Travel within SA

Travel within South Australia is largely unrestricted. People are free to visit most regional areas, and travel within South Australia is a great way to support our regional communities and economies.

There are some remaining restrictions on travel to remote communities.

Entering SA from interstate

A pre-approval process is now in place for travellers wishing to enter South Australia. The Cross Border Travel Registration should speed up the border crossing process and provide certainty for people who want to enter SA.

Before you travel

Registration

If you are planning travel to South Australia, aim to complete the Cross Border Travel Registration at least three days before you leave, regardless of where your travel begins.

All travellers intending to enter SA should register for pre-approval. This includes:

  • people entering from unrestricted states (NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • people entering from restricted states (ACT, NSW and VIC), including those applying for essential traveller status
  • SA residents returning home from any other state, regardless of how long they were interstate.

Provide details in the short description of why you are travelling. If you are an essential skills worker, transport, or entering for compassionate grounds, include a summary of:

  • who you work for, or the business 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 want to apply for an Essential Traveller status then you will need a letter confirming why you are seeking this status, it could be from your employer or a funeral home for example.

If you are unable to complete registration before you leave, proceed to the border and you will be assisted by police and given an ‘interim status’ while your registration is assessed.

Assessment

Your registration will be assessed to determine whether you are:

  • able to travel without restriction (including people arriving directly from NT, QLD, TAS and WA)
  • required to self-quarantine on arrival for 14 days (including people arriving directly from ACT, NSW and VIC)
  • an essential traveller, with or without self-quarantine restrictions

South Australia Police (SAPOL) will confirm each registration and assess them to determine a traveller’s status.

Notification

You will be notified by email of your status within 72 hours and given a unique number. You will need to produce this number when crossing the border.

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.

Complete your Cross Border Travel Registration on the SAPOL website.

Arriving in SA

There are checkpoints at roads leading into SA from other states, and at Adelaide airport. You will need to produce your pre-approval number at one of these checkpoints. Your arrival will then be recorded by police.

No travellers will be turned away. All people travelling to South Australia can enter, it is only the circumstances and restrictions applying to the traveller that differ.

Video - Online pre-approval form instructions

Essential travellers

People in the following categories fall within the definition of essential travellers.

1. National and State security and governance
  1. Any person who, in the conduct of their role in relation to the protection of Australia or South Australia from threats such as terrorism, war, espionage, or acts of foreign interference is required to be physically present in South Australia for that purpose.
  2. Active military and Defence Department personnel (including civilian staff and private contractors) and personnel required to support time-critical national security and defence activities, who are required to be physically present in South Australia in the conduct of their duties and who have undergone risk mitigation strategies.
  3. A South Australian member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth, or a member of their staff, returning to South Australia directly after travelling to the Australian Capital Territory for work purposes.
  4. In this clause.
    South Australian member of the Parliament of the Commonwealth
    means.
    1. a member of the House of Representatives of the Parliament of the Commonwealth for an electoral division of South Australia; or
    2. a South Australian Senator of the Senate of the Parliament of the Commonwealth.
2. Emergency services workers

Emergency services workers (including fire fighters, paramedics, ambulance officers and police officers) who are required to be physically present in South Australia in the conduct of their duties.

3. Transport and freight services

Persons who, in the conduct of their duties, provide transport or freight services into, within and out of South Australia (including any crew on such transport or freight services) and are required to be physically present in South Australia for such purposes.

4. Remote or isolated workers
  1. Persons who travel for work purposes to locations that are remote or geographically isolated for regular periods according to established work schedules.
    Note. A fly-in fly-out (FIFO) or drive-in drive-out (DIDO) worker (being an essential traveller under subclause (1)) is not required to self-quarantine on return to South Australia, provided that their employer is applying risk mitigation strategies during periods of work.
  2. Persons who travel for work purposes to locations that are remote or geographically isolated where:
    1. their employer is applying risk mitigation strategies during periods of work, and
    2. the person is a specialist required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations, or maintenance or repair of critical infrastructure in the mining, oil, gas and energy sectors.
5. Cross border community members

Persons who are ordinarily resident at, or near, a South Australian border and who, in the ordinary course of their occupation, education or daily life, have reasonable cause to travel across that border.

Note. To avoid doubt.

  1. this clause does not permit travel across a border for sport purposes, other than when undertaken as part of a class provided by a school or other educational institution; and
  2. this clause applies to people residing in the location recognised as the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantatjara Yankunytjatjara region.

1. Health services

Persons who are approved by

  1. the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy Chief Public Health Officer; or
  2. the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Health, or the Secretary's delegate,

to assist in the provision of health services in South Australia and who are required to be physically present in South Australia in the conduct of those duties.

Note. Evidence of an approval to assist in the provision of health services in South Australia under this clause is required.

2. Essential skills (industries and businesses)
  1. Specialists required for industry or business continuity and maintenance of competitive operations where the appropriate skills are not available in South Australia, where the service is time critical and where the provision of the service requires that the person be physically present in South Australia.
  2. Persons who, in the conduct of their duties, are responsible for maintenance or repair of infrastructure critical to South Australia and are required to be physically present in South Australia for such purposes.
3. Urgent medical, dental or health treatment
  1. Persons who travel to South Australia for the receipt of urgent medical, dental or other health treatment with the approval of the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy Chief Public Health Officer.

    Note. Evidence of an approval under this clause is required.
  2. A person who accompanies the person referred to in subclause(1) for the purpose of providing care and support.
  3. Nothing in this clause is intended to prevent a person from accessing treatment in the case of an emergency.
4. Passing through

Persons who pass through the State by the most direct and practical route and means.

5. Compassionate grounds
  1. Persons who travel to South Australia.
    1. to visit a critically or terminally ill member of the person's immediate family; or
    2. to attend the funeral of a member of the person's immediate family.
  2. In this clause:
    domestic partner
    means a person who is a domestic partner within the meaning of the Family Relationships Act1975, whether declared as such under that Act or not;
    immediate family
    , of a person, means:
    1. a spouse or domestic partner; or
    2. a parent; or
    3. a grandparent; or
    4. a child (including an adult child); or
    5. a grandchild (including an adult grandchild); or
    6. a brother or sister,
    and includes a person who is a member of the immediate family of the person's spouse or domestic partner;
    spouse
    . a person is the spouse of another if they are legally married.

Note. Persons who claim to be essential travellers under this clause may be required to provide evidence that they fall within the scope of this clause.

6. Consular employees

Consular employees as defined in the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1972 of the Commonwealth travelling to South Australia to perform official duties.

Essential travellers are required to keep records of close contacts for a 14 day period from the date of their arrival in South Australia.

A "close contact" occurs when a person is in the company of another person:

  • within an enclosed space for two hours or longer
  • within 1.5 m of the other person for 15 minutes or longer

The essential traveller must record the time and location of the contact, as well as the name and contact details of each other person (if known). These records must be kept for 28 days after the initial 14-day recording period.

Exemptions

The following essential travellers are not required to keep records of close contacts.

  • National and state security and governance personnel
  • Fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) workers
  • Emergency service workers
  • Cross-border community members

Travelling interstate from SA

Not all border-crossing arrangements are reciprocal. People leaving South Australia should research restrictions in other states before planning any interstate travel.

The Healthdirect Australia Restriction Checker has advice on what restrictions are in place in each state and territory across Australia.

Arriving from overseas

All new arrivals into Australia are being quarantined in their port of arrival in supervised accommodation for 14 days to ensure compliance.

A person is deemed to have arrived when they leave the airport or disembark from their vessel. This means passengers whose final destination is not South Australia may complete their journeys without being subject to quarantine in South Australia.

Travelling overseas

All overseas travel is currently prohibited.

Compliance

If you are directed by a health professional or law enforcement agency to quarantine for 14 days, you must do so.

A $1,000 on-the-spot fine can be issued to anyone breaching self-quarantine requirements.

SA Health and SA Police are working together to monitor people who should be in quarantine and fines may be issued to people who breach these directives.

More information

Cross-border travel direction

Overseas travel self-quarantine direction

Who is an essential traveller Schedule 1  (PDF, 465.7 KB) - 24 June 2020
Who is an essential traveller Schedule 1 (DOCX, 164.8 KB) - 24 June 2020

Who is an essential traveller Schedule 2 (PDF, 467.7 KB) - 24 June 2020
Who is an essential traveller Schedule 2 (DOCX, 163.1 KB) - 24 June 2020

Other websites

COVID-19 and the Australian border - Department of Home Affairs

Page last updated: 7 July 2020