Travel Guide: Discovering New South Wales

Discover the wonders of New South Wales! Find out how travel restrictions have changed and what it means for residents, both vaccinated and unvaccinated.

The New South Wales government has announced that from Monday, 11 October, residents in New South Wales no longer need a permit when travelling in the state. This applies to those travelling for holiday or recreational purposes and includes day trips. Residents in NSW who are fully vaccinated or have medical exemption are welcome to travel and carpool across the state.

Important rules and restrictions

Those travelling around the state of NSW must have the below documents with them at all times. These documents may be requested by a police officer or authorised officer at any time.

  • Proof of name and address
  • Vaccination certificate or number

It's important to remember that the laws differ for residents in Greater Sydney and residents in the regional areas of NSW. If you reside in Greater Sydney, you are only permitted to travel in the Greater Sydney area. These areas include:

  • Blue Mountains
  • Central Coast
  • Shellharbour
  • Wollongong

Residents who live in regional NSW are welcome to travel in the greater NSW areas. These residents are not allowed to travel to Greater Sydney for any purpose other than a work permit.

What happens if you're unvaccinated?

Similar rules apply in most cases for unvaccinated people. They no longer need to register before travelling for day trips, holidays or recreational purposes. The same travel restrictions apply: residents in Greater Sydney may only travel in Greater Sydney, and residents in regional NSW may only travel in regional NSW.

The major difference for the unvaccinated is carpooling. Unvaccinated NSW residents may only carpool with members of the same household. Other circumstances when travelling with those outside your household include:

  • an emergency and compassionate reasons
  • providing a vehicle or carpool for a vulnerable person
  • the vehicle is used for rideshare or taxi
  • a vehicle is used for work or provides public transport

Those under the age of 16 and unvaccinated may travel with an adult even when they don't reside in the same household. They will not be asked to show documents or permits.

Can I travel for work?

Yes. If you have the proper work permit and are an authorised worker, you can travel from one local government area of concern to another. You'll also be allowed to travel if you're an authorised worker from a non-area of concern and need to travel 50km+ outside of Greater Sydney (excluding Shellharbour and Central Coast) when work cannot be done from home.

These permits are only valid for 14 days, and workers need to supply the addresses attending for work when applying for the workers permit. Workers must carry their workers permit with them at all times along with a letter from the employer including the below information:

  • The employer’s and worker’s details
  • The work being done why travel is necessary
  • The hours of work – for example, 8 am to 4 pm, Monday to Friday. NDS members can provide staff with a copy of their roster to support this requirement
  • The dates over which the work will be carried out

Workers will also need to carry proof that they have met any testing or COVID-19 vaccination requirements that apply.

When will these limitations be lifted?

The NSW government is working hard to reach an 80% vaccination target. On Monday after the target is met, the government will ease some of the above restrictions. They have confirmed it will include:

  • no distance restrictions for travelling
  • all holiday travels will be permitted in NSW for those fully vaccinated. This includes regional NSW and the Greater Sydney area
  • carpooling restrictions lifted for all vaccinated

Further easing of restrictions is scheduled for Wednesday, 1 December to welcome the holiday season and school holidays.

What about face masks?

All Australians over the age of 12 years are still required to wear face masks in the below areas:

  • indoors: shops, libraries, apartment buildings, banks, malls, etc
  • public transport
  • aeroplanes
  • when working in a hospitality area and dealing with members of the public: bars, restaurants, hotels, etc

You'll need to provide a certificate signed by a registered health practitioner or statutory declaration if you cannot wear a face mask due to a disability, health condition or illness.

Children under the age of 2 years should not wear a face mask due to choking hazards.

NSW residents may remove their face masks under the below circumstances:

  • eating or drinking
  • communicating with another person who is deaf or hard of hearing
  • at work, and:
  • the nature of the work makes the wearing of a fitted face-covering risk to your or another's health and safety
  • where clear enunciation or visibility of your mouth is essential
  • where the work is in an indoor area with no other person
  • asked to remove your mask for identity purposes
  • in an emergency
  • providing goods and services requiring you to remove your mask to provide those goods or services properly
  • doing exercise except in an indoor area as part of a gym class
  • at a correctional centre, place of custody or hospital
  • a resident at an aged care facility
  • a guest in a hotel/motel room and your room
  • in the process of getting married
  • working alone in an office

Download the safe check-in mobile app and stay updated by visiting the New South Wales Government website.

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