Update on COVID-19 for travellers

Information current 28 September 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 2 October 2020 and may be further extended. Further to this declaration, Queensland's Chief Health Officer is issuing health directions to contain, or respond to, the spread of COVID-19 within the community. 

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 THREE OF THE ROADMAP

The Queensland Government's roadmap for the easing of restrictions is currently at Stage Three, with changes to some restrictions announced as the COVID-19 situation changes in the state.


Queensland Roadmap as at 250820


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 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 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 within that zone. 
  • From 1am, Friday 25 September 2020, Queensland's borders are open to the ACT. Travellers from the ACT must 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 details.
  • Queensland's Border Restrictions Direction was updated on 23 September to cover a number of specific reasons for travel (eg. freight, parenting arrangements, health appointments) - read more

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 28 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.
  • Read the current, full Border Restrictions Direction (Number 14 - in effect from 23 September - 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.
  • You must apply for a border pass prior to arriving in Queensland, no matter how you are arriving (eg. by road, rail, air or otherwise). Details and apply here

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


*Queenslanders who wish to travel interstate 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.
Tourism Australia's travel status map may help.



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 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.



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 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)

  • 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.


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.