Update on COVID-19 for travellers

Information current 22 October 2020

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, the Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services made an order declaring a public health emergency in relation to coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The public health emergency area specified in the order is for ‘all of Queensland’. Its duration has been extended by regulation to 11:59pm, 31 December 2020 and may be further extended. The Public Health (Further Extension of Declared Public Health Emergency–COVID-19) Regulation (No. 5) 2020 was made by Queensland’s Governor in Council, and extends all active Public Health Directions issued by the state’s Chief Health Officer, Dr Jeannette Young.

For further information, please visit the Australian Government and Queensland Health websites.

*If you are a tourism or events business seeking information, resources and support, please visit this page.


Travelling to Queensland

Use these quick links to navigate to the information that you need on this page:

Current status in Queensland - find out what activities and businesses are operating, with what restrictions

Crossing the border - information for all people travelling into Queensland from other states

Information for specific travellers - backpackers, visa holders and international students

COVID Safe travel

Cancelled travel or event

General travel safety information


CURRENT STATUS: QUEENSLAND IS CURRENTLY AT STAGE FOUR OF THE ROADMAP

The Queensland Government's roadmap for the easing of restrictions is currently at Stage Four.

Queensland's roadmap to easing restrictions


In relation to travel, the current restrictions allow:
  • Queenslanders can travel within Queensland.
  • Queensland's borders are open to interstate travellers other than those who have been in declared hotspot areas (more details below).
  • Australia's borders remain closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. Inbound Australian travellers should check the latest updates and travel safety information on the Smart Traveller website. All international arrivals into Australia will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days, and this is at the traveller's own expense when arriving in Queensland. Australians are banned from travelling overseas.
  • Events can be staged in compliance with Approved COVID Safe Plans.
  • Tourism experiences, accommodation, dining in restaurants, cafes, pubs, registered or licensed clubs, RSL Clubs, food courts and hotels, nightclubs, beauty therapies and casinos can all operate with required COVID Safe documentation in place. More information here.
  • Similar to the way airlines operate, tourism experiences (up to 50 people) can seat guests together during the tourism experience, with 1.5m physical distancing in place at all other times possible. Businesses must comply with the checklist in the updated Queensland Tourism and Accommodation Industry Plan. Larger tourism experiences can still follow the guidelines and principles of the Industry Plan and carry greater capacity subject to available space. More information here.
  • Weddings of up to 100 people (with dancing for 40 people at a time with a COVID Safe Plan) and funerals up to 100 people. More information here.
  • Check the status of National Parks areas here.

For more information about current restrictions in Queensland, please visit this Queensland Government webpage.


CROSSING THE BORDER

Queensland's borders are open to interstate travellers, with restrictions in place for people who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot

  • Currently all of Victoria and New South Wales are declared hotspots. 
  • Some areas of New South Wales are considered to be within a dedicated 'border zone' and residents can travel from that zone throughout Queensland for any reason. Border passes are still required. Read the details.

If you have been in a hotspot in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland:

  • Interstate travellers who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland will not be granted entry.
  • Returning Queensland residents who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot must arrive by air and must complete 14 days mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense. Read more.
  • Some exemptions may apply (e.g. returning essential worker) – please see the Public Health Direction for details. 

Arriving from...

Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Tasmania:

  • Queensland’s border is open to travellers from Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia and Tasmania.
  • You must not have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland.
  • You must complete a Border Declaration pass before arriving in Queensland, and have this on hand to present if/when requested on arrival. Details and apply here
  • If driving into Queensland, you must cross at the South Australia or Northern Territory border.

Australian Capital Territory:

  • Queensland’s border is open to travellers from the Australian Capital Territory.
  • You must not have been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland.
  • You must complete a Border Declaration pass before arriving in Queensland, and have this on hand to present if/when requested on arrival. Details and apply here
  • Travellers from the ACT need to fly into Queensland. Crossing the border by road is not permitted.

New South Wales:

  • All of New South Wales is a declared hotspot, and people who have been in New South Wales in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland will not be allowed entry (unless they are a Queensland resident, in which case they will be permitted entry and required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense or fall into an exemption category).
  • The exception is residents of the Border Zone, who can travel freely to and throughout Queensland for any purpose. These residents must complete a Border Declaration Pass before arriving in Queensland and must not have been outside of the Border Zone into a declared hotspot area in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland.

Victoria:

  • All of Victoria is a declared hotspot, and people who have been in Victoria in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland will not be allowed entry (unless they are a Queensland resident, in which case they will be permitted entry and required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine at their own expense).

International:

Please see the Smart Traveller website.


More details and questions

Read the current, full Border Restrictions Direction (Number 15, in effect from 1 October 2020) which contains the full details of who can/cannot cross the border, how, and links to apply for the Queensland Border Declaration Pass.

There is a significant bank of questions and answers on this Queensland Government webpage which should help cover most questions about crossing the border.


Returning home from visiting Queensland; and/or Queenslanders travelling to other states:

When returning home interstate, or if you are a Queenslander travelling interstate, you should check the relevant State Government border restrictions that may be in place for the state you wish to visit. While Queensland's borders are open for residents of other states to travel to Queensland, some state borders remain closed to Queenslanders travelling there, or quarantine requirements or restrictions in place for returning residents. Tourism Australia's travel status map may help.

Queenslanders can travel within the New South Wales border zone area (but not beyond it) and return back to Queensland without needing to quarantine. You will need to complete a Border Declaration Pass for your arrival back into Queensland.


FURTHER INFORMATION FOR SPECIFIC TRAVELLERS

Entering Queensland for essential health care:

A specialist COVID-19 Health Care Support Service has been established to support the exemption process available for people needing to access essential health care, or enhanced support whilst undertaking quarantine. Please see further information on this webpage.

Seeking seasonal and farm work in Queensland:

The newly launched Pick Queensland website helps you navigate the opportunities for seasonal work in Queensland and links you to Government information on visas, your rights, health and travel information and more. 

Information specific to backpackers, working holiday makers and those on a visa:

  • Information on visa extensions, working while on a visa and leaving/or staying in Australia can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.
  • If you’re looking for harvest work, it’s really important that you don’t just show up to a farm. See the information on the website linked above, or you can also phone the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332.
  • People in Queensland who require health advice or information should call 13 HEALTH (13 432 584) or visit the Queensland Health website
  • If you need translated resources to help you understand your obligations, head to Queensland Health.

Further information for seasonal workers, including temporary visa holders, is available here.

Support for international students: 

Study Queensland has launched the online Queensland Student Hub so international students have free counselling and a central point of contact for study, visa, accommodation and other critical resources during COVID-19. The Hub complements the initiatives of education institutions and charities. Any student aged 18 or over can access the Hub by visiting www.studyqueensland.qld.gov.au.


COVID SAFE TRAVEL

How will I know if the businesses I'm staying at/travelling with/touring with are operating safely?

  • All businesses must adhere to social distancing requirements. The 1.5m distancing between people is a shared responsibility between businesses and customers (people from the same household do not need to observe 1.5m distancing from each other, but must keep 1.5m distance from other people/groups of people). Tourism experiences may seat guests together during the tourism experience without physical distancing (up to a maximum of 50 people) if they are in compliance with the approved industry checklist.
  • All businesses in Queensland are required to have a Work Health and Safety (WHS) Plan in place which addresses COVID-19 safety. You can request to see a copy of this plan if you would like to.
  • Businesses at 'high-risk' of transmission (such as restaurants, cafes and beauty therapists) must either comply with a COVID-19 Checklist or the approved Industry Plan, and they must display the checklist or compliance declaration.
  • Businesses who are operating beyond the baseline restrictions outlined in Queensland's roadmap to easing restrictions must be operating in compliance with an approved Industry Plan.

Businesses may also choose to opt into the COVID-Clean business module based on the National Quality Tourism Framework, as well as the COVID-Ready program being delivered by the Australian Tourism Export Council. Once businesses have completed the module they may display the COVID-Clean and/or COVID-Ready logos.

In order to display TEQ's 'Good to Go' stamp, businesses must have the required COVID Safe documentation in place. You can view more about the COVID Safety requirements of businesses here.

Domestic air travel

If you’ve been wondering about physical distancing on planes, the Australian aviation industry has developed a Domestic Passenger Journey Protocol to provide clear and consistent guidance regarding risk-minimisation principles and processes in domestic airports and on aircraft for domestic passenger travel. This Protocol will provide guidance for industry members and confidence to the travelling public as domestic air travel increases with the reduction in COVID-19 related restrictions on travel.

For further information about the protocol, please visit the COVID-Safe Domestic Flying – Domestic Passenger Journey Protocol webpage or visit the Australian Government’s Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.

If you have any concerns about airlines adhering to this protocol, it is recommended that you speak directly with the relevant airline and/or airport.

Other information on air travel:

How to stop yourself catching and spreading germs while travelling

(Advice courtesy Queensland Health)

Everyone can help to stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • If you have any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, get tested.
  • Consider getting the flu shot.
  • Make hygiene your number one priority when travelling.
  • Practice social distancing - stay 1.5m away from other people (people from household groups don't need to distance from each other).
  • Come back later if it's busy in the shop/restaurant/place you are visiting.
  • Good hand hygiene - wash hands regularly with soap and water and use alcohol-based sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Pack tissues, hand sanitiser and disinfecting wipes with you to use while out and about.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing.
  • If flying, go contactless wherever you can by booking and checking-in online.
  • Provide your contact details at venues.
  • Download the COVIDSafe app.
  • General safe travel trips - slip, slop, slap, seek and slide; eat a well-balanced diet; stay hydrated; plan stops on road trips.


CANCELLED TRAVEL OR EVENT

All Queensland tourism operators and events are subject to possible closures, change in date or cancellation. Please visit the operator or event's official website or contact them directly for the latest information. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission website provides advice on consumer rights relating to travel and event cancellations as a result of COVID-19.


GENERAL TRAVEL SAFETY INFORMATION

Being prepared when travelling

If you are travelling it is important to be informed and prepared. By monitoring the official sources of advice and information you can make informed decisions should a weather or other event impact your holiday plans.

Residents across Queensland are provided with extensive resources to prepare for natural disasters like cyclones, floods and fires. As a tourist, you may not be familiar with how to prepare and what to do if there is an impending disaster. You can consult the Queensland Government's 'Get Ready' resources to help understand how to prepare. www.getready.qld.gov.au/natural-disasters/

Planning an Outback Queensland getaway? Check your route before you go via the free QLDTraffic app or at qldtraffic.qld.gov.au

Tourism Australia’s website also has information about safe travel in Australia, including any current travel warnings or advice.

What to do when visiting Queensland and a natural disaster strikes

The Queensland Government has produced this valuable resource to help visitors when affected by a natural disaster:

What top do when visiting Queensland and natural disaster strikes new   

Useful references during a crisis:


Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so, with social distancing observed. This includes the use of cabins within caravan parks.

Where people live permanently in caravan parks or are staying in caravan parks as interim abodes where their primary residence is not available, they may continue to do so, with social distancing observed. This includes the use of cabins within caravan parks.