Travel SOS: A road trip across three states

Wanda wants to visit her dad in coastal Victoria, then head up to see her mum in New South Wales before taking her for a week away in Queensland this summer and wants to know if she’s allowed.

Q. Wanda
I’ve hardly seen my mum and dad all year. I’d like to stay with dad at his home on the Mornington Peninsula. Then, I want to drive up to Eden to stay with mum for a day or two, then head up further and see an old friend in Brisbane. Are there time limits for how long I can stay? Am I safe to cross the borders? I want to make sure I’m not putting them at risk.

A. I’m going to preface this with a disclaimer: states and territories all have their own travel restrictions, which means they can close state borders and restrict travel into and out of their state, restrict travel into and out of areas within their state and enforce 14-day quarantines if they so choose, and in some states and territories, you may have to wear some or all of the cost of quarantine.

So you really should check out the relevant state or territory’s travel restrictions:

I also had a similar query late last month, but only to visit my family on the coast. The Victorian government’s website is pretty clear about travel restrictions and guidelines, but I’ve done some more digging and found what I believe to be relevant information for when you visit the other states.

I’m going to play it safe and quote the relevant state or territory government’s website almost verbatim. You can’t be too careful when it comes to a pandemic!

There are currently no restrictions on travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria and no limits on the length of time someone can visit. Friends and family can stay overnight, but anyone staying overnight is counted toward the 30 visitor per day limit for the night and the next day. And up to 30 people can stay each night (and day). 

COVID hygiene practices such as sneezing into your elbow, distancing at 1.5m when possible, regular handwashing and mask wearing is also still recommended, especially if the person you are visiting is at a higher risk of becoming very sick with coronavirus.

You should also stay home if you feel unwell, then get tested and remain at home until you get your test results.

Unsurprisingly, the rest of Australia is a little laxer, though the recommended guidelines should still be adhered to.

New South Wales
There are no limitations on people who live in NSW travelling within NSW, but you should still seek the latest information about travel to and from NSW and travel advice, as well as requirements for self-isolation and quarantine rules.

Square-metre rules do not apply to holiday home or short-term rentals and up to 50 people may stay in holiday accommodation, but you may be required to follow the establishments’ COVID-19 safety plan.

You can leave home and stay overnight anywhere within Queensland or anywhere that is not a declared hotspot, for as many nights as you like.

You can stay in any form of accommodation or at a friend or family member’s house, in line with household and visitor limits. If you are travelling interstate, read the Border Restrictions Direction for more information on the steps you have to take when entering Queensland.

The Queensland border is still subject to restrictions, so if you travel across the border, your re-entry into Queensland may be subject to restriction. Check out the Border Restrictions Direction for more information.

Hope that helps Wanda – happy holidays!

Do you have holiday plans this summer? Were you able to find the information you needed from relevant government websites?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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