Wheatbelt and Perth-Peel regions
  • the Mid-West, Gascoyne and Pilbara regions (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  • within the Goldfields-Esperance region (excluding the biosecurity zone)
  • within Kimberley Local Government areas (the Commonwealth’s biosecurity zone remains in place).

From May 29, the Western Australian government will ease restrictions further so that all regional boundaries will be lifted, except for the Kimberely region, regions bound by the Commonwealth’s designated biosecurity determination, and 274 remote Indigenous communities. 

Tasmania

There are no restrictions on how far you can travel from home in Tasmania. However, if Tasmanians are travelling to different states, they will be subject to the rules of that state, and if residents of other states travel to Tasmania, they will need to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Non-essential travel is discouraged in Tasmania.

South Australia

There are no restrictions on how far you can travel from home in South Australia. The advice to avoid non-essential travel has been relaxed in the last few weeks as the government is now encouraging residents to support regional communities and economies. 

The South Australian government has warned non-essential travellers will need to specify where they will be staying on arrival and self-isolate for 14 days. South Australian police may also conduct police checks on those who have arrived to ensure they are self-isolating. 

Northern Territory

There are no restrictions on how far you can travel from your home in Northern Territory, however, non-essential travel is discouraged. 

There are strict border controls in place for all points of entry to the Northern Territory, and people travelling to the NT will be escorted to a designated location where they will be monitored and accommodated for.

People who are exempt from mandatory self-isolation include those who work in:

  • national and Northern Territory security and governance
  • medical transport and emergency services
  • transport, freight and logistics
  • defence and policing
  • flight crews
  • commercial ship crews
  • people with specialist skills that are critical to maintaining key government services, industries or businesses.

There is currently no ETA on when borders will re-open. 

Australian Capital Territory

There are no restrictions on how far residents of the Australian Capital Territory can travel from home. There are also no restrictions on borders, however, other state rules may apply to you if you travel to certain states. 

The ACT government says: “Canberrans should carefully consider the need to travel outside of the Canberra region, as someone bringing the virus into the Territory from interstate remains one of the biggest risks to the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the ACT”.


Read: Coronavirus travel ban | When will international flights reopen in Australia?

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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