COVID-19 and the South Australian border closure

COVID-19 and the South Australian border closure

This page has information for people living in Victoria. If you live in South Australia go to The law and COVID-19 (coronavirus) for South Australians produced by The Legal Services Commission of South Australia (SA) or the South Australian government’s COVID-19 information.

What you need to know

The South Australian border is closed to most people entering from Victoria. Special rules apply to people living in the border region within 40 kilometres on either side.

If you need to travel to South Australia there are five things you need to know:

  • only people approved as essential travellers can enter South Australia
  • there are strong penalties for entering South Australia without approval
  • anyone planning to travel to South Australia should complete the cross border registration form at least three days before departure and register for pre-approval
  • if approved to enter South Australia you must use an approved road to enter the state. See the South Australian government’s COVID-19 information for a list of approved roads
  • if approved to enter South Australia you will be given a unique number. You will need to show this when you cross the border.

Cross border residents

If you are a cross border resident living in Victoria within 40 kilometres of the border you can only travel into South Australia as a community member for:

  • employment or education
  • providing care and support to another person
  • receiving care and support from another person
  • obtaining food, petrol, other fuel or medical care or medical care or supplies.

You must complete an essential traveller application form on the South Australian police website before you travel.

Cross border community members entering South Australia from Victoria cannot travel further than 40 kilometres over the border into South Australia.

People affected by family violence

People affected by family violence may enter South Australia if they are escaping a violent situation or providing support for a family member who is experiencing family violence but must self-quarantine for 14 days after entering South Australia.

What has changed now that the South Australian border is closed?

The South Australian government has made orders (rules) to try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. These new rules mean people living in Victoria must not travel to South Australia without approval.

Checkpoints or road blocks will be set up at all border crossing points between Victoria and South Australia. There are strong penalties for crossing into South Australia without approval. You may be fined up to $20,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both.

These new rules are temporary but there is currently no date when they will end.

If you are given approval to enter South Australia you must follow all South Australian public health rules while in that state and any conditions (rules) South Australian police give you.

How do I apply for approval to travel to South Australia?

You will only be allowed across the border if you are classed as an essential traveller. An essential traveller includes someone entering on compassionate grounds, seeking urgent medical, veterinary or dental treatment or an essential worker. It may also include a person fleeing family violence. If you believe you are an essential traveller you should complete the cross border registration form at least three days before departure and register for pre-approval.

You will be notified by email of your status within 72 hours and, if approved, given a unique number. You will need to show this number when crossing the border.

I have parenting orders that require travel across the border. What should I do?

If you have parenting orders that require travel to South Australia  you should complete the cross border registration form at least three days before departure and register for pre-approval.

If you are refused a permit, are prevented from travelling due to Victoria’s current public health rules, or are worried about travelling, get legal help.

If you are refused a permit, are in quarantine or you are self-isolating with children, make sure the other parent can have contact another way. For example, children could communicate with them by phone or video conferencing. Try to work out how the other parent can have make-up time when the border opens.

If you fail to follow parenting orders and do not have a reasonable excuse, the other parent can take you to court. A reasonable excuse could include a health professional directing you and the children to go into quarantine, or travel being banned. The court can make orders, such as make-up time, and give penalties. The type of penalty will depend on how serious it is.

See COVID-19 and parenting issues.

I am a Victorian resident travelling in South Australia. Can I return home?

Yes, you can return home to Victoria. You do not need a permit to cross the border into Victoria. You must follow the public health rules in Victoria when you return home.

I am resident of South Australia travelling in Victoria. Can I return home?

From Friday 21 August you will need to complete a cross border registration form and receive approval before you can return home from Victoria to South Australia.

What if I get a fine?

Fines are managed differently in each state, so your options and where you can get help will be different depending on whether you were fined in Victoria or South Australia. If you are not sure check what the fine says.

If you get a fine in Victoria, see our COVID-19 and fines page for information about what to do and where to get help in Victoria.

In South Australia police can give you an on-the-spot fine of $1000 if you do not follow public health orders (rules). If you are charged, a court can fine you up to $20,000 or you could be jailed for two years. 

What if I am stopped by police at the border?

Police are checking the border. If you are stopped at the border, you must show your permit and photographic ID or documents that identify you. You must also comply with all public health rules in Victoria. When you cross the border you must comply with all public health rules in South Australia. Police can fine or arrest you if you do not follow these rules.

You have a right to be treated fairly by police. If you believe you have not been treated fairly by a police officer, you may be able to make a complaint.

Get legal help before making a complaint.

More information

Learn more about legal issues and COVID-19 coronavirus

Learn more about COVID-19 and parenting issues

Learn more about COVID-19 and fines

 

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