Coronavirus (COVID-19) response

Page current as of 11am Thursday 13 August 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.

We will continue to update this page and our Facebook and Twitter with any changes.

Thursday 13 August – Western Australia

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.

Monday 10 August - National

National Cabinet endorsed the Freight Movement Code for the Domestic Border Controls – Freight Movement Protocol.

In accordance with this Code the following measures will be enforceable in each state and territory that implements border controls, unless specified.

Each individual state has up until Monday 17 August to implement the protocol.

The NHVR is encouraging all operators to begin implementing additional measures within their business as soon as possible as outlined in the protocol.

The additional “enforceable measures” include:

  • A valid border permit or equivalent approval
  • A COVID Safe workplan – with mutual recognition for plans from other jurisdictions
  • Carrying and using COVID-19 related Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when social distancing is not possible including –
  • Evidence that a COVID-19 test has been carried out within a period no less than 7 days since the time of arrival into a state or territory and not exceeding a rolling 14 days
  • Record keeping for contact tracing purposes  to be kept and retained
  • Effective self-isolation where practicable when working
  • No passengers, unless required for the purposes of work (for example two up drivers) 

While mandatory testing is not yet 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.

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.

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.

Australian Capital Territory

Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering ACT from Victoria.

Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No

  • Freight and logistics operators must apply for an exemption at least 48 hours (wherever possible) before your intended travel date.
  • Transiting through the ACT for the purposes of freight is currently exempt.

More detailed information on the ACT

New South Wales

Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering NSW from Victoria.

Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No

Where to get tested for COVID-19? NSW COVID-19 testing clinics

  • 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.
  • COVID-19 testing every seven days is encouraged, but not mandatory, as part of a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
  • 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.

More detailed information on New South Wales

Northern Territory

Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering Northern Territory from any other state.

Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? No

Where to get tested for COVID-19? Northern Territory testing facilities

  • Any visitors who have been in a declared coronavirus hotspot will no longer be able to gain access or quarantine in Northern Territory.
  • Truck drivers moving essential, critical or urgent items are an exception to this, however they must quarantine in their truck or a hotel.
  • Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory must complete an arrival border crossing application and submit an application and have a letter signed by the Chief Health Officer (or their delegate) outlining the conditions under which they can enter the NT and work.
  • An application for exempt status must be completed and submitted with a copy of your COVID-19 management plan.
  • All exempt personnel must practice physical distancing of 1.5 metres and should limit their interactions with Territorians when not at work for the first 14 days of entering the NT.
  • Latest advice on Exemption to Quarantine
  • NT declared list of COVID-19 hotspots

More detailed information on the Northern Territory


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)

  • Pop up fever clinics are specialist clinics managed by Queensland Hospital and Health Services that assess people who may be infected with COVID-19.
  • No appointment is needed to get a COVID-19 test at these pop-up fever clinics. The tests are free for tourists and visitors, as well as residents and are available at several locations around Queensland, including some drive-through sites.
  • All drivers should adhere to additional health regulations:
  • Self-isolate in truck or accommodation when not working
  • Keep records of close contacts for 14 days

Apply for the Freight Pass here

Queensland Hotspots List

More information about Border Restrictions

South Australia

Is a border pass required? Yes – if entering South Australia from any other state.

Is a mandatory COVID-19 test required? Yes – Essential freight workers will be required to undertake a COVID-19 test within 24 hours of arrival and again on day 12 if they remain in the state unless they 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.

More detailed information on South Australia


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 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.

More detailed information on Tasmania


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

  • 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

More detailed information on Victoria

Western Australia

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

  • All heavy vehicle drivers must apply for an exemption under the transport, freight and logistics category to enter Western Australia.
  • The quickest and simplest way to apply for an exemption is via the G2G PASS.
  • Essential travellers from Victoria and NSW must wear a facemask when interacting with others, and continue to observe the 1.5m physical distancing requirements and keep a record of close contacts. It is also recommended that essential workers wear a facemask when working outside of their vehicle.

More detailed on Western Australia

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.