NSW, Victoria, South Australian lockdown rules and border closures

Photo: File
Photo: File

From 6pm yesterday evening more than half of Australia's population found themselves in lockdown.

NSW is heading for its fourth week of lockdown and is in its first week of stricter conditions, while Victoria went into a snap five-day lockdown last week, which has been extended for another week.

Yesterday, South Australia joined in, announcing a seven-day lockdown. While parts of regional NSW were also locked down.

So what are the rules in each state?


Nine new local cases in Victoria have sparked a seven-day extension to the state's lockdown which is now set to stretch until at least next Wednesday.

On borders, Victoria has slammed its shut to 'red zone arrivals' with Victorian residents in NSW and the ACT no longer allowed to go home amid a two-week pause on issuing red zone permits.

Only authorised workers and those who apply for and receive an exemption are now able to travel between the two states, along with border residents.

Current restrictions in Victoria:

  • You can only leave home for five reasons:
  1. Essential shopping
  2. Authorised work or education
  3. Exercise
  4. Caregiving, compassionate and medical reasons
  5. To get vaccinated
  • There is a two hour limit on exercise and it must be within five kilometre radius of your home.
  • Masks must be worn everywhere except in your home
  • No visitors are allowed to your home
  • Schools are moving to remote learning
  • Restaurants, cafes and pubs are open for takeaway only


NSW recorded 78 new local cases spread across Sydney with 29 spending part or all of their infectious period in the community.

While the Sydney and surrounds lockdown is slated to end on July 30, there's increasing concern an extension may be needed as the virus circulates in the nation's biggest city.

Current restrictions in Greater Sydney:

  • You can only leave home for four reasons:
  1. Shopping for food or essential goods and services
  2. Medical care or compassionate needs, including getting the vaccine
  3. Exercise outdoors in groups of two, within 10km of our home or local government area
  4. Essential work or education where you can't study or work from home
  • Further restrictions apply to those who live in Fairfield, Canterbury-Bankstown and Liverpool LGAs, they can not leave the area unless they are authorised workers.
  • The only businesses that can remain open are: Supermarkets and grocery stores; pharmacies and chemists; petrol stations; car hire; banks and financial institutions; hardware, nurseries and building supplies; agricultural and rural supplies; pet supplies; post offices and newsagents; and office supplies.
  • Construction is paused as is non-urgent maintenance to residences
  • No visitors are allowed in your home
  • Masks must be worn in all indoor areas, except your home, and on public transport and while working outside. If you leave your home you must carry a mask at all times.

Restrictions for Orange, Blayney, Cabonne LGAs:

You can only leave home for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for food or other essential goods and services;
  • Medical care or compassionate needs (people can leave home to have a COVID-19 vaccination unless you have been identified as a close contact);
  • Exercise outdoors in groups of two or fewer (unless members of the same household);
  • Work, or education, where you cannot work or study from home.
  • To attend a wedding or a funeral (but only during the grace period, which ends at 12:01am on Friday July 23, 2021). After this date, funerals will be limited to 10 people.
  • Masks must be worn indoors (not including the home) and in outdoor settings where you cannot socially distance from others (e.g. while queuing for takeaway).

For the rest of NSW:

  • Masks must be worn in all indoor areas, except your own home
  • Only five guests, including children, can visit your home
  • Dance and gym classes limited to 20 per class (with masks)
  • Public transport limits as per the green dots
  • Up to 200 people can gather in outdoor public places
  • Outdoor seating events are limited to 50 per cent seated capacity
  • One person per four square metres in all indoor and outdoor settings
  • Drinking while standing at indoor venues is not allowed
  • Singing and dancing is banned
  • Weddings, funerals and religious services must have a COVID-19 safety plan

South Australia

South Australia's cluster of local COVID-19 cases grew to five.

The fifth case, a man in his 60s, is someone who dined at a restaurant in Adelaide where previously infected people were also present on Saturday night.

Those people had all attended a birthday party in a private function room which authorities said had the potential to act as a super-spreader event.

The following applies for seven days:

  • There are only five reasons to leave home:
  1. To care for someone,
  2. For essential work,
  3. To purchase essential goods such as food,
  4. Exercise with people from the same household,
  5. Healthcare - including COVID testing and vaccination.
  • Exercise must be within 2.5km of home and only for up to 90 minutes per day.
  • Schools will be closed from tomorrow
  • Elective surgery is on hold
  • Construction can not go ahead

Measures to support businesses are expected to be announced tomorrow.

Other states border closures


There is effectively a hard border up for those from NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia as all those states are classified as 'medium risk'.

The restrictions against people from SA come into affect from midday today.

The ACT is deemed low risk while the Northern Territory and Tasmania are classified as 'very low risk'.


All of Victoria is declared a hotspot and as of 1am Thursday it is also closing its border to NSW and South Australia.

NSW/Qld border zone residents can only enter the state for essential reasons. Queensland residents can enter into the NSW border zone for essential reasons, but can not travel further than that zone.

Queenslanders returning from NSW and SA will have to do 14 days in hotel quarantine.


Greater Sydney has been declared a hotspot and 14 mandatory supervised quarantine is required.

A number of Victorian regions have been declared hotspots also including Greater Melbourne, Bass Coast Shire and Muldura Rural City.

There are also restrictions for Queenslanders and South Australians.


Tasmanian has declared the entire state of South Australia high-risk, making it the third state to be blocked by Tasmania in the past week.

Regional NSW, a range of Sydney suburbs found here, and the Fairfield LGA have all been deemed high risk (Levels 1 or 2). This effectively means all people from NSW can not enter the island.

Victoria is also high-risk and subject to the same restrictions.


Travel restrictions are in place preventing non-ACT residents from entering the territory from South Australia, Victoria and hotspot areas of NSW, which include Greater Sydney, Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour regions.

Only people who have received an exemption will be permitted to travel and will be subject to stay-at-home orders on arrival.

Residents traveling from identified NSW hotspots will be subject to 14-day home quarantine.

ACT residents returning may also be subject to stay-at-home orders.

People traveling from Queensland who have visited certain areas need to complete an online declaration.

There are no restrictions in place regarding other states and territories or New Zealand. Full advice is available at this page.