For the first time in months, the idea of interstate travel feels closer than ever.
Since late March, when some states and territories shut their borders in a desperate bid to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the country, travel has come to a virtual standstill.
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But as restrictions start to ease across the country and COVID-19 numbers remaining low, states and territories have started pointing to reopening dates for domestic travel to resume once more.
So, when will each state and territory reopen?
Throughout the pandemic, all eyes have been on when our Sunshine State will reopen for interstate tourism. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, entry into Queensland was prohibited and allowed only for persons eligible for an exemption. The border closure came into effect on Wednesday March 25, and there is still no firm reopening date.
The state’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young has pointed to a July 10 opening for domestic travel, however that date is based on the number of virus cases remaining low, and there is no community transmission within other states.
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Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pointed to a July 10 reopening of state borders. Picture: AAP Image/Glenn Hunt.Source:AAP
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said while the borders were “very likely” to open to the rest of the country on July 10, the community transmission in Victoria and possible outbreaks following mass protests held across the country in June could delay that date.
Mr Miles said while it wouldn’t be the preferred solution, the government was considering the option of opening up a travel corridor to NSW, meaning Victorians would be left in the cold.
A meeting to confirm the reopening of Queensland is slated for the end of June.
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Queensland is looking to lift border restrictions from July 10. Picture: Tourism QueenslandSource:Supplied
For those who call Queensland home, from June 12 intrastate travel is being encouraged by the State Government, with overnight recreational travel allowed. Camping and caravan holidays are also now allowed, along with hiking and other recreational activities in national and state parks. The only exception is visiting remote and biosecurity areas.
For those living in the outback, recreational travel within the area will be allowed. If you have an exemption to travel into Queensland, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days unless granted an exemption.
Come one, come all. Well, almost. Throughout the pandemic, NSW has kept their interstate borders open for domestic travel. At the height of the pandemic, all regional travel was advised against – however that restriction has now been lifted.
From June 1, Premier Gladys Berejiklian encouraged NSW residents to get out and about and into regional corners of the state to help build back tourism.
Residents across NSW are being encouraged to get out and explore the regional towns around New South Wale. Picture: IstockSource:istock
While a number of caravan parks and camping grounds opened from 1 June 2020, travellers should still call ahead and confirm bookings.
As for ski fields, many will be open this winter from 22 June, however strict social distancing measures will be in place meaning a holiday at the slopes will be very different this year. If you are travelling to NSW from around Australia, you don’t have to self-isolate.
As with NSW, there are no domestic travel restrictions in place for the ACT with travel permitted. If you are travelling to the ACT from around Australia, you don’t have to self-isolate.
Victoria, along with NSW, decided to keep state borders open to interstate visitors despite neighbouring states and territories opting to lock down completely.
At the height of the pandemic, all recreational travel was banned in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19 across the state.
Like NSW, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced restrictions on travel within his state will be eased further, meaning residents could now stay in a holiday home or private residence.
Victoria is open to anyone across the country. Picture: istockSource:istock
Victorians will be also able to stay in tourist accommodation, including caravan parks and camping grounds, however shared communal facilities (e.g. kitchens and bathrooms) will remain closed.
Tourist accommodation can re-open to guests provided there are no shared communal facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms.
As in NSW, the ski season is upon us. So the Alps – namely Mount Hotham and Falls Creek will be opening to skiers and board riders on June 24, while Mount Buller will start on June 26. Be warned, the number of visitors allowed on the slopes this year will be much smaller – meaning pre-purchased lift passes will be mandatory for entry.
If you are travelling to Victoria from around Australia, you don’t have to self-isolate.
While there are no limitation on where you can travel around the state (providing you’re a resident), Tasmania’s borders remain closed. This means anyone who receives special exemption to visit will be required to go into 14 day’s quarantine.
Tassie locals are being encouraged to explore their own state, with most national parks and campsites open from June 15.
Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein is yet to confirm a date that his state will open their borders. Picture Chris KiddSource:News Corp Australia
State Premier Peter Gutwein is remaining tight-lipped on when the rest of Australia will be able to visit his state, however border controls will be reviewed again in early July. Predictions are that the borders will likely open by the end of next month.
As of midnight on June 16, residents will be able to travel freely to South Australia after Premier Steven Marshall announced they would open borders up early to Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Having battled through devastating bushfires earlier this year, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall plans to reopen state borders entirely from July 20. On Tuesday, he announced a travel bubble of sorts – announcing that incoming visitors from Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory would be allowed to travel to the state without having to undergo 14 days of isolation.
This makes South Australia the first jurisdiction to lift domestic travel bans, which have been in place since late March.
Incoming visitors from Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be allowed to enjoy South Australia – including the beautiful Barossa Valley – from June 17.Source:Supplied
In addition, locals can travel around the state freely, including recreational overnight stays, caravanning and camping. Until the borders completely open on July 20, anyone from Victoria, NSW, ACT or Queensland will have to sign a health declaration at the border and undertake 14 days of self-isolation at a nominated address.
For locals, while regional tourism to places like the Adelaide Hills and Kangaroo Island is being encouraged – residents will need to abide by restrictions in some indigenous communities, including the APY lands, Nepabunna in the Flinders region and Point Pearce on Yorke Peninsula.
Unfortunately no one is allowed to enter Western Australia, with Premier Mark McGowan standing firm on the reopening of his state’s borders and yet to provide a date on when they’ll reopen.
However, from June 17 residents will be able to travel freely to neighbouring South Australia for recreational travel without having to do 14 days’ isolation.
Residents of Western Australia are allowed to travel around the state, however there are strict bans in place for certain remote indigenous communities and regions – including parts of the Kimberley. The beautiful Rottnest Island is now open again for visitors, with camping grounds and caravan parks also open for business.
Territorians face no travel restrictions, and will now be able to travel south to places like Adelaide, the Barossa Valley or Kangaroo Island from June 17.
Across the state, travel is allowed but if you’re coming into the Top End from another state or territory, unless you have been granted an exemption, you will need to complete 14 days of mandatory self-quarantine.
Earlier this week, Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner indicated the Top End may re-open their borders in mid-July.
Uluru will be open again from June 19.Source:istock
The announcement, set to be made this Friday, would have a similar opening date to South Australia.
Regional travel is allowed for residents though some national parks, including Uluru-Kata Tjuta, are still closed. until June 19. It is understood while the sacred site will reopen again for walking tracks and sunrise and sunset viewing areas, the cultural centre will remain closed and there will be no guided tours or group activities.
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