Caravanning During Covid
Where can we go? Are we allowed? Your questions answered!
When Covid-19 arrived in our country early this year, we could not have imagined that mid August we would be still in the middle of it! All our travel plans have been cancelled and our home state Victoria went back to level 3 and level 4 restrictions… Although we are very lucky our family is happy and healthy, we are definitely feeling the cabin fever!
Over the last weeks and months we received a lot of questions from families that cannot wait to take their caravans out again to go explore our beautiful Australian roads. When are we allowed to travel again? Is Caravanning considered essential travel? Can we travel interstate? And do we have to quarantine when we cross the state borders?
While clearly we do not have all the answers, hopefully this article offers you guidance on where to start planning your next adventure. *info as at 20.08.2020
Each State or Territory has their own rules, restrictions and entry requirements, which are changing almost on a weekly base. Before you make any plans, please check the individual state restrictions by going to the official state and health websites. While travelling, it is your responsibility to maintain physical distancing and practise good hygiene and adhere to all requirements of the rules of the state you are travelling to or within.
Our go-to websites for any Covid-19 information:
What Borders are closed?
While not all borders are completely closed, all states and territories (excluding Victoria) have border restrictions in place. For most states this means you will have to apply for a permit and/or travel exemption. Overall, the message on most State Government websites is the same: you’re advised to avoid all non-essential travel at the moment. South Australia however, promotes holidays to boost the economy.
Australian Capital Territory: The border with VIC is closed; anyone travelling from VIC will be denied entry unless granted an exemption. Although the border with NSW is not officially closed while writing this article, ACT Government is strongly advising anyone who has been in specific locations identified by NSW Health on the specified dates to quarantine immediately and get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible – even if you do not have any symptoms. From elsewhere: you may need to quarantine. If you are driving, keep stops to the minimum. If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately. For more information go to covid19.act.gov.au.
New South Wales: The border with Victoria is shut. Anyone who has been in Victoria in the past 14 days must not enter NSW unless they are eligible and hold a current border entry permit. Excluding Victoria, there are no restrictions in place for all other states on crossing the NSW border. Visitors from all other Australian states, can come to NSW for a holiday. For more information go to nsw.gov.au/covid-19.
Northern Territory: Strict border controls apply for all access points to the Northern Territory, although the borders are not completely shut. Anyone arriving in the Northern Territory must complete a Border Entry Form. If you arrive in the NT, having travelled from or through a declared hotspot in the past 14 days, you must do 14 days’ mandatory supervised quarantine at a designated facility at your own cost. For more information on Northern Territory travel restrictions, visit coronavirus.nt.gov.au.
Queensland: Queensland borders are closed for the whole of New South Wales, ACT and Victoria. They must apply for and provide a Queensland Border Declaration Pass. People from all other states and territories can come to Queensland if they haven’t been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the past 14 days. For more information on restrictions in Queensland, visit covid19.qld.gov.au.
South Australia: The border with VIC is currently closed, including for SA residents. You can only travel to SA when you are an essential traveller, caravanning is not essential. Arrivals from the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales who are not essential travellers must self-quarantine for 14 days after entering SA. Travellers from the Northern Territory, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia can enter South Australia without restriction if they travel direct. For more information on South Australian restrictions, visit covid-19.sa.gov.au.
Tasmania: Travellers from Victoria will not be allowed to enter Tasmania. From Monday 31 August — subject to final confirmation — travellers from South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory will be allowed to enter Tasmania without entering quarantine. Travellers from NSW, QLD and the ACT will still need to quarantine for 14 days. People travelling from these areas must not have spent time in a high-risk location in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania. All travellers need to apply for an electronic G2G (‘Good to go’) PASS to enter Tasmania. For more information on travel restrictions in Tasmania, visit coronavirus.tas.gov.au.
Victoria: Victoria doesn’t have any border restrictions and you can both leave and enter the state. However, there are restrictions on entering other states and territories from Victoria. For more information on travel restrictions in Victoria, visit dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus.
Western Australia: WA border is completely shut: No one can enter Western Australia — including WA residents — unless they’ve been granted an exemption. Exemptions are very unlikely to be granted for non-essential travel. For more information on restrictions in Western Australia, visit wa.gov.au.
Can we go Caravanning?
With restrictions changing rapidly, we would not recommend taking your caravan interstate at the moment. However, depending where you are coming from most states and territories (excluding Western Australia) allow interstate non-essential travelling. This still means you will have to apply for a permit and/or travel exemption though to cross the border.
Different States and Territories are now allowing regional non-essential travelling, including caravanning. See below latest update per State/Territory.
ACT: Travel restrictions have eased, and regional travelling is now allowed in ACT. You should not travel if you’re unwell and it’s important to practise physical distancing and good hygiene.
NSW: While this is not a legal requirement, if you’re in New South Wales you’re advised to avoid all non-essential travel at the moment.
NT: The NT Government website does not mention any statement on regional travel. What is does say is that Territorians need to continue to maintain good physical distancing and hygiene practices to protect against spreading coronavirus.
QLD: Queenslanders can now travel anywhere within Queensland for any reason, including recreation and holidays, yay!
SA: Travel within South Australia is unrestricted. People are free to visit regional areas, and travel within South Australia is a great way to support the regional communities and economies. This includes Caravanning and Camping.
TAS: While Tasmanians are still being encouraged to limit non-essential travel, restrictions on accommodation have eased.
VIC: Victoria declared a state of disaster from 6pm, Sunday 2 August: Melbourne has entered Stage 4 restrictions and Regional Victoria is under Stage 3 restrictions. This means that all non-essential travelling in Victoria is currently now allowed, unless it is in your own backyard, which we highly recommend!
Especially some of our Victorian families are doing it tough at the moment, dealing with a second (stricter!) lockdown. We would like to encourage everyone to keep communicating with each other; be kind and help each other where possible. Check out our 27 Isolation ideas for kids here.
WA: Regional travel throughout most of WA is allowed. The Kimberley, Shire of Ngaanyatjarraku and parts of the East Pilbara have reopened to tourists and travellers. However, there are travel restrictions to remote Aboriginal communities to protect the health and wellbeing of residents.
What happens if we cross the border?
Depending on where you are coming from, you may have to quarantine for 14 days and take mandatory Covid-19 tests. If you arrive in the Northern Territory for example, having travelled from or through a declared hotspot in the past 14 days, you must do 14 days’ mandatory supervised quarantine at a designated facility at your own cost. Travellers coming to Tasmania from NSW, QLD and the ACT will still need to quarantine for 14 days as well. If you enter South Australia as a non-essential traveller from the ACT or NSW, you’ll be required to take 2 COVID-19 tests: on the day you arrive in SA and on your 12th day in SA.
Before crossing the border, make sure you check the latest information on each State/Territory Government website to make sure you know exactly what to do upon arrival.
Do we need to social distance in all states?
Social Distancing seems to be the new normal, something we find hard to accept. We are missing the hugs with friends and family especially when times are tough. We completely understand why it is so important though, so we try to be extra kind to everyone around us by using words instead of hugs.
Social distancing is still mandatory in all of Australia and we do not expect this to change anytime soon. WA is almost back to pre-Covid-19, however Western Australians must continue to keep up physical distancing where possible according to the states government website.
Where do you need to where a mask?
From Monday 3 August everyone in the state of Victoria must wear a face covering whenever they leave home unless an exemption applies.
People in NSW should consider wearing a face mask in situations where physical distancing is not possible. Wearing a mask can help protect you and those around you if you are in an area with community transmission, and physical distancing is not possible, like on public transport.
Outside Victoria and New South Wales you currently do not have to wear a face mask.
While a mask can be used as an extra precaution, we all still have to:
- Maintain physical distance (more than 1.5m) from other people, when out
- Stay at home if unwell
- Avoid large gatherings and crowded indoor spaces
- Practise hand and respiratory hygiene
We would love to hear where you are heading next, taking the rules and restrictions in account!
Take Care & Stay Safe!
National – https://www.australia.gov.au/