First to open: NSW to open its borders to all interstate travel from November 23

COVIDSafe plans

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Source: AAP/Bianca De Marchi.

New South Wales will open its borders to all interstate travellers from November 23, making it the first state to ease all interstate border restrictions. SmartCompany takes a look at the rules still in place across other states.

Free movement ceased between NSW and Victoria for the first time in 100 years in July, following a surge of coronavirus cases in Victoria.

But, from November 23, borders between Australia’s two most populous states are set to reopen, after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s announcement on Tuesday.

“NSW will be the only jurisdiction in Australia that will be welcoming residents of all states, of all jurisdictions. NSW will be the place where every Australian citizen is welcome, including New Zealand citizens,” Berejiklian said.

The Australian Capital Territory is joining NSW in easing border restrictions for Victorians from November 23, and is currently open to all other interstate travellers.

Under Queensland’s hotspot model, anyone can enter the state, unless they’ve been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the last 14 days. All of Victoria is currently marked a hotspot, and from Tuesday, the remaining number of greater Sydney areas considered hotspots was reduced to 32.

Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Thursday low coronavirus case numbers in Victoria are “very encouraging” and could allow Queensland to open its borders to the southern state by Christmas.

Western Australia will introduce a controlled border arrangement from Saturday, November 14, provided every state and territory meets a 14-day rolling average of fewer than five community cases per day of COVID-19.

South Australia’s borders are currently open to travellers from every state except Victoria, and travellers from outside of Victoria are not required to self-quarantine when they arrive. Regional Victorians near the border have been able to cross the border under a travel bubble arrangement of 70km.

In the Northern Territory, strict border controls are in place for all arrivals, including returning Territorians.

Arrivals to the Northern Territory must be recorded and, if coming from a hotspot such as Victoria, quarantine in a government-designated location is mandatory.

Tasmania’s borders are open to travellers from low-risk areas including New Zealand, and all Australian states and territories excluding Victoria.

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