COVID-19 and the Victorian border restrictions

COVID-19 and the Victorian border restrictions

This page has information for people who need to travel to Victoria. There are new rules about travelling to Victoria and these rules can change quickly depending on the situation. Check the current public health rules in Victoria before you travel.

What you need to know

From 11 January 2021, anyone entering Victoria will need to apply for a permit before travelling. There are five things you need to know:

  • everyone who wants to enter Victoria must apply for a permit, including Victorian residents returning home from another state or territory
  • there are strong penalties for entering Victoria without a permit
  • you can apply for a permit by contacting Service Victoria
  • there are different rules for people who live in a border community
  • if you have parenting orders that require travel to Victoria you should apply for a permit before travelling.

People affected by family violence

People who are escaping harm or the risk of harm, including harm relating to family violence or violence by another person may enter Victoria without a permit. Check the Victorian government’s COVID-19 information for more information about exemptions.

What has changed now that you need a permit to enter Victoria?

The Victorian government has made orders (rules) to try to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. These new rules mean no one can enter Victoria without a permit. There are limited reasons for exemptions. The permit system is based on a trafic light system where areas of Australia are considered green, orange or red according to their risk. The risk in any area may change very quickly depending on health advice so it is important to check current information before you travel. Check the Victorian government's information about the travel permit system for the latest information.

The Victorian border is being policed by road, rail, air and water. There are strong penalties for entering Victoria without a permit. These new rules are temporary but there is currently no date when they will end.

How do I apply for a permit to travel to Victoria?

You can apply for a permit by contacting Service Victoria or call the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

I am a Victorian resident travelling in another state or territory. Can I return home?

You will need to apply for a permit before you can return home. Contact Service Victoria or call the Victorian coronavirus hotline on 1800 675 398.

I live in a border community. How do these new rules affect me?

There are different rules for people who live in a border community. Check the Victorian government’s information for cross border communities for the latest information.

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

If you have parenting orders that require travel to Victoria you should apply for a permit from Service Victoria before travelling.

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.

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 another state or territory. If you are not sure check what the fine says.

Getting a fine in Victoria

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.

Getting a fine in New South Wales

In NSW police can give you an on-the-spot fine of $1000 if you do not follow public health orders (rules) and can fine you another $5,500 for each day that you do not follow the rules.

If you are charged, a court can fine you up to $11,000 or you could be jailed for six months. 

If you get a fine in NSW you have the option to:

  • pay the fine by the due date
  • agree to pay the fine but ask for more time to pay or ask to pay in instalments (part-payments)
  • Apply for a work and development order.

See COVID-19: public health orders – what do I need to know? produced by Legal Aid NSW for information about what to do and where to get help if you get a fine in NSW or call LawAccess on 1300 888 529.

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. If you are granted a permit to cross the border you must follow all public health rules in Victoria and any conditions (rules) listed on your permit. 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 complaintGet 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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