Australia’s state borders open up

As Australia recorded the impressive milestone of no coronavirus cases on both Saturday and Sunday, many Aussies are looking forward to the easing of tough state border restrictions.

Changes are due to come into effect this week including to border arrangements for Queensland, Northern Territory and Tasmania.

Queensland is warning of traffic delays when it opens its borders to parts of NSW from 1am on Tuesday.

Queensland Police Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler said authorities were expecting a huge influx of arrivals.

“We can expect delays of, I think up to an hour at times, peak delays may even get up higher than that,” Supt Wheeler said.

“This is where it’s really necessary for people to get their border pass in order, display it on the window and just please be patient and we will do everything we can to get you through as quickly as we can.”

Here is an update on Australia’s border controls and how they will change.

QUEENSLAND

From 1am on November 3, Queensland will welcome people from NSW as long as they have not been in Sydney for the last 14 days. These visitors will not have to go into mandatory quarantine.

A valid border declaration pass is required. Anyone caught lying on their border pass faces a $4003 fine.

In general, Queensland only restricts travel from declared COVID hot spots. At the moment Sydney and Victoria are considered hot spots but travel from other states and territories is allowed.

Following her election victory on the weekend, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed she would continue with her plan to keep the state’s borders closed to Sydney and Victoria until at least the start of December.

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NSW travellers heading to Queensland are being told to expect delays. Picture: Steve Holland/NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia

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NORTHERN TERRITORY

From today, November 2, travellers from regional Victoria will be allowed to enter the Northern Territory without quarantining for two weeks.

However, they will have to travel by plane as there are still strict restrictions blocking most Victorians from travelling on roads through South Australia and NSW.

The only coronavirus hot spot still excluded from travelling to the NT is Greater Melbourne.

WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Even this reclusive state is starting to open up. From Saturday, November 14, it will allow travellers of every state and territory in Australia that records a 14-day rolling average of less than five community virus cases per day.

Given Victoria’s 14-day average is already down to 1.9 this looks likely to happen.

Australians will be allowed to travel into and around Western Australia without quarantining, except for remote Aboriginal community areas.

TASMANIA

Border restrictions have already been eased for all states and territories except for NSW and Victoria.

However, NSW will be classified as a low-risk area from Friday, November 6.

Travellers are required to register prior to entering the state.

NSW

Only Victorians are restricted from entering NSW but there are also controls around people transiting through Victoria.

South Australian travellers can enter NSW if they have a permit and are driving via the Sturt Highway.

Transiting through a Victorian airport is OK as long as travellers don’t leave the airport.

Those travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania are also exempt if they are transiting directly through Victoria via road, rail or air.

Victorians wishing to travel through NSW to another destination by road can do so as long as they have not been in Melbourne, however, they need a permit.

ACT

The only restriction for those wanting to visit the nation’s capital, is on Victorians, who are not allowed to travel to the ACT unless they get an exemption.

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Travellers are able to enter SA provided they have not been in Victoria for 14 days prior to entering SA.

Travellers must also not transit through a Victorian airport and have to complete a travel border registration at least 14 days before they leave.

VICTORIA

The state’s borders are open but there are restrictions on travelling from Greater Melbourne areas into regional areas. Melburnians are also currently limited to travelling 25km from their homes but there are indications this would be changed in the next week.

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