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Cross border travel

If you are planning travel to SA, aim to complete the cross border travel registration form at least 14 days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins.

All travellers intending to enter SA should register. This includes:

  • people entering from unrestricted states (ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • people entering from permissible states (NSW)
  • essential travellers
  • SA residents returning home from any other state except VIC, regardless of how long they were interstate.

Essential traveller status

If your reason for travel is for one of the following categories, your travel maybe assessed as essential.  You will need to attach documentary evidence in your cross border travel registration application that meets the following criteria.

National and state security and governance

Includes a person who in the conduct of their duties is involved in the protection of Australia or South Australia from threats or foreign interference; active military and Defence Department personnel; and a South Australian member of Parliament of the Commonwealth or a member of their staff.

A letter detailing why the person is physically required to be present in South Australia with written approval of their manager (being of an executive level or higher) or an officer of a military or defence organisation.

Emergency service workers

Includes fire fighters, paramedics, ambulance officers and police officers.

Approval is required from SA Health if the travel is not part of duties eg emergency situation, identification and letter stating you are required to be physically present in South Australia in the conduct of their duties or left South Australia in the conduct of their duties and are returning to South Australia having conducted those duties.

Commercial transport and freight services

Includes people who provide transport or freight services into, within and out of South Australia on a commercial basis and includes any crew on such services.

Letter from employer stating the duties required to be undertaken and details of the locations, ABN number and includes the employees name and address.

Remote and isolated workers

Includes people who travel for work purposes to locations that are remote or geographically isolated.

Letter from employer stating the duties required to be undertaken and details of the locations, ABN number and includes the employees name and address.

Cross Border Community Member

Includes people who live at or near a South Australian border.

Identification that shows address or if applicable evidence of employment or education; or providing care and support to, or receiving care and support from, another person; or obtaining food, petrol or other fuel or medical care or supplies.

Health Services

Includes people who assist in the provision of health services.

Approval letter is required from the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

Specialist workers in essential sectors

Includes people who work in mining, oil, gas, energy, water, agriculture, primary industries and telecommunications or seasonal workers.

Letter detailing that the person is required to conduct a service that is time critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in South Australia.

PLEASE NOTE: Essential sectors with the need for individual specialist workers to enter and exit South Australia need to have Workplace Risk Mitigation strategies for COVID-19. For more information on Workplace Risk Mitigation plans, see here.

Urgent medical, dental or health treatment

Includes people receiving treatment or a person providing care and support.

Approval letter from the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

Passing through

Includes people passing through the State to enter another jurisdiction.

You must be able to provide proof that the end destination will accept you, Itinerary documentation, bookings etc.

Compassionate grounds

Includes people visiting a critically or terminally ill immediate family member; providing end of life support for an immediate family member in a residential aged care facility or attending the funeral of an immediate family member.

Approval letter from the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

Exemption provided by SA Health

PLEASE NOTE: this category is only to be selected when you have already received an approval from SA Health which does not relate to Health Services or Urgent Medical, Dental or Health Treatment.  The written approval from SA Health must be attached to this application.

Foreign diplomatic or consular staff

Identification of foreign diplomatic or consular staff accreditation and letter stating official duties planned to be conducted in South Australia.

If you are an essential traveller, you will need to provide evidence in your cross border travel registration form.

As at 12:01 am Friday 28 August 2020 the Essential Traveller category Cross Border Community Members will change for persons arriving in South Australia from Victoria (within 40 km of the border) and extend to:

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

A person who has an existing hard copy Cross Border Community Member approval is required now to lodge an online application.

If you already have a Cross Border Community Member exemption and your circumstance has not changed, you do not need to complete a new cross border travel registration form.

If you do not meet criteria of an Essential Traveller you will no longer be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. South Australians are strongly advised not travel to Victoria.

This not only applies to Victorian residents coming into South Australia for work, shopping, school etc, but to South Australians who travel to Victoria for such activities.

South Australian residents are strongly encouraged to apply and receive approval prior to travel. If a South Australian resident leaves the State and travels to Victoria without an Essential Traveller status, they will not be permitted to return.

Make sure when applying for Essential Traveller Status you will need documentary evidence and a good description of why you need to cross the border. This will assist police in reviewing your application.

If you are entering from NSW you cannot travel further than 50 kilometres over the border into SA.

If you are entering from VIC you cannot travel further than 40 kilometres over the border into SA.

Some essential travellers including cross border community members will be required to wear a surgical face mask in SA when in contact with the public.

Exemption information for travel into South Australia

An exemption from SA Health is required to support the Cross Border Travel application for urgent medical, surgical or dental treatment, compassionate grounds and health care workers required to undertake work on behalf of SA Health.

From 1 September 2020, people wishing to make an application under these Essential Traveller categories, must request an exemption via the Health Exemptions online request application.

An Exemptions Panel led by the Chief Public Health Officer and authorised officers, meets regularly to consider the exemption requests. Your Cross Border Travel application cannot proceed for these categories until you have written approval from SA Health.

The Health Exemption request application, with supporting evidence to support your request, should be submitted to the Exemptions Team as soon as possible and before you apply for a Cross Border Travel Registration from SA Police.

For more information, visit the essential traveller health exemption webpage.

Submit your SA health essential traveller exemption application

At the border

There are checkpoints at roads leading into SA from NSW and VIC, and at Adelaide airport.

No travellers from VIC other than essential travellers are permitted to travel to SA. Checkpoints or road blocks will be set up at all border crossings between SA and VIC.

Travellers must enter SA by one of these roads

Sturt Highway, Yamba
Wentworth Road, Renmark
Mallee Highway, Pinnaroo
Dukes Highway, Wolseley
High Street, Frances (which terminates at Minimay—Frances Road, Frances)
Wimmera Highway, Laurie Park
Edenhope Road, Wrattonbully
Casterton Road, Penola
Glenelg Highway, Myora
Princes Highway, Glenburnie
Glenelg River Road, Donovans/Nelson
Lindsay Point Road—Lacey Avenue, Murtho
Summerton Road—Mulcra Road (becomes Panitya North Road), Pinnaroo
Wolseley Road—Serviceton North Road, Wolseley
Binnum—Benayeo Road, Binnum
Shepherds Road—Kybybolite Road, Kybyolite
Langkoop Road—Casterton-Naracoorte Road, Koppamurra
Derghom Road—Dorodong Road, Penola
Mingbool Road, Pleasant Park
Caroline Road, Caroline
Dry Creek Road, Caroline.

At the SA checkpoint you will need photo id and:

  • provide your online Essential Traveller number (ET00000000) to the police officer, or
  • if you can’t provide your Essential Traveller number, provide your details to the police officer so that they can verify your online application and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment, or
  • complete the online registration form at the checkpoint and the police officer will issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment.

All traveller arrivals will be registered on police systems to allow compliance checking of self-quarantine requirements if required.

Testing of arrivals

COVID-19 testing requirements for people entering from NSW/VIC

All non-essential travellers from NSW are required to have a COVID-19 test on day 1 and day 12 upon entry into SA, and must remain in self-quarantine at a suitable place for 14 days. Self-quarantine requires  a person to reside and remain in that place segregated from other persons. Where a person self-quarantines in short term accommodation, the person must inform the owner or operator of the accommodation that they are self-quarantining.

Essential travellers in categories defined as commercial transport and freight, remote and isolated workers or cross border community members who are approved to enter SA must obtain a test as soon as practicable within seven days of entering SA, but can still travel across the border into SA once within this period. They must produce evidence of having a COVID-19 test, or a COVID-19 test result, that is not more than seven days old, upon request from an Authorised Officer (eg SA Police Officer). Self-quarantine restrictions may still apply.

All other essential travellers (other than those mentioned above or passing through) are required to have the mandatory COVID-19 testing on day 1 and 12 of entry into SA.

For more information visit the cross-border travel page.

You can use the referral form you received at the border to attend a drive-through testing clinic.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must self-quarantine while waiting for test results.

Online application

A person must not make a statement on an application or upon arrival that is false or misleading, or refuse or fail to answer questions asked by an authorised officer  or a person responsible for assisting in the administration of cross border travel.


SAPOL will assess each application to determine a traveller’s status.

Your application will be assessed to determine whether you are:

  • able to travel without restriction (ie travellers arriving directly from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA, including those who have transited through Sydney airport but not left the airport terminal)
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days and submit for testing (including people arriving directly from  NSW)
  • an essential traveller, with or without self-quarantine restrictions
  • unable to enter SA.

When completing the cross border travel application, you are requested to provide as much detail as possible in the short description of why you are travelling. If you are a specialist worker, transport, or entering for compassionate grounds, include a summary of:

  • who you work for, or the business ABN details or person you are visiting
  • why you are entering the state
  • how long you will be in the state and whether you will return often.

If you are unable to complete the online cross border travel registration form you can still proceed to the border and a police officer will assist.  The border process will be significantly faster if your details have been entered before you arrive and an assessment has been made. 

However, travellers from VIC should be aware that unless they are essential travellers they will not be permitted to enter SA.


Once your application has been processed you will receive an email with:

1. A pre-approval Essential Traveller number (ET00000000) that you will need to take with you to the border.

2. A determination of your application, which may include the following conditions:

  • A ‘single status’ or ‘ongoing status’ approval
  • Able to travel without restriction - including people arriving from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA, including transiting through Sydney and Canberra airports provided a person does not leave the airport terminal.
  • If you are non-essential traveller and you are planning to travel through NSW to get to SA you will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • If you are a non-essential traveller and you are planning to travel from VIC to SA, you will not be permitted to enter SA. If you travel into SA by plane and are assessed as being prohibited from entering, you will be returned to VIC.
  • An essential traveller from NSW or VIC will be able to travel, with or without self-quarantine restrictions.
  • Self-quarantine requirements include residing and remaining at a suitable place, segregated from other persons following arrival for 14 days.

In some circumstances, your application may be declined.

Instructional video

Video - Online cross border travel registration form instructions

If you need to speak to someone about your travel

Phone the SA Information Line on 1800 253 787.

Fill out your cross border travel registration form

Frequently asked questions - Pre-approved process

How do I apply to get a pre-approval to cross the border

The pre-approval process can be accessed via the South Australia Police website at

Do I need anything before I start the application

Yes. If you want to apply for an Essential Traveller status then you will need to provide evidence. Examples of evidence for each category can be found here

You will also need to provide details in the short description of why you are travelling, if you are an essential skills worker, transport or entering for compassionate grounds. Things to include the business you work for, reasons for visiting, a summary of why you need to enter the state as an essential traveller and if necessary how often you will be travelling to the state.

Note: For essential traveller categories that require a health exemption, you are advised to submit your travel application with your approval letter or email from SA Health. If you submit your cross border travel application to SA Police without the SA Health approval, you may not be able to enter at the border.

What should I write in the short description of why you meet the selected criteria box

It is important that people assessing applications know why you are entering the state. Although the description only needs to be short, include a summary of the business or who you are visiting, why you are entering the state, how long you will be in the state and whether you will return often.

Who is managing the pre-approval process and how long until I receive my approval

A dedicated team of SAPOL staff will assess your application.

We have received an unprecedented number of Cross Border Travel Registrations.

Consequently, we are currently experiencing a delay in application processing times, and wish to advise that all Cross Border Travel Registrations will be processed as quickly as possible.

If you have already completed the Cross Border Travel Registration, please commence your travel plans to South Australia and have all relevant documentation available to present to SA Police.

Note: If you are a Victorian traveller, it would be advised to receive your approval prior to travel to the border as you may not be permitted to travel into South Australia. Please consider applying as early as possible.

On arrival in South Australia, travellers will be processed by SA Police to verify identification and their purpose of travel.

Note: If a health exemption is required for your travel, pre-approval, you should have pre-approval or entry to SA may not be permitted.

Do I have to apply for pre-approval before arriving at a border

No. Travellers can still travel without pre-approval but they will complete the process at the border with police officers.

Note: Victorian travellers should have a pre-approval otherwise their entry into SA may not be permitted.

Note: If a health exemption is required for your travel, pre-approval, you should have pre-approval or entry to SA may not be permitted.

If I have my pre-approval do I still have to stop at the border

Yes. Your pre-approval will make the process faster, but police will still check your pre-approval receipt number and status at the border.

What if I have applied but did not get the pre-approval receipt number in time

Police on the borders will still be able to assess your situation and determine your status.

Note: If a health exemption is required for your travel, pre-approval, you should have pre-approval or entry to SA may not be permitted.

What if I don't have the pre-approval receipt number with me when I cross the border

Police can access your application at the border using your name and ID/Driver’s licence,

If I am travelling with multiple people, do we all need to apply for pre-approval

All individuals need to apply for pre-approval, there are no joint applications.

If I have to cross the border regularly, do I have to do this application every time

Essential travellers of certain categories may be given an approval receipt number which can be used for a period of time. This will be on a case by case basis

What if I have a South Australian driver's licence and live in the state

Everyone entering South Australia, even residents will need to complete the pre-approval process or apply for a status when they arrive at the border.

What if my application gets declined

If your application is declined you may receive an email asking for more information, this can include documentation or adding to your description information about why you want to enter South Australia.