Update on COVID-19 for travellers
Information current 22 September 2020
*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
The Queensland Government has updated its roadmap for the easing of restrictions. Commencing from 8.00am 22 August, extra restrictions have been put in place to keep Queenslanders safe. More detail can be found on the updated roadmap.
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.
- If you are dining or having a drink at a venue or event, you must be seated to consume that food or drink and you must provide your contact details for contact tracing purposes.
- 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 More information here. . Larger tourism experiences can still follow the guidelines and principles of the Industry Plan and carry greater capacity subject to available space.
- Weddings 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.
Queensland's borders are open to interstate travellers, with restrictions in place for people who have been in a declared COVID-19 hotspot.
- On 22 September 2020, all areas of New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria are currently declared hotspots.
- From 1am, Friday 25 September 2020, Queensland's borders will open to the ACT. Travellers from the ACT will be required to arrive by air, and must declare that they have not been in a hotspot (ie. in NSW or Victoria) in the 14 days prior to arrival in Queensland. Read more.
- From 1am, Thursday 1 October 2020, the Queensland-NSW border zone will expand, and residents in the NSW border zone will be able to travel throughout Queensland for any purpose, without needing to quarantine. Queenslanders will also be able to travel to the NSW border zone areas and return without quarantining. Border passes will still be required. Read the announcement. A link to the updated Border Direction will be provided when it is published.
- Queensland's Border Restrictions Direction will be updated from 23 September to cover a number of specific reasons for travel (eg. freight, parenting arrangements, health appointments) - read more. The Direction contains the full details of who can/cannot cross the border, how, and links to apply for the Queensland Border Declaration Pass.
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.
If you have not been in a hotspot, but are transiting through a hotspot on your way to Queensland, please see section 11g of the Public Health Direction for details.
Arrival requirements as at 22 September 2020:
- If you have been a hotspot area in the 14 days prior to arriving in Queensland, you must arrive by air, even Queensland residents.
- Travellers (who have not been in a hotspot area) arriving from South Australia or the Northern Territory can cross those borders into Queensland by road.
- You still need to complete the border pass declaration.
All travellers arriving in Queensland, including Queensland residents:
- Must apply for a border pass prior to arriving in Queensland. Details and apply here.
- This includes anyone arriving by road, rail, air or otherwise.
There is a significant bank of questions and answers on this Queensland Government webpage which should help cover most questions about crossing the border.
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.
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. A better way is to register your availability at Harvest Trail. You can also phone the National Harvest Labour Information Service on 1800 062 332.
- Information on working in Queensland - including seasonal workers and temporary visa holders - can be found here.
- 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 on this Queensland Government COVID-19 webpage.
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.
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 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:
- Safe travel at Brisbane Airport
- Statement: New COVID-Safe health guidelines provide added confidence to aviation
- Statement: Aviation sector unites on COVID-Safe travel ahead of easing domestic restrictions
How to stop yourself catching and spreading germs while travelling
(Advice courtesy Queensland Health)
- 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).
- 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.
- General safe travel trips - slip, slop, slap, seek and slide; eat a well-balanced diet; stay hydrated; plan stops on road trips.
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.
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:
Useful references during a crisis:
- The ABC is the nation's largest national broadcaster: www.abc.net.au/local
- Bureau of Meteorology: www.bom.gov.au
- Queensland Government emergency alerts: www.qld.gov.au/emergency | www.qldalert.com
- Queensland Health: health.qld.gov.au and Health Alerts | Facebook: @QLDHealth | Twitter: @qldhealthnews
- Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES): www.qfes.qld.gov.au | Facebook: @QldFireandEmergencyServices | Twitter: @QldFES | Instagram: @qldfire
- Queensland Police Service: www.police.qld.gov.au | Twitter: @QldPolice
- Queensland Government road conditions: www.qldtraffic.qld.gov.au | Twitter (various regional accounts)
- RACQ road conditions: www.racq.com.au | @racqOFFICIAL
- Tourism and Events Queensland's travelling safely tips: https://www.queensland.com/en-au/plan-your-trip