Page current as of 5pm Wednesday 28 October 2020
The renewed outbreak of coronavirus has prompted significant changes to border requirements across Australia. We are working hard to collate and provide the most accurate, timely information and will endeavour to keep you informed as things evolve.
The NHVR has summarised the information on border restrictions specific to the heavy vehicle industry, below. The information is sourced from, and verified by, the relevant state or territory governments. We encourage drivers to follow the links provided under each entry for more detail on their specific requirements. Please note, any application to cross a border is completed and submitted through the relevant state or territory and not through the NHVR. COVID-19 testing sites are managed by the relevant state or territory Health agencies.
National Cabinet endorsed the Freight Movement Code for the Domestic Border Controls – Freight Movement Protocol on 7 August 2020.
The Code was initially set to be implemented by 21 August, however, while overall implementation of the Code is progressing well, not all measures will be fully implemented in all jurisdictions by this date. Jurisdictions and the Commonwealth will notify industry when full implementation has been achieved.
In accordance with this Code the following measures will be enforceable in each state and territory that implements border controls, unless specified.
The NHVR is encouraging all operators to begin implementing additional measures within their business as soon as possible as outlined in the protocol.
Heavy vehicle drivers can now receive an asymptomatic COVID-19 test at private pathology clinics across Australia at no cost, due to their inclusion in a new Medicare item for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing (including in Victoria).
While mandatory testing is not a requirement in all states, the NHVR encourages all drivers to be mindful of their own safety and to start self-testing on a 7 day basis. Drivers are not required to self-isolate at home while waiting for results of their tests, though should still social distance where possible.
Drivers using their fatigue-regulated heavy vehicle to drive to a COVID-19 testing facility are able to utilise the Personal Use Exemption. In this case normal Personal Use Exemption rules apply.
For heavy vehicle testing sites, check the NHVR Map. We will continue to update these heavy vehicle friendly testing sites in our route planner as we receive official advice from individual states.
Australian Capital Territory
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering ACT from Victoria.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No, but it is recommended.
- Freight and logistics operators must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours (wherever possible) before your intended travel date.
- PPE is not mandatory in the ACT.
- Transiting through the ACT for the purposes of freight is currently exempt.
New South Wales
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering NSW from Victoria.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No, but it is recommended on a rolling 7 day basis
- All freight drivers should apply for a border pass under the exemption category “Critical services – movement of freight or persons on a commercial basis”. Apply for a COVID-19 NSW border entry permit
- The freight industry is excused from requirements to self-isolate, provided your employer has a COVID-Safe plan in place.
- COVID-Safe plans and guidelines to assist the industry are also available to align with this additional permit – COVID-19 Safety Plan - Transport freight and logistics operations
- It is recommended that all essential workers wear a facemask.
- Freight workers who do not have any symptoms who have been tested for COVID-19 are not required to self-isolate while waiting for test results.
Process for testing
On arriving at the testing site, drivers will be required to identify themselves by providing name, driver licence number and contact details, including mobile number for test result notification. A sample will be taken and results will be provided back to drivers to their mobile number. Testing results are expected to take up to 48 hours.
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering Northern Territory from any other state.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Not at the border, however a COVID-19 test is required every seven days. If you arrive at the border without a test, border authorities will still permit you to enter if you can provide evidence that you have booked a test at one of the approved testing facilities listed.
Where to get tested for COVID-19? Northern Territory testing facilities
- Please note, as of Tuesday September 29 a new testing station is available at 15 Tandem St, Wishart. To book a test please call us on 0448 582 731, Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm to make a booking. View the factsheet for more information.
- The Northern Territory has adopted the national freight protocol. For more details on the details for a COVID-19 management plan, testing and self isolation requirements please see Latest advice on Exemption to Quarantine for essential freight workers.
- Freight workers entering the NT must complete and submit an online COVID-19 Freight Risk Mitigation Management Plan to the Northern Territory Government before entering the Northern Territory.<
- If approved the freight worker will be issued a Certificate of Agreement that will be valid for a period of time specified on the certificate.
- Freight workers will need to show their Certificate of Agreement at the border and complete a Border Entry Form every time they enter the NT.
- Freight workers will not be permitted entry without their Certificate of Agreement.
- By completing a Freight Risk Mitigation Management Plan freight workers agree to comply with all conditions attached to this plan including:
- Practice physical distancing
- Quarantine if been in a hotspot
- Undertake a COVID-19 test every seven days, and carrying evidence of the last test - see below contact detail for testing sites
- Maintaining a log of movements and close contacts
- Carrying adequate PPE including gloves, face masks and hand sanitiser.
- If freight workers have been in a declared hotspot in the 14 days prior to entering the NT, they must agree to quarantine in suitable accommodation when not working in the NT
- Call the COVID-19 Hotline to arrange a testing on 1800 008 002. You can get a test in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek or Nhulunbuy.
- Latest advice on Exemption to Quarantine
- NT declared list of COVID-19 hotspots
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering Queensland from any other state you must acquire the dedicated F essential worker pass for freight workers. Apply for the Freight Pass here
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No, however the Queensland Chief Health Officer (CHO) has issued advice (PDF, 7KB) encouraging any freight and logistics operators entering Queensland from a COVID-19 hotspot to have their drivers tested for COVID-19, within 7 days of their arrival in Queensland and maintain a weekly testing regime while they travel through hotspots.
Where to get tested for COVID-19? Queensland Testing and fever clinics — coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Requirements for the Freight Industry are outlined in the Operational protocol for freight movements entering Queensland.
- A COVID-Safe plan should be carried in Queensland. Plans from other states and territories are mutually recognised. Find a template plan here.
- PPE should be carried and used when physical distancing is not possible.
- Self-isolate in truck or accommodation when not working.
- Keep records of close contacts for 14 days.
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering South Australia from any other state.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes – Mandatory testing is still required for essential freight workers entering from Victoria, residents of Victoria and anyone who has been in Victoria in the last 14 days. You will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and again on day 12 if you remain in the state unless you can provide to a requesting officer evidence of a test or test results from the preceding seven days.
Where to get tested for COVID-19? South Australia COVID-19 Clinics and Testing Centres
- Only essential travellers, including essential freight workers, will be able to enter South Australia from Victoria.
- You need to complete the cross border pre-approval form at least 72 hours prior to your arrival.
- If you are an essential freight worker, you will need to provide evidence in your cross border travel registration form, including a letter from your employer stating the duties required to be undertaken and details of the locations, ABN number and your name and address.
- All essential freight workers who are residents of Victoria must wear a facemask when entering South Australia and self-quarantine in their truck or other private arrangements when not undertaking work-related duties.
- Interstate drivers required to self-isolate while working in South Australia may still use truck stop facilities as long as they continue to follow the required health protocols.
- There are no restrictions on travellers who have completed cross border registration from low community transmission zones such as NT, QLD, WA and TAS provided that they have not been in any other place than the low community transmission zone within the last 14 days. There is no requirement to self-quarantine while waiting for test results; unless displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering Tasmania from any other state.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes – An essential traveller who has spent time in a designated NSW hotspot, QLD hotspot or any part of Victoria in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Tasmania will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test on arrival at air and seaports. There will be medical and or nursing staff at the ports to conduct the testing.
Where to get tested for COVID-19? Tasmania Testing for COVID-19
- Any visitors who have spent time in Victoria in the 14 days prior to travel are not permitted to travel to Tasmania.
- Essential travellers from Victoria, will still be able to apply to travel to Tasmania for a specified purpose. This category includes freight and logistics.
- All travellers will still be required to provide travel details on arrival. The most effective way of doing this is via the G2G PASS.
- A COVID Safe plan is mandatory.
Is a border pass required? – No border pass is required
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No
Where to get tested for COVID-19? Victoria Where to get tested for COVID-19. Testing for Asymptomatic persons in Victoria is available at private providers and there is no requirement to self-isolate until the test results have been received. This link from the federal government provides advice on how operators can utilise a new MBS number for utilisation if choosing to provide staff with testing at private providers.
- All workers in Victoria must obtain a Worker Permit from the Victorian Government, which can be done at this link.
- More information about the Worker Permit for heavy vehicle industry workers can be found here.
- A facemask is mandatory across all of Victoria when in public. This includes essential workers in the freight industry.
- If a driver is travelling in a vehicle by themselves they are permitted to remove the face mask while in their vehicle.
- Service centres and roadhouses will remain open across Victoria to comply with national heavy vehicle regulations.
- Face covering rules in Victoria
- On 24 July, National Cabinet approved the Protocol for Domestic Border Controls - Freight Movements to create, as far as possible, a common approach to border restrictions around Australia to assist with the movement of freight without unnecessary delays.
- Victoria has not closed its borders, so is not required to enforce the code and will not be publicly testing freight operators who are asymptomatic. Freight operators can take up the opportunity for private asymptomatic testing that can be organised through employers with private pathology laboratories. Drivers who are asymptomatic and have their tests through a private laboratory are NOT required to self-isolate while waiting for their results.
- Freight operators travelling within metropolitan Melbourne still need to comply with stage 4 directions including having an appropriate COVID-safe plan and permitted worker permit.
- Advice to operators utilising the National COVID-19 Emergency (Holiday Travel Condition) Derestriction Notice 2020 (No.7). At the request of Victorian Department of Transport, this notice will expire on 31 October 2020 and will not be extended. The holiday travel condition will revert to conditions prior to the implementation of the notice in March 2020. Please ensure you factor this expiration into your operational requirements.
Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering Western Australia from any other state.
Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes – If an essential traveller arrives in WA and remains for 48 hours a test is required. Another test is also required on day 11 if an essential worker remains in the state.
Where to get tested for COVID-19? Western Australia COVID clinics
Western Australia has confirmed that they will be implementing the Freight Movement Code for the Domestic Border Controls – Freight Movement Protocol from Friday 14 August.
Please note the following information specific to Western Australia as well as the conditions contained in the Code.
- COVID Safe Plans are encouraged, but not required, for the freight industry.
- Testing is mandatory on a 7 day rolling basis for all individuals crossing the border.
- If you have not been tested in the past 7 days you must present for a test within 48 hours of entering WA.
- No requirement to continue to be tested after being in WA for 14 days.
- Testing is available at public health emergency departments and COVID clinics. Companies may pay for private pathology testing to be undertaken on-site.
- People who have tested positive will be sent to isolation and will not be permitted to cross the border into another state until after they have completed quarantine or been re-tested and are no longer deemed contagious.
Summary of COVID-19 changes and updates
The NHVR has undertaken a number of recent changes to assist drivers and operators during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Some of the key changes which have involved us, include protocols for driver facilities to remain open, mapping of service centres with driver facilities, a new Daily Safety Checklist, waiving amenity restriction on curfew permits, and temporary changes to the National Heavy Vehicle Accreditation Scheme medical and face-to-face audit requirements.
Like all businesses we are continuing a process of on-going assessment of our capabilities and how we can deliver 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.
Click the links below for more details.
- COVIDSafe plans and work health and safety
- Can we still drive two-up under border restrictions?
- Curfew restrictions lifted
- Operating a truck driver lounge, truck driver room or similar facility at a roadside service centre or service stations
- Are service stations closing their showers and amenities?
- Freeze on fee increases
- NHVAS changes to medical requirements, face-to-face audit requirements and face to face training for fatigue management modules
- Re-registering a NHVAS vehicle in Queensland
- PBS Vehicle Certification and COVID-19
- Roller-brake testing (RBT) calibration relaxed
- Queensland heavy vehicle practical driving tests and free online training
- Are NHVR Safety and Compliance Officers still pulling people over?
- Simple steps to avoid coronavirus?