Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response

As of Monday 6 April 2020, the NHVR is maintaining full service levels.

Service centres to continue supporting truck drivers

Our on-road staff have been provided with disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitiser to be utilised when conducting road-side activities to reduce any contact or spread of the virus.

Like all businesses we are continuing a process of on-going assessment of our capabilities and how we can deliver those services. However we will ensure we balance the needs of supporting a safe heavy vehicle industry with the need to conduct your operations and businesses during a time of great uncertainty.

The NHVR is working with all governments to ensure the on-going movement of all heavy vehicles across state borders. While a range of border restrictions are in place, all heavy vehicle movements are continuing, ensuring certainty for heavy vehicle operators, however you should be aware of some delays where border checks and border forms are in place.

The NHVR will provide further updates to this page as they come to hand.

Content on this page

Service centres to continue supporting truck drivers

This week’s announcement by National Cabinet to allow service centres and truck stops to remain open for heavy vehicle drivers has been welcomed by the NHVR and industry.

The following applies to businesses operating a truck driver lounge, truck driver room or similar facility at a roadside service centre or service stations:

  • These facilities will be authorised to continue providing services to heavy vehicle drivers in need of food, showers, restrooms and a place to break from driving to manage their fatigue.
  • This exemption is subject to the service station, service centre, road house or similar facility implementing additional protocols provide appropriate social distancing and hygiene arrangements for these facilities. 
  • The facility will remain closed to all other patrons who are not part of the heavy vehicle supply chain.

For the full list of protocols read the Federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications Exemption for heavy vehicle drivers to safely manage fatigue.

Am I able to use the NHVR Portal?

The NHVR is maintaining current service levels for Accreditation, Vehicle Standards, Registration services and Access Permits through the NHVR Portal

During this time please be patient when using these services as our staff, service providers or road managers may be impacted.

You can use the NHVR Portal to prepare, lodge and track your applications or requests and there is an Information Request feature to ask questions or raise issues with us.

Like all businesses, the NHVR has planned for disruptions, but we are committed to processing applications and requests as quickly as possible.

Curfew restrictions lifted

Restrictions lifted on curfew permits in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria - The NHVR has agreed to waive restrictions on all curfew permits, except those related to safety and access, to move general freight and grocery deliveries.

Western Australia confirms they have no curfew restriction in place as per their Public Authorities (Delivery of Goods and Collection of Rubbish and Refuse) Directions.

Northern Territory has lifted all restrictions that limit the hours of operation or times of delivery for food and retail businesses imposed through conditions of Development Permits. For more information see NT Planning response to COVID-19 (PDF, 604KB) and COVID-19 quarantine effect on freight and logistics into the Northern Territory (PDF, 571KB).

Officers have also been advised to apply discretion to heavy vehicles which may be parked near distribution centres and supermarkets, unless the heavy vehicle is posing a safety risk.

NHVAS changes to medical requirements and face-to-face audit requirements

The NHVR is providing temporary changes to National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme (NHVAS) medical requirements and face-to-face audit requirements to reduce the accreditation burden on industry:

These changes are:

Supplementary work diary records extended to 30 business days

The NHVR has extended the time limit drivers may use a supplementary work diary record to 30 days in case there is a reduction in the number of existing outlets in any state to purchase a new diary.

If using a supplementary record, you must contact the NHVR within 2 days of your work diary being completed, lost, stolen or destroyed.

National Heavy Vehicle Work Diary (COVID-19 Relief) Exemption Notice 2020 (No.1)PDF, 560KB extended the use of supplementary work diaries from 7 days to 30 days. For more information please read Information Sheet - National Heavy Vehicle COVID-19 Relief Work Diary Exemption Notice 2020 (PDF, 363KB).

Temporary arrangements to Queensland heavy vehicle escort requirements

The NHVR has put in place temporary variations to some heavy vehicle escort requirements while Queensland Police Service (QPS) resources are redirected to coronavirus activities. 

From 1 April 2020, Operators of Class 1 Oversize and Overmass (OSOM) loads, not exceeding 5.5 metres in width and 35 metres in length, may use the following temporary escorting arrangements:

  Existing arrangements Variation arrangements
No traffic control required One QPS escort and two level two escorts Two level two escorts and two level one pilots
Some traffic control required One QPS escort and two level two escorts Four level two escorts

Loads exceeding 5.5 metres in width and 35 metres in length will continue to require QPS escorts. Please note that QPS availability to escort will be limited.

Operators are not required to update their permit to use the temporary arrangements, however they must keep a copy of the COVID-19 Letter of Authority - Approved temporary variation to escorting arrangements (PDF, 683KB) with their valid permit.

The temporary variation is not valid for wide loads travelling in convoy, any overheight movement, or wide load movements involving contra-traffic flows, reverse direction of travel, traffic control and other manoeuvres contrary to Queensland road rules. 

For more information read the COVID-19 QPS Temporary variation to escorting arrangements info sheet (PDF, 593KB)

Border Restrictions

What border restrictions are in place?

Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Western Australia have border restrictions in place. There are currently no restrictions in place for travel between Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.

Despite these restrictions, all freight movements are continuing.

Additional information is available at:

Am I required to fill out a form when crossing a border?

Entry forms are required for travel into Northern Territory, Tasmania and Western Australia.

Can we still drive two-up?

Two-up driving teams are provided for under the NT, QLD, SA, TAS and WA border restriction exemptions, if they fit in the following exemption category and the two-up operations were in place prior to the commencement of the border restrictions:

  • Any person involved in the transport or freight of goods and logistics for goods, into, within and out of states/ territories and practise social distancing wherever possible.  

Some states have advised drivers not to carry passengers who aren’t involved in the freight task.

Does this include coming back with no load and are pilots exempt on return?

Heavy vehicle movements are currently exempt from restrictions if you are involved in the transport or freight of goods and logistics for goods (pilot), into, within and out of the state/territory. 

Do border restriction exemptions apply for FIFO workers?

To be classed an essential traveller and exempt from the border restrictions, you must meet the below categories:

Queensland - FIFO workers in commercial construction, fishing, mining, energy or agribusiness industries are still allowed to enter Queensland to work without having to undertake self-quarantine. However, they will be required to provide evidence that they are FIFO workers, who they are working for, and that they are entering Queensland to go directly to work. The companies they work for will also have to provide a health plan that complies with requirements set by the Chief Health Officer that ensures adequate hygiene and safety requirements to limit the transmission of COVID-19.

South Australia - Interstate travel for persons who ordinarily live and work in South Australia and travel for work purposes for regular periods according to established work schedules (for example, FIFO workers).

Are NHVR Safety and Compliance Officers still pulling people over?

We are currently maintaining our full service levels including our on-road services.

Our on-road team have been provided with disposable rubber gloves and hand sanitiser to be used when conducting road-side activities to reduce any contact or spread of the virus.

Are service stations closing their showers and amenities?

The NHVR has spoken to major fuel companies and they are currently providing additional cleaning for their facilities and remain operational. Drivers should be aware that most have closed their in-store seating areas.

Drivers should call ahead to ensure other roadhouses and their facilities are open.

Some clear advice from BP Australia in regards to health and safety measures, fuel supply and amenities - https://www.bp.com/en_au/australia/home/media/press-releases/monitor-respond-covid19.html

Simple steps to avoid coronavirus?

The NHVR is urging heavy vehicle drivers and operators to take steps to maintain their health and wellbeing while health authorities continually update advice on the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your staff and colleagues is to practice good hygiene, including:

  • washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitiser
  • keeping work areas, eating surfaces and benches clean
  • covering your mouth while coughing or sneezing
  • avoiding close contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms

Operators and drivers should carry additional hand sanitiser.

If you become unwell or suspect you may have symptoms of coronavirus, please seek medical assistance regardless of whether you believe you may have come into contact with someone with the illness. 

If you are unwell, regardless of the cause, please stay home.