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Around the globe, Covid-19-related travel restrictions are easing. In Australia, where a low infection rate has been recorded in comparison to countries such as the US and the UK, protocol remains in place to prevent new spikes in cases. Culture Trip unpicks the latest developments.
As of 1 July, around 300,000 people across 36 Melbourne suburbs have gone back into a month-long stage three lockdown. This followers a spike in infections from international travellers arriving at quarantine hotels. Leaving the house in these “restricted postcodes” is allowed only for essential shopping and work, and for exercise.
The government outlines that travel restrictions, including the status of borders and quarantine measures, are up to individual states and territories to enforce. However, travel is restricted to remote communities, such as Amata and Aurukun, to help protect community elders and the vulnerable.
Outside of the 36 Melbourne suburbs, New South Wales – which is home to Sydney and Byron Bay – has relaxed its rules. Freedom of movement is allowed in the state, as is crossing the border into other states and territories.
Meanwhile, New South Wales Health report that it “strongly discourages travel to and from areas of Victoria with Covid-19 outbreaks until control of community transmission has been confirmed.”
Borders to the Australian Capital Territory have remained open throughout the Covid-19 pandemic – however, the state asks people consider the need to travel to the Canberra region. Travel to neighbouring state, New South Wales, is allowed for a holiday.
In Victoria, 10 postcodes – including 3012, 3021 and 3032 – have been identified as hot zones. Like Melbourne, residents in these areas have been placed under a stage three month-long lockdown.
Otherwise, restrictions have eased in Victoria and there is no limit on the distance you can travel. This also goes for leaving or entering the state, but Victoria residents are asked to be clued up on restrictions at destinations.
Travel is permitted throughout all of Western Australia, except for remote Aboriginal communities. The WA Government writes that: “Western Australians are encouraged to ‘Wander out Yonder’ and take a different kind of holiday, enjoy a staycation in Perth or travel to new places, and seek out new experiences across the State.”
It is a slightly different story in Queensland. Entry into Australia’s second-largest state is currently prohibited, unless you are someone who provides critical services to the state and is eligible for an exemption. However, unlimited movement with overnight stays has the green light for Queenslanders.
There is a blanket ban on overseas travel, except for a few unique circumstances. This includes diplomats, who under the Vienna Convention are granted the freedom of movement and travel.
Although Australia’s borders are closed, Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to the continent. On arrival, travellers will undergo a health screening before a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Territory travel restrictions may also be enforced.