The Victorian Border Crossing Permit Directions (No 26) has been published which formalises the arrangements for the Victorian travel permit system announced on Monday. The key changes relevant for Cross Border communities are in Clause 8, and in particular from page 23 it indicates the eligibility for the “Cross border extreme risk zone”.
The Information for cross-border communities has been updated to reflect these changes and answers a range of Frequently Asked Questions. In particular it confirms that:
If you live in a local government area in the NSW-Victoria cross-border area, you can enter (or return home to) Victoria without a permit, provided:
- you are travelling for one of the permitted reasons (see below)
- you have not been in an extreme risk zone or red zone outside of the cross-border area at any time since it came into effect over the last 14 days
- if you have been in an orange zone outside of the cross-border area at any time since it came into effect over the last 14 days, you have been tested for COVID-19 and received a negative result since leaving the orange zone
- you have not been to an exposure site
- you don’t have COVID-19 or have any symptoms, and you are not a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case
- you carry proof of address (such as a driver licence)
- If these conditions are not met, you aren’t eligible for the border bubble permit exception. That means you must apply for a Specified Worker Permit or Transit Permit (if eligible) or apply for an exemption or be an excepted person.
Permitted reasons for travel: Residents in the Victoria-NSW border bubble can only enter (or return home to) Victoria without a permit if they are travelling for one of the following permitted reasons:
- Necessary goods and services, including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test
- Care and compassionate reasons
- Paid or voluntary work (including for charitable and religious purposes)
- Education (including childcare and early childhood services)
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccination
- Sport and exercise at a sporting club or at a sport or physical recreation facility (excluding alpine resorts)
- Visiting an intimate partner
- Moving house, inspecting a property or attending an auction
- Driving someone who cannot drive themselves for one of the above reasons
- Travelling between places in Victoria where it is easier to travel through NSW
- People crossing the border to enter Victoria for one of the permitted reasons must also not travel further than reasonably necessary to undertake essential activities.
These permitted reasons also apply to Victorian border bubble residents who plan to enter New South Wales and return to Victoria. They will need to have observed the permitted reasons for travel while in New South Wales if they wish to return to Victoria without a permit.
If a NSW border bubble resident enters Victoria for a non-permitted reason – or a Victorian border bubble resident has travelled to NSW for a non-permitted reason and wishes to return to Victoria – they aren’t eligible for the border bubble permit exception.
Once you are in Victoria, you must follow current restrictions in Victoria.
If you enter without a valid permit, exemption or exception, you can be subject to a fine of up to $5,452.
Conditions for specified workers are still addressed in Clause 11. Further information for specified workers is available here https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/travellers-eligible-to-apply-for-specified-worker-permit
Exceptions are addressed in Clause 13. Further information on Exceptions and Exemptions is available here https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/travel-permit-exceptions-and-exemptions
Summary information on the Victorian Travel Permit system is available here https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/victorian-travel-permit-system