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Doctor Travel Updates

Travel updates | Wavelength Medical Recruitment

COVID-19 doctor travel updates – Australian border restrictions and conditions for doctors

Thank you for your continued commitment to support the healthcare of all Australian communities during this challenging time.

The current advice relating to travelling between Australia’s States and Territories is complex and ever-changing. We are working closely with our network of healthcare employers to provide you with the most up to date information.

If you are looking for international travel details, please see our blog article about international travel restrictions for doctors here.

Please note that this detail is not a guaranteed source, as the advice is changing constantly. Please check government websites/links for the latest information and how this relates to your personal circumstances. Alternatively, speak with your Wavelength recruitment consultant for more personalised advice.


1. Travel between Australian states and territories

A number of Australian states and territories have closed their borders in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Before you travel interstate for your next job, we recommend that you check relevant government websites for the latest travel advice. You should also take the following with you:

  • Your current ID
  • Evidence of your AHPRA registration
  • A printed copy of your Job Confirmation Letter with the hospital contact information
  • A copy of the Hospital Locum Contract
  • PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  • A printed copy of any relevant border pass information or self-quarantine exemption decisions (State by State requirements)

State and Territory health boards and individual hospitals and practices are continually updating their policies. You may be subject to a risk assessment on arrival and in some cases may still be required to self-isolate.

 

2. Border restrictions and self-isolation information by State:

ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

South Australia is now considered a hot spot so quarantine is required if people are heading from SA to other states. In addition, travel exemptions may not be honoured for doctors travelling from SA to WA, QLD or Tasmania, and doctors may be prevented from flying if they even have passed through Adelaide airport. Doctors should continue to apply for the relevant G2G pass/CHO approval but be aware that they may still be prevented at the airport despite having the right paperwork.

ACT
Border is closed to people from Victoria but open to travellers from any other State. However, if you travel from SA or certain NSW locations you need to self-isolate for 14 days. See this link for Current NSW Hotspots: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates

For updates, see: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/community/travel

 

NSW

The NSW Government has announced that the border between NSW and Victoria will reopen from 12.01am on the 23rd November: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/what-you-can-and-cant-do-under-rules/border-restrictions/guide#checkpoints-and-crossings

The border is open to people travelling from all other states. All NSW residents returning from Victoria, unless they live within the NSW border regions, will only be allowed to return to NSW through Sydney Airport. The cost of hotel quarantine will be the same as for returning international travellers ($3,000 per adult).

SA is now considered a hotspot and doctors travelling from SA including through Adelaide airport will need to quarantine. Doctors should continue to apply for the relevant G2G pass/CHO approval.

NT
All people travelling to the NT must complete a border entry form.

See Google map with current hotspots. Current hotspots are:

  • all of Victoria
  • SA

Anyone travelling from a hotspot in the last 14 days must undertake 14 days mandatory supervised quarantine (cost of $2500) at the Howard Springs quarantine facility.

For updates, see: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/travel/quarantine


QLD

People who have been in a COVID-19 hotspot within the last 14 days cannot quarantine in Queensland and will be turned away at the border, except people needed in Queensland for essential activities. Queensland residents can return home but will be required to quarantine in government provided accommodation at their expense, ($2800).

Current Hotspots are:

  • All Victoria
  • The 32 LGAs that make up Greater Sydney
  • SA

NSW residents (excluding Greater Sydney) can now cross the QLD border with no quarantine period. If you have an existing pass, you can use it until it expires to cross the border. Otherwise, you can apply for a new General pass. The 32 LGAs of greater Sydney and SA are restricted.

For updates and a list of specific hotspots, see: https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/border-restrictions/border-restrictions-8-aug-2020

You can only enter Queensland from a hotspot if you travel by air. You do not have to quarantine if you are arriving from a COVID-19 hotspot if you:

  • need to come to Queensland to complete an essential activity*
  • arrive into Queensland by air and you transfer directly to another flight to leave Queensland or quarantine until your flight out of Queensland
  • were in a COVID-19 hotspot for the sole purpose of transiting through an airport, excluding Melbourne Tullamarine airport
  • can provide evidence that you completed mandatory hotel quarantine in a COVID-19 hotspot and immediately transited to Queensland, unless you flew out of Melbourne Tullamarine airport are a border zone resident and have not been in a hotspot in the last 14 days.

*Regarding essential activities, only specialist health workers approved by the Chief Health Officer are exempted. We believe this only refers to doctors who have been requested to enter a state by the State DoH. It is likely that most of our doctors will not fall into the essential activity category.

People arriving from other States must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass before you come to Queensland.

SA

Travellers from NSW are able to enter SA directly without the requirement for COVID-19 testing or 14 day self-quarantine upon arrival, as long as during the 14 days immediately before their arrival, they have been in the low community-transmission zone (ACT, NSW, NT, QLD, TAS or WA) for that preceding 14 days.

The border is open to people travelling from ACT, NT, QLD, TAS and WA – however, you will need to complete pre-approval form.

A person can enter South Australia in a vehicle from NSW via Victoria if the person travels through VIC without leaving the vehicle and only via the Sturt Highway from Mildura to Yamba or via the Calder Highway and Meridian Road between Abbotsford Bridge and the Sturt Highway and then via the Sturt Highway to Yamba.

Cross Border Community Members on the Victoria border are permitted to enter SA for essential purposes only.

See: https://www.police.sa.gov.au/online-services/cross-border-travel-application

For further updates, see: https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/restrictions-and-responsibilities/travel-restrictions#restrictions



TAS

Tas e-Travel is the new system for travel from low-risk areas under eased border restrictions. Low-risk areas are QLD, ACT, WA, NT & NZ. Travellers who have only spent time in a low-risk area in the 14 days prior to arrival in Tasmania are not required to quarantine. People entering from these areas register their travel and contact details via the Tas e-Travel system a maximum of three (3) days before arrival in Tasmania. Based on current Public Health advice, travel from low-risk areas directly through medium or high-risk areas (only stopping for fuel) to an airport or seaport is permitted without being subject to quarantine requirements that apply to that area. 

Medium-risk areas - NSW residents can now travel to Tasmania from 6th November without having to quarantine. This means that the Tas border is now only closed to VIC – and this is set to lift from 1st December.

High-risk areas are Victoria, SA, Overseas (other than New Zealand) or a cruise ship. Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk area need to provide information to help determine entry and quarantine requirements for travel to Tasmania. The most effective way of doing this is via the G2G system. Where possible, travellers are encouraged to do this at least three (3) business days before arrival and not more than 14 days before travel. Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk domestic area in the 14 days prior to arrival must quarantine for 14 days in Government-designated quarantine accommodation (fees can apply). Travellers who have spent time in a high-risk overseas area or on a cruise ship in the 28 days prior to arriving in Tasmania must complete 14 days quarantine in Government-designated accommodation, unless they provide evidence of:

  • having completed 14 days in government-designated quarantine in another jurisdiction;
  • having had a negative COVID-19 test on or after day 10 of arriving in Australia; and
  • having directly transited to an airport or seaport in that area and travelling directly to Tasmania when exiting quarantine in a medium or high-risk domestic area.

If the travel is for identified critical work, health, compassionate or other specified reasons, travellers can apply, via the G2G PASS system to enter the State as an Essential Traveller.


VIC
SA is now considered a hotspot and doctors travelling from SA including through Adelaide airport will need to quarantine. Doctors should continue to apply for the relevant G2G pass/CHO approval.

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 5th August, essential workers in Melbourne will now be required to carry a new ‘Worker Permit’ when travelling to and from work. It is the employer’s responsibility to issue these permits.

Employees must carry the worker permit and should carry photo identification when travelling to and from the workplace. A worker permit can be shown electronically to authorities such as a photo, or scanned copy, on a mobile device.

See: https://www.vic.gov.au/worker-permit-scheme


WA

SA is now considered a hotspot and doctors travelling from SA including through Adelaide airport will need to quarantine. Doctors should continue to apply for the relevant G2G pass/CHO approval.

If COVID case numbers stay the same and a 14 day rolling average of less than 5 cases a day is maintained, from Saturday, 14 November, WA will transition to a controlled border arrangement, allowing Australians to travel into and around WA, subject to conditions of entry.

https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/covid-communications/covid-19-coronavirus-controlled-interstate-border

The new arrangement will mean:

  • Very low risk states and territories
    • No community cases in 28 days
    • not required to quarantine
    • currently includes TAS, QLD, ACT and NT
  • Low risk states and territories
    • Less than 5 community cases per day on a 14-day rolling average
    • must self-quarantine for 14 days in suitable premises
    • must present for a COVID-19 test on Day 11 if still in WA
    • currently includes NSW and Victoria
  • International arrivals 
    • must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days at own expense
    • subject to mandatory COVID-19 test on day 11 of quarantine

Victorians are able to self-quarantine, where possible, for 14 days at a suitable premise, which will be assessed by WA Police as part of the G2G exemption application process. Victorians will be tested on arrival into WA and again on Day 11 of their 14 day quarantine.

For people currently in hotel quarantine or arriving before Monday October 5 from Victoria, they will need to complete their 14 day hotel quarantine period.

New South Wales will also move to the same entry conditions that apply to other State and Territories (excluding Victoria). People entering WA from NSW will also need to present for a COVID-19 test on day 11 of their quarantine.

Everyone entering WA must still apply for an exemption via G2G PASS prior to travel.

For updates, see: https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-travel-wa


As always, our team of medical recruitment consultants, plus our in-house Regulatory and Migration experts are here to help. If you are working with Wavelength and have further questions about travelling as a doctor for a new locum/job in Australia, please contact us.