COVID-19 Media Releases

Update 17 February 2021 - Victorian related travel restrictions

Key information for NSW Southern Border communities related to travel and stay at home orders.

New South Wales:

  • The five-day stay at home order for people who have been in Victoria will expire tonight.
  • The existing declaration system is still in place. We will provide updated advice on any changes as soon as it is available
  • People who have been in Victoria should monitor the Victorian Department of Health website for updated information
  • 16 years and over travelling into NSW from Victoria by rail or air will need to complete a traveller self-declaration form before you enter NSW (or when you enter NSW) and carry the completed form with them and show it to an enforcement officer if asked

Victoria: The Victorian Premier announced today restrictions will ease from 11:59pm 17 February 2021. The summary of events is available here for your information.

South Australia: Will reopen to regional Victoria from midnight tonight, but SA is maintaining a hard border with Greater Melbourne. That will only be lifted after 14 days of no community transmission in Victoria, and currently that would be on February 25. This will allow for transit between NSW and SA via the Sturt Hwy.

Australia's COVID-19 vaccine national roll-out strategy

Australia’s COVID-19 Vaccine National Roll-out Strategy tells you:

  • who will get the vaccine first
  • how vaccines will be provided to the first priority groups
  • where vaccines will be available.

Priority first groups include:

  • Frontline at-risk health care workers, including staff in GP respiratory clinics and COVID-19 testing facilities, ambulance staff, paramedics, ICU and emergency department staff, and clinical and ancillary support staff
  • quarantine and border workers
  • residential aged and disability care residents
  • residential aged care and disability care workers.

Learn more here.

Update 8 February 2021 - Interstate Hotspots

A new public health order was put in place on Friday regarding “affected areas and places of high concern”. The details of which is available here and here.

This means that from 5 February, rules apply to people who:

  • are entering NSW from an affected area
  • have been to a place of high concern during the time period specified in the concerns notice.

If you are 16 years and over and have been in an interstate affected area, you must:

If you have been in an interstate place of high concern within the time specified in a COVID-19 concerns notice, you must not enter NSW unless you are a NSW resident. If you are a returning NSW resident and you have been in a place of high concern at the time specified in a COVID-19 concerns notice, you must:

Victoria: affected areas and case locations

The state of Victoria has been declared an affected area.  

  • Anyone arriving in NSW from an affected area by air or rail must:
    • complete a traveller self-declaration form before entering NSW (or on entry into NSW) and
    • carry it with you to show an enforcement officer if requested.
  • If you have been to any of the places of high concern in Victoria (i.e. Tier 1 exposure sites) on the date and time specified, you should not enter NSW unless you are a NSW resident. If you are in NSW you should:

Update 12 January 2021 - COVID-19 TRAVEL UPDATE FOR VIC-NSW

The Victorian government has introduced a new Victorian Travel Permit System based on traffic lights. This has softened the hard border between Victoria and NSW. For visitors our region is now an orange zone (as is all regional NSW) meaning visitors from Victoria can apply for a re-entry permit to Victoria but must take a have a COVID-19 test & isolate until a negative test result is received.

The existing rules for border community residents (including Snowy Monaro) in NSW and VIC remained unchanged. You are able to travel within the border bubble with your driver's license as proof of address.

NEW border permit system information here:

VIC boarder map 12 JAN 2021

Update 4 January - Calls to COVID-19 triage line

Southern NSW Local Health District (SNSWLHD) is reminding the community that bookings are not required to get a free COVID-19 test at most testing clinics.

While callers can pre-register by calling the 1800 318 248 COVID line, it is not essential.

Pop up testing clinic updateSouth East Regional Hospital will continue to provide a drive through testing clinic Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm and 10am – 3pm on weekends.

The Pambula drive-through pop up clinic will close on Friday 8 January. Pambula Hospital will continue to provide a weekday testing service, 9am – 4pm, by appointment only. To register call 1800 318 248.

For a list of testing clinics in the Southern NSW Local Health District Area go to:

SNSWLHD is urging anyone feeling unwell – even with the mildest of symptoms such as a runny nose, scratchy or sore throat, cough, fever, shortness of breath, headache, tiredness, loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhoea or muscle aches – to self-isolate and seek COVID-19 testing, so that cases in the community are identified as quickly as possible.

To help stop the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you are unwell, get tested and isolate right away – don’t delay.
  • Wash your hands regularly. Take hand sanitiser with you when you go out.
  • Keep your distance. Leave 1.5 metres between yourself and others.

For up-to-date statistics NSW Health

Read more COVID-19 FAQs 

Update 4 January 2021 - Changes to Victoria Boarder Directions 

The Victorian government has issued amendments to their cross border travel directions over the weekend – which can be found in New South Wales Border Crossing Permit Scheme Directions (No 6). A media release on the changes to Agriculture is available here

The main changes are:

  • Section 4 (2) Provides that from 11:59pm 3 January 2021 people travelling to Victoria for work can apply for a border entry permit if they are

(a) an agricultural worker who is required to enter and be physically present in Victoria to provide agricultural services provided under the Agricultural Worker’s Code;

(b) a commercial freight worker who is required to enter and be physically present in Victoria for the purpose of providing commercial freight services;

(c) an essential service worker who is required to enter and be physically present in Victoria for the purpose of providing an essential service.

  • Section 4 (6) clarifies that for cross border community members  you cannot travel beyond the border area into NSW if you still wish to use your licence for cross border travel. The direction is silent on if NSW cross border residents can travel beyond the border region in Victoria and we are seeking clarity on this provision.
  • Section 4 (7) provisions for entry onto the Murray River to allow for a Victorian to be on the river, and to do so with a Cross Border Community Member (CBCMs – those residents of the listed border LGAs), including CBCMs from NSW. However, they cannot board a boat with others from elsewhere in NSW.
  • Section 4 (8) provides that a prohibited person may enter Victoria without a border permit:

(a) to provide, receive or accompany a dependant who is to receive, emergency or essential medical care or other urgent care; or

Example: essential medical care includes medical care requiring continuity of treatment, such as chemotherapy or dialysis treatment.

Example: other urgent care may include essential care for a person with a disability or a dependant of a person, if there are no alternate care arrangements available, but does not include ordinary child-minding services.

(b) to provide or receive emergency services or to ensure the provision of telecommunications, critical infrastructure, essential prevention and recovery from emergencies and essential public services (including emergency workers, healthcare workers, care facility workers and child protection workers).
Update 3 January - COVID-19 TRAVEL UPDATE: BORDER BUBBLE COMMUNITIES including Snowy Monaro

Whilst these measures do not apply to areas outside Greater Sydney (including Wollongong, Central Coast and Blue Mountains), we urge all residents and visitors across the State to practise COVID safe behaviours and get tested even if symptoms are mild.

People are still encouraged to limit non-essential gatherings and reduce their mobility where possible to further minimise the risk of transmission in the community.

  • Anyone who has visited or travelled through the Hot Zone (Northern Beaches or exposure sites) or Red Zone (Greater Sydney or the Central Coast) in the past 14 days is not allowed to enter Victoria.
  • From 12:59am, Friday 1 January 2021 anyone who has visited or travelled through the Blue Mountains or Wollongong since 27 December 2020 or in the past 14 days (whichever is later) is not allowed to enter Victoria.
  • From 11:59pm Friday 1 January 2021, no one may enter Victoria from New South Wales. 
  • From 12:59am, Friday 1 January 2021, all existing permits have been revoked. Any person wanting to enter Victoria after that time and before 11.59pm 1 January 2021 will need to apply for a new green zone permit.

People who live in a border community who have not left the border area in the last 14 days can travel to another border community in the ‘border bubble’ without a permit. This means that anyone who is a resident of a Victorian border community is able to travel to a NSW border community to holiday or work, and residents of Snowy Monaro LGA and other NSW border communities who wish to travel to a Victorian border community can do so.

You must carry valid photo ID showing your current address as evidence that you reside in an exempt border community. Once you have reached your intended border community, you cannot travel out of it unless you are returning home.

The border communities (local government areas) exempt from needing a permit to travel within the border bubble across the two states are as follows:

Alpine Valley, Benalla, Bendigo, Buloke, Campaspe, East Gippsland, Gannawarra, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Shepparton, Swan Hill, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga, Yarriambiack.

Albury City, Balranald, Bega Valley, Berrigan, Broken Hill, Edward River, Federation, Greater Hume, Hay, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valley, Wagga Wagga, Wentworth.

Please monitor the latest official government advice for the most current information

Border Direction:


Border Map JAN 2021
Update 30 December 2020 - 

Hospitality businesses and hairdressers are being reminded to download and use the NSW Government’s Service NSW QR code for registrations, or risk serious penalties, with the new rules taking effect from 1 January, 2021.

Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello said the Government’s Service NSW QR code system is fast, free, accurate and private.

“The consequences of non-compliance and complacency when it comes to electronic record keeping are serious - it puts people’s health at risk and destroys jobs,” Mr Dominello said.

“The feedback we’ve received from contact tracers is that the Service NSW QR code is the most effective system in assisting NSW Health to protect the community.

“Our QR code also prevents the use of fake names as a customer’s personal details are automatically captured via the Service NSW app when they scan their smartphone over the QR code.

“We must be vigilant and cannot rest on our laurels. Businesses are already required to have electronic registrations and this move will strengthen our resilience further.

“Non-compliance is easy to detect and won’t be tolerated. Pursuant to the Public Health Orders you either have the Service NSW QR code or you don’t. There will be no ifs or buts. Penalties include $5,000 on-the-spot fines, followed by a week’s closure and month’s closure if problems continue.

“About 50,000 NSW Government QR codes are being used by businesses and more than 2 million customers having scanned one of our QR codes, with 94 per cent giving it the thumbs up.”

Mr Dominello encouraged customers to download the Service NSW app prior to the new rules taking effect on 1 January, 2021.

“It only takes minutes to do and seconds for businesses to check, which helps keep people safe and the economy open,” Mr Dominello said.

Businesses are also required to ensure that they have sighted the customers’ green tick prior to entry to comply with the orders.

Personal information obtained by businesses will be held securely by the Government and only used by NSW Health in the event of an outbreak. It will be destroyed after 28 days.

Customers without a smartphone will be able to register at businesses via other digital devices, such as an electronic form on a tablet.

The Government will consider expanding the mandate to other industries later in the new year and will keep the community informed.

Update 30 October 2020 -
Masks help our community work and play during the pandemic

Our community continues to work together to keep COVID-19 case numbers low. By continuing to make small changes to our lives like washing hands, keeping our distance and getting tested if we feel unwell, we can keep the virus in check.

Wearing a mask when we can’t distance is another small step each of us can do that can make a big difference throughout the pandemic – that’s because there is always the risk that someone may have the virus and not yet know they do.

While avoiding crowds and keeping our 1.5m distance is still the most effective, there are times where this is not possible. This is when wearing a mask is important – particularly indoors where the risk is higher such as in shopping centres, places of worship and on public transport.

While wearing a mask in NSW is not mandatory, it can help stop the virus spreading and keep our numbers down. This means local businesses and schools can stay open, we can play our sport, see our family and friends and get on with life during these challenging times.

Find more information on the types of mask to wear, where to buy them and how to wear them safely at

For guidance on how to make a cloth mask, visit NSW Health.

mask graphic