Visit our COVID-19 page for information and advice on the assistance available for NSW residents and businesses

  • Under the new Agricultural Workers Code, from 12:01am Friday 25 September, it will be simpler for a wider range of agricultural workers to gain a permit to cross the NSW-VIC border. The simplified approval system will make it easier for farmers who need to hire employees across the 2 states for the harvest, including seasonal workers.
  • Due to amendments in the Public Health Order, employers of agriculture workers will no longer have to wait up to 5 days for approval for their workers' registration. 

Introduction

On Friday 4 September 2020 a single border region was established. All residents of the border region, including critical service workers and residents in remote communities can apply for the new border region permit.

You’ll need a valid permit to enter NSW if you've been in Victoria in the last 14 days, except if you're entering NSW:

  • as an emergency or law enforcement services worker
  • to access emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • to avoid injury or escape a risk of harm. 

All NSW residents are strongly urged not to travel to Victoria. If travel is essential, then permits are in place to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and to protect the health and jobs of NSW residents.

Both adults and children are required to get a permit to travel from Victoria to NSW.

In almost all cases, permits are issued subject to conditions. Your permit will indicate if you need to:

You can apply for a permit online.

Eligibility

You're eligible for a border region resident permit, if you are one of the following: 

  • a Victorian border region resident crossing the border. Please note that:
    • you must not travel to any part of NSW that is outside of the border region
    • you must not enter NSW if you have travelled in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area within the previous 14 days.
  • a NSW border region resident crossing the border. Please note that:
    • you must not travel to any part of Victoria that is outside of the border region or is a COVID-19 area of concern
    • if you do travel outside the border region in Victoria or to a COVID-19 area of concern you cannot enter NSW using the border region permit. You’ll need to apply for a NSW resident’s permit to re-enter NSW (requiring a flight to Sydney Airport and quarantine).
  • a NSW or Victorian border region resident crossing the border:
    • to permanently move home.

You may also be eligible for a permit if you're residing in a non-border region (i.e. not in the border region) and performing:

  • a critical service that is all of the following:
    • highly specialised
    • not available locally in the same or substantially the same form
    • not able to be provided remotely
    • approved by the head of your organisation, or the person receiving the service, who will need to Register a critical services worker for a COVID-19 NSW border entry permit.
      • Note: Requests to register a critical services worker will take approximately 5 working days to be approved.
  • an agricultural industry activity (including seasonal work), where the activity is:

You're also eligible for a permit if you are entering NSW:

  • for child access and care arrangements
  • after having accessed essential medical or hospital services in Victoria that are unavailable locally, or not accessible remotely
  • to attend court as a defendant, witness or a lawyer in a case, or to meet other legal obligations imposed by a court or an Act (such as bail or parole obligations)
  • on compassionate grounds for the provision of end of life support, or to attend a funeral or memorial service or in other exceptional circumstances. You will need to apply to NSW Health for a compassionate permit exemption code before applying for your border entry permit. All cases are reviewed by a medical team for eligibility.

Note: As the situation improves more permits will become available.

What you need

To apply for a border entry permit, you need:

  • your personal details (name and date of birth)
  • your contact details (residential address, phone number and email address)
  • your eligibility category
  • a declaration on your COVID-19 exposure and overseas travel in the last 14 days
  • the address where you intend to stay in NSW. 

How to apply

  1. Before applying for a permit, you must check Victoria's current public health restrictions and comply with the travel restrictions. 
  2. Check the eligibility requirements
  3. Select the ‘Apply online’ button.
  4. Follow the prompts to complete the online form.

After applying, you'll receive an email with your NSW border entry permit. Please have your permit and supporting documentation with you when crossing the border. 

Spirit of Tasmania passengers

Permits to enter NSW are available for passengers on the Spirit of Tasmania who have arrived in Victoria.

  • Passengers intending to fly into NSW must:
    • travel from the vessel to an airport in Victoria by the most practicable direct route
    • remain in the airport until they board the flight
    • fly into Sydney Airport
    • have documentary evidence of their flight from Victoria to Sydney.
  • Passengers intending to drive into NSW must:
    • travel by the most practicable direct route from the vessel to NSW
    • enter NSW via:
      • the Hume Highway at Albury, or
      • the Newell Highway at Tocumwal.
  • Passengers intending to enter NSW by rail must:
    • travel by the most practicable direct route from the vessel to NSW.

Note: The following conditions apply for the above travellers.

A period of 14 days since entering NSW must have elapsed before you're permitted to enter or remain in:

  • a residential aged care facility unless you are a resident of the facility, or
  • a public hospital or private health facility unless you are seeking treatment at the hospital or facility.

Travelling by road from South Australia

Permits are available for travellers leaving South Australia and transiting through Victoria by road, providing all of the following apply. They must:

  • travel by private vehicle only
  • transit through Victoria only via the Sturt Highway
  • have not been in Victoria in the previous 14 days other than travelling on the Sturt Highway 
  • cross the NSW border via the George Chaffey Bridge, Sturt Highway, at Mildura.

Transiting through NSW by road

Permits are available to transit through NSW by road providing you:

  • have a lawful authority to enter the place outside NSW that you're travelling to
  • transit through NSW by the most practicable direct route
  • travel by private vehicle only.

Note: You must not enter NSW if you've been in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area in the last 14 days.

Non-Victorian air travellers into NSW

Permits are available for non-Victorian air travellers entering NSW who have transited through a Victorian airport from another state or territory, providing they:

  • did not leave the airport terminal while in Victoria
  • fly into Sydney Airport
  • have documentary evidence of their flight from Victoria to Sydney.

Note: The following conditions apply for the above travellers.

A period of 14 days since entering NSW must have elapsed before you're permitted to enter or remain in:

  • a residential aged care facility unless you are a resident of the facility, or
  • a public hospital or private health facility unless you are seeking treatment at the hospital or facility.

Students and staff

Boarding school and university students and staff

Permits are available for the following:

  • Victorian residents entering NSW who are students or staff members at a:
    • NSW university, or
    • NSW boarding school.
  • NSW residents entering Victoria who are students or staff members at a:
    • Victorian university, or
    • Victorian boarding school.

Victorian students and staff must travel by the most practicable direct route to and from their university/boarding school.

For school students, and university students under 18, the student's parent/guardian may also travel providing they are:

  • accompanying the student to or from university/school, or
  • travelling to the university/school to get the student, or
  • returning home after dropping the student off at university/school.

The parent/guardian must carry documentary evidence that the student is enrolled at the school.

Note: The following conditions apply for the above travellers:

  • you cannot enter NSW if you've been in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area in the last 14 days, unless:
    • you were only travelling through the area to get to Melbourne airport
    • you only travelled though the area while driving to NSW, and you did not stop.

NSW students and staff must travel by the most practicable direct route to and from their university/boarding school.

For school students and university students under 18, the student's parent/guardian may also travel providing they are:

  • accompanying the student to or from university/school, or
  • travelling to the university/school to get the student, or
  • returning home after dropping the student off at university/school.

The parent/guardian must carry documentary evidence that the student is enrolled at the school.

Year 11 and 12 students and teachers

Year 11 and 12 students (and their parent/guardian) and HSC teachers who live outside the border region are eligible for an exemption to the Public Health Order, as long as they have not been in a restricted area (ie greater Melbourne) or another area of concern in Victoria within the previous 14 days.

The Year 11 and 12 exemption also applies to NSW children and accompanying parents who need to return to Victorian schools.

Advice will be provided to these students and staff through Service NSW and the Department of Education, and a letter will be sent to them from their individual school.

Students, parents and staff eligible for this exemption should carry a copy of the exemption and the letter from their school certifying that they are currently enrolled in, or teach, Year 11 or 12 , with them at all times.

If Year 11 and 12 students (and their parent/guardian) and HSC teachers arrive in NSW by plane, they are also exempt from the obligation to undertake a quarantine period in a quarantine hotel.

Border permit exemptions

Under the Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020, unless exempt, anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless:

  • they hold a current entry permit
  • they are authorised to enter under the order.

If you’re requesting different permit conditions, you’ll need to apply for an exemption.

Exemptions for NSW – Victoria border crossings

Under an exemption to the Public Health Order dated 9 October, 2020:

  • residents of South Australia, Western Australia or the Northern Territory, and NSW residents who do not have a border region permit, are now able to enter NSW by road, providing all of the following apply. They must:
    • have not been in Victoria in the previous 14 days other than travelling on the Sturt Highway to get to or from NSW to South Australia
    • cross the NSW border via the George Chaffey Bridge, Sturt Highway, at Mildura
    • have worn a mask and taken reasonable steps to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from any other person (other than another exempt person), if they've had to leave their vehicle while in Victoria
    • provide details or documentation relating to their travel (such as an Essential Traveller number or SA border pass) in the past 14 days to a police officer, if requested
    • travel in a private vehicle and by the most practicable and direct route.

Note: On Friday 16 October, this exemption will be revoked and permits will be available for travellers leaving South Australia and transiting through Victoria by road.

The revocation will take effect from Monday 19 October so if people don’t get their permit over the weekend, they can still cross the border under the exemption.

Excluding Victoria, there are no restrictions in place for any other states on crossing the NSW border. However, each state or territory has its own entry requirements and travel restrictions. You must comply with any border rules of the state or territory you are entering or leaving.

Murray river, ACT and other considerations

Murray river

Residents on the Victorian side of the Murray river are now permitted to enter the river without a permit, providing they:

  • have not been in a COVID-19 area of concern or a restricted area in the past 14 days
  • do not enter an embankment, dock, port or wharf on the northern side of the Murray river.

The operator of a vessel, which includes the master of the vessel and the business operator, must take reasonable steps to ensure the above restrictions are adhered to.

ACT

If you're an ACT resident in Victoria wishing to return home, you can only access the ACT by air.

Other

You don't need a permit, if you're entering NSW:

  • as an emergency or law enforcement services worker
  • to access emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care
  • to avoid injury or escape a risk of harm. 

More information

  • The NSW Public Health Orders outline the specific reasons under which you may apply for a permit to enter NSW from Victoria. It is your responsibility to have the correct permit and supporting documentation for checking by NSW authorities upon arrival. For more information, including border entry rules and conditions, visit NSW-Victoria border restrictions
  • You may be allowed into NSW if you have supporting evidence but have not been able to get a permit, however this is not guaranteed. Visit Compassionate permits for travellers from Victoria to NSW for more information.