Border closure: flights from Victoria to NSW are now ‘international’

Flying from Melbourne to Sydney? You'll now arrive at the international terminal, and be taken into mandatory hotel quarantine.

By Chris Chamberlin , August 7 2020
Border closure: flights from Victoria to NSW are now ‘international’

Flights from Victoria to New South Wales are now being handled as ‘international’ arrivals at Sydney Airport, with passengers entering NSW from the COVID-19 hotspot being bundled into 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine, alongside those arriving into Australia from overseas.

While flights depart from domestic terminals in Melbourne and at other airports across Victoria, Sydney is the only NSW airport still accepting flights from Victoria – and when those flights land, the aircraft won’t call at Sydney’s domestic terminal: it’ll arrive at the T1 international terminal.

Here, travellers will undergo identity checks, other processing not unlike an international arrival, and “a robust health screening process,” NSW Health confirms, although passports aren't required (a driver's licence will suffice) and of course, there's no duty free shopping.

From the arrivals hall at Sydney Airport, travellers will be ushered straight into mandatory hotel quarantine, the cost of which will be payable by the individual.

“I realise this may be difficult for some people, but the changing situation in Victoria means we must exercise extreme caution,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said of the new restrictions.

“The health of our citizens and economy must be protected – and the health advice says this is the best way to do it."

The changes come as New South Wales toughens other travel arrangements between its own state and Victoria, some of which include placing further limits on exemptions for Victorian residents to cross state lines.

Prior to COVID-19, Sydney-Melbourne (and return) was the world’s third busiest air route with over nine million passengers making the journey each year, and some airlines offering departures every 15 minutes during peak times to handle what was previously the significant volume of travellers.

This weekend, Queensland is also closing its borders to travellers from NSW and the ACT – building on an existing ban on visitors from Greater Sydney and Victoria – with QLD residents returning from these three states and territories also ushered into mandatory hotel quarantine upon their return.

Also read: New Zealand travel bubble "on the backburner", may not open until 2021

Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller, and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins not just with a single step, but also a strong latte, a theatre ticket, and later in the day, a good gin and tonic.

07 May 2020

Total posts 46

A lucrative new business for NSW government. Medi Hotel Vacations.

05 Mar 2012

Total posts 10

I've been curious how it would work if you need to fly MEL-SYD-SFO? Having elderly parents in America, and living in MEL, I've been concerned on how I would get to the US if needed, especially since flight timings mean an overnight in SYD. Other than the 2 travel permits I'd need (MEL to SYD, and Aus Exit), any insights as how "int'l transit passengers" would be handled? Mandatory one night in hotel? Would this be treated as "int'l transit passenger" and one would be sent down the transit corridor (again interesting as 1 ticket would be QF and the other would be UA).

Small chance they might show some compassion, but they've tightened the restrictions even more from people transiting from Victoria. Prepare to be swabbed by a nurse at least.

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 578

Saw this scenario on the news last night. Basically you get escorted to the hotel when you arrive off your domestic flight, then when the time comes to go back to international you are allowed out and are escorted back to international to leave.

22 May 2011

Total posts 68

Do those driving over the border with permit also have to do mandatory 14 day hotel?

AJW
AJW

16 Nov 2011

Total posts 578

All previously issued permits become void. This has caused a lot of issues for ACT residents as they can now no longer drive into NSW and up to Canberra where they would have done their isolation. Instead they are being told to go back to Melbourne fly direct to Canberra. Never mind they had permits that outlined how they were meant to behave in NSW and god only knows what happens to their vehicles.

The only permits to be issued now are for border town residents where isolation is not required.

21 Mar 2017

Total posts 1

From what I can gather: No - BUT - their permit only allows them to remain within the border community on the NSW side for the permitted reason stated in their permit application.

Remember to bring your passports Victorians.

30 Jun 2020

Total posts 2

This is more tragic then the virus itself.

Europe manages it well. Look at the UK, it just reported strong economic numbers in jobs, stocks and housing market because it let its citizens to go freely back to their business after the initial peak, just wear a mask and don't touch other people you don't see regularly. The added bonus now being how well people respond to treatment who have gone to hospital, which has also fallen sharply.

I am worried for Australia, very worried. It's the only western country going down this shutdown path while other countries are doing their best to open borders and remove restrictions and have seen virus cases plateau and decrease (other than US of course).

I think it's my frustration talking but from what I've read and researched it just seems utterly unnecessary for these measures to be implemented.

UK & Europe most likely going to have a second wave as a consequence.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Nov 2014

Total posts 357

They are already experiencing it.

But even with our lockdown, we have to ask a question, what next? Assume Victoria's lockdown is successful and we have virtually no community new cases (but no doubt there will still be some undetected unless you screen every single one and assume there is no false negatives), then should we ease restrictions? Or should we remain lockdown? If we ease restriction, can we guarantee that there won't be a 3rd wave? (Those undetected case will come out and spread the virus. Hotel security may continue to breach the quarantine...etc) then we start to see the 3rd wave. What then? Lockdown again? When will it end?

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

Michael the lockdowns are eased when numbers are low enough to be easily traced and isolated such as ACT, NT, SA, Tas and QLD. That number seems to be around less than 10 per day but I think they prefer less than 5.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

Doberman there are increasing travel restrictions and various forms of lockdown across many western countries as there are flare ups in many places and city level lockdowns like Melbourne. There are an increasing number of do not travel and self quarantine on return as well as local lockdowns across the world.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

Doberman the UK just posted their worst performance ever.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

09 Aug 2016

Total posts 19

Just another 2020 story that 12 months ago would have seemed unthinkable, but six month into this chaos barely raises an eyebrow...

07 May 2020

Total posts 46

Dwelling in hope of a vaccinated future is easier than confronting the reality, which is that this virus is never going to disappear.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

GoRobin you are right in that the virus will never disappear but like most, if not all, it will be managed with anti-Retrovirals plus a range of vaccines with variable efficacy, but like the flu shot will more likely be at least once a year if not more frequently. For example had two flu shots this year, but due to social distancing probably didn't need them. They don't know how long the antibioties last in the system or how good they are. When that is known things may get a bit more manageable but until then restrictions on travel will abound.

03 Jan 2012

Total posts 95

Doberman, you're absolutely correct. Australia has gone nuts over a virus that is basically harmless to greter than 99% of the Australian population. Never in human history has a society attempted to "defeat" a virus by imposing mass quarantine on its healthy citizens. This can only end in total disaster for both Australia and NZ who are now 100% reliant on the discovery of a Vaccine by an overseas Nation. Based on current lockdown Policy, if a vaccine is not discovered (by USA, UK or God-forbid Russia or Chine), then Oz and NZ will NEVER re-open their borders. NEVER. This madness needs to stop, the virus needs to be allowed to spread through the population who will not be harmed (basically anyone certainly under 30, most under 60) whilst doing our best to protect the very elderly who are actually at risk of harm. Some deaths are innevitable, but that's a smaller price to pay tham what is to come through implementation of the folly of Lockdown. It is total and utter madness.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

521303 not sure where you got the data from that it is harmless to 99% of the population. Anyone can catch it and for a good proportion of them it can be very debilitating with long term chronic effects. Not sure where you get the idea of mass quarantine from there are some sensible public health requirements as there are for many infectious diseases as there are in many other countries. Not sure why you are so certain the Queensland uni vaccine is a dud. So far the trials have been positive. Letting COVID run through the population will lead to a lot of long term chronically ill people and an overload of the health system to virtually guarantee greater deaths from all sorts of things. It is not about a vaccine which probably will only partially work but ant-Retrovirals plus more accurate tests. Then we can travel some more but massive rave parties may be a thing of the past

07 May 2020

Total posts 46

patrickk. Dream on...!

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

Go Robin not sure which bit I am dreaming about. Most is from fairly commonly available evidence.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 942

Go Robin see this article and also touches on rapid tests
Nobel Prize-winning immunologist says COVID-19 vaccine ‘very, very likely' within a year

07 May 2020

Total posts 46

521303 I agree.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 79

Everyone - breath in, breath out, but do it carefully and preferably with a mask...you don't know where I have been...

Having flown the reverse trip from SYD to MEL (pre COVID) from the international airport on a 747 with time in the F lounge, relaxing, enjoying good food, wine and company before travelling, ahhhhh...    actually must be just made up memories from a distant past that could never have existed...:)

Travel safely everyone, stick a mask on y'dial for everyone's sake and let the epidemiologists worry about the spread of COVID-SARS-II, our job is to make sure the pilot light doesn't flare up and go 'boooom' .


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