With Victoria emerging from its fourth COVID-19 incursion from NSW in six weeks, residents in the Victoria-NSW border bubble can only enter Victoria without a permit if they are travelling for six essential reasons.
The Victorian Chief Health Officer has declared these changes will come into effect at 11:59pm Tuesday 3 August, allowing the border bubble arrangements to continue in a safe way for all Victorians.
Under the changes, border bubble residents can only cross the border to enter Victoria without a permit for:
- Necessary goods and services, including medical care and getting a COVID-19 test
- Care and compassionate reasons
- Paid or voluntary work (including for charitable and religious purposes)
- Education (including childcare and early childhood services)
- Getting a COVID-19 vaccination
- Sport and exercise at a sporting club or at a sport or physical recreation facility (excluding alpine resorts)
People crossing the border to enter Victoria for one of the essential reasons must also not travel further than reasonably necessary to undertake that activity.
In other words, if you’re from Albury, you can’t shop in Wangaratta or Melbourne if you can get the essentials you need in Wodonga.
These permitted reasons also apply to Victorian border bubble residents who plan to enter New South Wales.
They will need to have observed the permitted essential reasons for travel while in New South Wales if they wish to return to Victoria without a permit under the border bubble system.
The changes mean that border bubble residents can cross the border without a permit to get the essentials they need, but not to visit a friend, go for a meal at a pub or to go on holiday.
Travel for sport and exercise will be limited to the minimum number of people required to participate and run it – with spectator travel not permitted. Parents can transport their children for community sport.
Existing exceptions to obtaining a permit will continue to apply.
These exceptions to the permit system allow a person to enter Victoria for certain reasons, including in emergencies or if they are escaping family violence.
If a Victorian border bubble resident has travelled to NSW or a NSW border bubble resident enters Victoria for a non-essential reason, they aren’t eligible for the border bubble permit exception and can be subject to a fine of up to $5,452.
The Chief Health Officer has announced some further changes to the current Directions.
From 11:59pm on Tuesday 3 August, group limits will be removed from food and drink facilities, physical recreation, and sport (including gym classes) and from tours and tour transport.
An overall venue cap of 100 people and density limits will continue to apply to food and drink facilities, with a cap of 25 and no density limit for those that are less than 100 sqm.
Limits of 100 people per indoor space and 300 per outdoor space will continue to apply to physical recreation facilities, as will density requirements.
QR Code Kiosk Check-in Service
Your business may benefit from Service Victoria’s Kiosk Check-in Service that helps venues to check-in customers who are unable to do so themselves.
The Kiosk allows workers to enter a customer’s name and contact phone number electronically, using a tablet for example.
All venues are required to provide an alternative record keeping method for workers and customers who do not have a smart phone.
The Kiosk Check in Service is an efficient way of doing this, making it easier for contact tracers to contact people quickly if an outbreak occurs.
Make sure everyone checks in everywhere, every time.
Victorian businesses must use the Victorian Government QR Code Service to check-in their workers, customers, and visitors, with some limited exceptions.
Everyone must check-in, no matter how long they are at the premises.
- Wear your mask correctly – covering your mouth and nose
- Get tested if you are ill
- Update your COVIDSafe Plan (check your COVID Marshal requirements)
- Support your workers to get vaccinated when they’re eligible.
For more information go to coronavirus.vic.gov.au.