Update on COVID-19 for travellers

10 April 2020

The COVID-19 novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus affecting humans and the World Health Organization has declared that COVID-19 is a pandemic. Health authorities have identified cases of COVID-19 in Australia. 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.


DO NOT TRAVEL: Under the home confinement public health direction all people in Queensland (including temporary residents) must not leave their principal place of residence except for necessary permitted purposes. The permitted purposes do not include leisure travel or recreation. 


International travel: 

Australia's borders are closed. 

From 9pm, 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia. In-bound Australian travellers should check the latest updates and travel safety information on the Smart Traveller website. From 11:59pm, Saturday 28 March, all international arrivals into Australia will be subject to mandatory quarantine for 14 days. 

From 12:01am, Thursday 26 March, Australians are banned from travelling overseas.


Domestic travel: 

Restrictions are in place at Queensland's borders and Queensland Health has issued a Home Confinement Directive instructing people in Queensland to remain in their home unless undertaking essential tasks.

The current Australian Government advice is that all Australians must avoid all non-essential domestic travel.


Travel within Queensland:

  • Queensland Health has issued a Home Confinement Directive instructing people in Queensland to remain in their home unless undertaking essential tasks.
  • From 12:01am, Saturday 11 April, anyone crossing the border into Queensland will require a border pass, even Queensland residents. You may be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, pending where you have travelled from and what type of traveller you are. See the Official Health Direction.
  • Travel is also limited to Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island), Moorgumpin (Moreton Island) and K'gari (Fraser Island).
  • Campgrounds in Queensland's national parks, state forests and state managed recreation and protected areas are closed.
  • There is also a closure of a number of high-use visitor locations in national parks, state forests and recreation areas applies.
  • Many beaches are closed, and can only be used by locals for exercise purposes, not for leisure. Check your local Council website.
  • Long-haul train and coach services are being temporarily reduced.


  • Short-term accommodation - e.g. Airbnb and similar: Queenslanders are currently confined to their household and should not travel for recreation. Airbnb and similar short-term accommodation properties can remain open for:
  • Those people who live permanently there or who require interim accommodation where their primary residence is not available;
  • For workers delivering essential goods and services, including backpackers who have secured seasonal employment; and
  • For people undertaking essential travel (e.g. travelling to provide care for a sick relative you may not be able to stay with).
  • At all times, social distancing should be observed and all temporary residents, at any form of accommodation, are subject to home confinement and should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes. 
  • Accommodation for other reasons such as recreation should not currently be offered.


  • Caravan and Camping 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. Caravan and Camping Parks may also continue to operate for essential workers such as health practitioners or other persons providing essential services for example, emergency services or infrastructure projects, with social distancing observed.


  • Hostels, bed and breakfasts, backpackers and boarding houses may continue to operate for permanent residents, temporary residents and workers of the facility, with social distancing observed. Example – a backpacker may be a temporary resident at a hostel. Limited to two people in common areas such as lounge rooms and shared facilities, with no more than one person per four square metres. Limited to two people in outdoor areas, that is part of the facility, or near the facility, with social distancing observed. Once a temporary resident, you are subject to home confinement and should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes.


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

Information on visa extensions, working while on a visa and frequently asked questions can be found on the Australian Department of Home Affairs website.


Where can I stay?

In relation to hostels, bed and breakfasts, backpackers and boarding houses, these:

  • May continue to operate for permanent and temporary residents traveling for a permitted purpose under the home confinement direction, and workers of the facility, with social distancing observed.
  • If you are a backpacker and a temporary resident at a hostel, you are subject to home confinement and should only leave the premises for the permitted purposes.
  • Working holiday visa holders must visit www.australia.gov.au and register for self-isolation before travelling to another area of the country so they can show a potential employer they have followed the health rules.
  • Limited to 2 people in common areas such as lounge rooms and shared facilities, with no more than one person per 4 square metres.
  • Limited to 2 people in outdoor areas, that is part of the facility, or near the facility, with social distancing observed.

If you do not comply with the public health directions, penalties will apply: $13,345 for individuals and $66,672.50 for corporations. It is possible the enforcement officer can issue on the spot tickets of $1,334.50 or $6,672.50 for corporations.


How to apply for visa extension

If you’re in Australia on a visa, you must apply for a new visa before your current visa expires. You may be​​​ eligible to be granted a bridging visa that will keep you lawful until a decision is made on your visa application. See what you need to do to stay longer.

Some services relating to the visa application process​ may be impacted by COVID-19.


Looking for harvest work

If you are already in Queensland, you should secure employment before you move into a new area. 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.

If you are not currently in Queensland, and plan to work here, you will need to secure employment before you cross the border. Before you can enter Queensland, you need to apply for an entry pass. If you do not have an entry pass, you will not be allowed to cross the border into Queensland.

Working holiday visa holders must visit www.australia.gov.au and register for self-isolation before travelling to another area of the country so they can show a potential employer they have followed the health rules.


If you have no other means of getting food or essential items

People who have no other means of support can call the Community Recovery Hotline for assistance. The hotline has been activated by the Queensland Government to assist people who have been advised to self-isolate or quarantine at home by a medical professional, Queensland Health or through government direction and have no other mechanisms for support.

Community Recovery will work with partner organisations to arrange non-contact delivery of essential food and medication to people in quarantine with no other means of support. The Community Recovery Hotline can be contacted on 1800 173 349. More information


If you need medical advice

Queenslanders who require health advice or information while in quarantine or self-isolation should continue to call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit the Queensland Health website. Staff at 13 HEALTH can connect people through to a local public health unit and other health support services.


Translated resources: If you need some translated resources to help you understand your obligations, head to Queensland Health.


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.


Other travel information and resources for all travellers:

Tourism Australia's website has information especially for Australian and international travellers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Australian Government has produced a range of resources for travellers and the travel industry, including international travellers and hotel guests.


How long will the travel and other restrictions be in place?

On 29 January 2020, under the Public Health Act 2005, Queensland's 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 19 May 2020 and may be further extended.




Bushfire update - January 2020

Queensland was fortunate to remain largely unaffected by the bushfires and Queensland’s tourism operators and experiences are operating as usual. 

Visitors can access bushfire advice being issued by Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES): www.qfes.qld.gov.au | Facebook: @QldFireandEmergencyServices | Twitter: @QldFES | Instagram: @qldfire



Safe travel throughout Australia

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.


Being prepared

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's Department of Innovation and Tourism Industry Development 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 resources 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.