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Cross border travel

Current as of 24 October 2020.

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. If you are travelling to SA having been in an overseas jurisdiction in the last 14 days, unless you are transiting through to another State or Territory, you will be directed to quarantine at a place determined by an authorised officer for a 14 day period commencing on the date of arrival in Australia.

Travellers arriving directly from New Zealand without being in any other overseas location are now permitted to enter South Australia without the requirement of a 14 day quarantine period, providing they have not entered Victoria within the last 14 days.

Note: For families, each individual must complete a separate cross border travel registration form.

All travellers intending to enter SA are required to register their intention to travel. This includes:

  • people entering from unrestricted states (ACT, NT, QLD, TAS, NSW and WA)
  • people entering from New Zealand
  • people relocating and residing in South Australia from Victoria
  • students entering upon completion of the school or tertiary education year from Victoria
  • essential travellers from VIC
  • SA residents returning home from any other state except VIC, regardless of how long they were interstate.

Note: A person can enter South Australia in a vehicle from New South Wales via Victoria if the person travels directly through Victoria without leaving the vehicle and only via the Sturt Highway from Mildura to Yamba or via the Calder Highway and Meridian Road between Abbotsford Bridge and the Sturt Highway and then via the Sturt Highway to Yamba. If you are travelling by road SA at Yamba, after travelling from NSW via Mildura, please do NOT indicate Victoria on the travel application.

Essential traveller status

If you are from VIC and 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, police officers and State Emergency Services 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

A Cross Border Community member is any person who is ordinarily a resident in South Australia at, or near, a South Australian border; or ordinarily a resident in Victoria within 70 km of a South Australian border, and who travels across the border into South Australia from Victoria, or into Victoria from South Australia for any purpose.

A person who enters South Australia from Victoria must not travel outside of the cross border corridor.

This clause does not permit a person who is ordinarily resident in South Australia (at, or near, a South Australian border) to travel outside of the cross border corridor into Victoria.

There is no restriction on the distance travelled within the cross border corridor.

Victorian 70 kms map

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, telecommunications; seasonal workers; and commercial construction or maintenance of critical infrastructure including but not limited to major road, rail or marine projects.

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 cannot remain in South Australia for more than 72 hours.

You cannot remain overnight or for periods longer than one hour in the townships of Coober Pedy, Ceduna or Port Augusta other than to obtain take away food, groceries, petrol or other fuel, or supplies.

You must avoid any non-essential contact with people in South Australia other than to obtain food, petrol or other fuel, or supplies.

You must be able to provide evidence that the end destination will accept your 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

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 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 not be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. South Australians are strongly advised not travel to Victoria.

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.

Some categories of essential travellers will be required to wear a surgical face mask in SA when in contact with the public.

Other permitted travellers from Victoria

SAPOL is receiving a high volume of Cross Border Travel Registrations from people relocating to South Australia from Victoria and students returning home to South Australia from Victoria and we wish to advise that assessment of these applications may take longer than 72 hours.

People relocating and residing in South Australia from Victoria, students entering upon completion of the school or tertiary education year from Victoria and those escaping domestic violence or providing support to a family members who is experience domestic violence are permitted to enter South Australia from Victoria.

You will need to attach documentary evidence in your Cross Border Travel Registration that meets the following criteria:

Relocating to South Australia from Victoria

A person may enter South Australia from Victoria, if an authorised officer is satisfied:

  • the entry is for the purpose for the person genuinely relocating to reside in South Australia;
  • the person has not previously entered South Australia under this clause;
  • the person was in Victoria before 29 July 2020; and
  • the person has not travelled to Victoria from South Australia after 29 July 2020.

Upon arrival the person must reside and remain, quarantined and segregated from other persons, at a place determined by an authorised officer commencing on the date of their arrival in South Australia for 14 days not counting the day of arrival.

Note –

A person may only enter SA for the purpose of relocation under this clause once and MUST NOT TRAVEL until the person has received:

  • a written approval to travel, AND
  • formal written advice specifying the travel and quarantine arrangements.

A person may be approved by an authorised officer to self-quarantine at a suitable place or in supervised quarantine at a specified hotel.

A person must only travel once written advice is received detailing the travel and quarantine requirements; otherwise they will not be permitted to enter SA and will need to make their own personal arrangements whilst remaining in Victoria at their own expense until they are permitted to travel.

To relocate to South Australia, you must gain approval prior to travel and you must provide sufficient evidence that you are genuinely relocating.

i.e. residential lease or mortgage, including residential aged care facility arrangements, for a period greater than 6 months or statutory declaration from a family member providing accommodation.  This does not include short term holiday accommodation.

Students

Students entering South Australia upon completion of the school or tertiary education year from Victoria must gain approval prior and provide sufficient evidence that you are student in Victoria and details of your accommodation whilst in South Australia.

Domestic violence

A person can enter South Australia for the purpose of escaping domestic violence or providing support to a family member who is experiencing domestic violence; or

where the entry is reasonably necessary for the purpose of dealing with circumstances arising out of domestic violence, if the person resides and remains, quarantined and segregated from other persons, at a place determined by an authorised officer commencing on the date of their arrival in South Australia for 14 days not counting the day of arrival; or

Evidence such as a copy of a recognised DVO may be required.

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

Only essential travellers are permitted to travel to SA from VIC. Checkpoints or road blocks have been set up at all border crossings between SA and VIC.

Essential 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.

The only road that can be used by non-essential travellers is Sturt Highway, Yamba if:

  • arriving from NSW, or
  • you have a SA Health exemption with this entry point at the border included in your exemption letter.

A checkpoint has also been set up at Adelaide Airport for all air arrivals.

At the SA checkpoint you will need photo id and:

  • provide your online Essential Traveller number (ET00000000) to the Authorised officer, or
  • if you can’t provide your Essential Traveller number, provide your details to the Authorised officer so that they can verify your online application and issue you with an ‘interim status’ assessment, or
  • if not done prior to arrival, complete the online registration form at the checkpoint. If your travel is assessed as essential, the Authorised officer will issue you with an ‘interim status’ approval.

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

Testing of arrivals

A person who is in quarantine and refuses a COVID-19 test must remain in quarantine for an additional 10 day period and includes other persons quarantining with that person.

A person under the age of 16 years who is required to remain quarantined at a place determined by an authorised officer (international or Victorian arrival) is required to submit a COVID-19 test on Day 1 and 12. If the child refuses or fails to submit to a test, the child must remain in quarantine for an additional 10 days (including carer).

COVID-19 testing requirements for people entering from VIC

Victorian 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) 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.

Registration

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 from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS, NSW, WA and New Zealand
  • approved traveller from Victoria
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days and submit for testing
  • 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.

Assessment

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, NSW and WA, including transiting through Sydney and Canberra airports provided a person does not leave the airport terminal.
  • 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 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

If you are travelling by road SA at Yamba, after travelling from NSW via Mildura, please do NOT indicate Victoria on the travel application.

Important information to read before filling out this form if you want to relocate to SA from Victoria.

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 https://www.police.sa.gov.au/border-form.

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.