16 August 2021 / COVID-19

Queensland-NSW Border Zone Measures Tightened

Current Status

Queensland closed its border to all of New South Wales as of 1am, Friday 23 July. A border zone was established to enable movement between the states of Queensland and New South Wales for residents who live near the border.

However, Queensland has responded to NSW's recent state-wide lockdown by further limiting reasons to cross the border.

Please read the below update if you reside or are intending to transit within the border zone.

Border zone

The border zone is an area in New South Wales that contains the following LGAs. These LGAs are now all under NSW's state-wide lockdown restrictions. Review the map for more detail.


NSW Border Zone LGA NSW Border Zone LGA Border Zone LGA 
BallinaGwydirTenterfield
BourkeInverellTweed
Brewarrina KyogleUnincorporated Far West
Bryon LismoreWalgett
Clarence Valley Moree Plains 
Glen Innes SevernRichmond Valley


Permitted reasons

Under the new rules, those wishing to cross the border for work will only be permitted for essential / critical reasons, which only includes work that is urgently required:

  • for safety reasons
  • for emergency repairs
  • which is necessary to maintain essential services and supplies to the community, or part of the community

It includes work performed by a tradesperson or construction worker for essential or emergency construction / repairs only.

It does not include work performed by commercial construction workers on non-critical projects.

Evidence of essential worker status (endorsed by the Chief Health Officer) is required.

New South Wales border zone residents

If you have not been outside the border zone (i.e. in other parts of NSW), you may enter Queensland to:

  • get essential goods or services you can't get in New South Wales
  • get medical care or supplies including a scheduled COVID-19 vaccination, which you can't get in New South Wales
  • perform essential work (see below)
  • attend school or childcare (children of essential workers and vulnerable children only)
  • provide help, care or support to a family member
  • fulfill parenting arrangements and other access between children / parents / sublings
  • in the event of an emergency situation

You must only remain in Queensland for the time it takes to complete the essential purpose.

Queensland residents

Reconsider all travel to New South Wales.

If you travel to the border zone within New South Wales, you must follow stay-at-home requirements when you return to Queensland.

The only reasons you can travel within the New South Wales border zone, are to:

  • get essential goods or services you can't get in Queensland
  • get medical care or supplies you can’t get in Queensland
  • perform essential work (see below)
  • attend school or childcare (children of essential workers and vulnerable children only)
  • provide help, care or support to a family member or fulfil other caring responsibilities
  • fulfill parenting arrangements and other access between children / parents / sublings
  • in the event of an emergency situation

If you travel to the border zone within New South Wales for any other reason you are required to return to Queensland via air and quarantine for 14 days in government nominated accommodation.

Essential workers list

Queensland has provided the following list of essential workers:

  • a medical practitioner or other prescribed health practitioner (including at residential aged care facilities, disability accommodation services and aged care or NDIS supports provided to a person’s home)
  • an emergency health services or emergency services worker
  • national defence, state security or police worker
  • a freight or logistics operator
  • an emergency infrastructure worker
  • air crew or maritime crew
  • a disaster management worker
  • a critical infrastructure worker
  • a tradesperson or construction worker for essential or emergency construction or repairs only
  • an emergency volunteer, volunteering for any community or government welfare, social, safety, emergency or disaster service.

Essential workers do not include:

  • teachers
  • anyone who can perform their work remotely, at home
  • childcare workers
  • hospitality workers
  • sales representatives
  • commercial construction workers on non-critical projects

Frequently asked questions

I am a NSW resident who lives in the border zone, can I go to my construction site or office in Queensland? 

No. General construction work is not considered essential. Only emergency or essential work (endorsed by the Chief Health Officer) is permitted. Office workers must work from home.

Please get in touch if you need help with looking into whether an exemption can be requested. Note, these are only provided in very limited circumstances for genuine essential reasons.

I am a Queensland resident, can I go to my construction site or office in New South Wales?

No. General construction work is not considered essential. Only emergency or essential work (endorsed by the Chief Health Officer) is permitted. Office workers must work from home.

Please get in touch if you need help with looking into whether an exemption can be requested. Note, these are only provided in very limited circumstances for genuine essential reasons.

How is the Queensland Government enforcing these new rules?

The Police have set up a heavier presence along the border and will be stopping every vehicle to request evidence of essential reasons. For emergency or essential construction work, this includes an exemption (endorsed by the Chief Health Officer) and a quarantine management plan.

We have had reports of Hutchies' employees being turned away at the border this morning.

I have an essential reason to cross the border. Do I need a border pass to enter Queensland after travelling within the NSW border zone?

Yes. Please complete the X Pass if you are a New South Wales border zone resident entering Queensland for an essential purpose or a Queensland resident who entered the New South Wales border zone for an essential purpose and is re-entering Queensland.

A border pass is valid for 14 days from the date you complete it.

You will also need to provide evidence relating to the essential reason.

I have an essential reason to cross the border. Do I need a border pass to enter New South Wales from Queensland?

Yes. If travelling to the border zone from Queensland for essential work, you’ll need to complete the NSW entry declaration within 24 hours of entry, each time you enter NSW, but not more than once every 72 hours (3 days).

What happens if I travel south beyond the border zone?

If you are a New South Wales border zone resident, you will not be permitted to enter Queensland until 14 days passes since you were last there. If you are a Queensland resident, you will be required to undertake 14 days of hotel quarantine if you need to return to the state, unless it has been 14+ days since you were last there.

Do I need to provide proof that I am a Queensland resident or a NSW border zone resident? 

Yes. You will need to provide a valid border pass and evidence (e.g. driver's licence) that you are either a Queensland resident or a New South Wales border zone resident. You will also need to provide evidence relating to the essential reason.

I am a Queensland resident and I would like to enter the NSW border zone to go to the beach. Recreational reasons for entering the border zone are not permitted.

I am a Queensland resident, but I don't live near the Gold Coast. Can I still enter the NSW border zone for an essential reason? 

If you have an essential reason, Queensland residents can enter the border zone, regardless of where they live in Queensland. However it must be for an essential purpose with the required evidence. You must also carry ID and a valid border pass.

I am a NSW resident, I live in the NSW border zone and I suddenly need to go to Far North Queensland, is this allowed? 

If you have an essential reason, you can enter Queensland and go anywhere in Queensland as a NSW border zone resident provided have evidence of the essential reason, you have a valid border pass and you have ID showing your border zone address.

I am a NSW resident who lives in Greater Sydney. I wish to go to Queensland. Can I go to the NSW border zone, wait it out for 14 days and then enter Queensland?  

No. The border zone is intended to enable the movement of residents within the border zone for day-to-day activities. People staying temporarily in the border zone are not considered border zone residents. Evidence of residence in the border zone must be provided to authorities.

I am a Queensland resident who is currently in Greater Sydney. I need to return to Queensland, can I do so?

Yes, but whilst Queensland is closed to New South Wales, you will be required to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at your own expense. If you are faced with this situation, please contact us for assistance. 

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