Travelling and transport

Public transport

Public transport services

Please use public transport only if necessary.

There are currently no changes to timetables, but services are operating a bit differently to keep everyone safe.

Please note that Transport Canberra has planned network improvements starting on 18 July.

When travelling on public transport, please :

  • use MyWay or pre-purchase tickets as drivers are not accepting cash
  • tap on and off each time you travel to help with COVID tracing if necessary
  • use rear doors to enter and exit buses unless you need a low front door access
  • always practise good hygiene
  • maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres at stops and stations
  • spread out on board by leaving a seat or more if you can
  • travel outside peak times if you can.

Other changes include:

  • drivers do not accept cash
  • front seats on buses are closed to give more space between drivers and passengers
  • light rail doors open automatically so you don’t have to touch the button
  • extra cleaning on light rail vehicles and buses and at stops and interchanges
  • extra hygiene measures for staff including personal sanitiser for drivers.

If you are caring for a child who is using public transport, please discuss these changes with them.

School buses

All regular route services and school special services are operating.

However, please reconsider whether a child you care for needs to catch a bus.

Look at alternative transport if their route is crowded.

More information about timetables is on the Transport Canberra website and the ACT Education Directorate website.

Special Needs Transport Service

This service is operating for enrolled students going to school in person.

To support each child’s need, any changes will be discussed with the schools and families.

If you are unwell

Do not use public transport if you are unwell or in quarantine or isolation.

If you need to travel home for quarantine, please use a personal mode of transport if available.

If this is not possible, please contact Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to arrange alternative travel.

Any future changes to public transport will be based on advice from the National Cabinet.

For more information, including updates, visit the Transport Canberra website.

If a passenger has COVID-19

Buses, light rail vehicles, stops and stations are cleaned regularly so risk of transmission is low.

Details of any service identified as having had a confirmed COVID case on board will be published on the Confirmed case information page and shared on ACT Health and Transport Canberra social media channels and the Transport Canberra website .

If you have a registered MyWay card and your service is identified, ACT Health will try to contact you.

If you think you have been on an identified service, you can check with Transport Canberra on 13 17 10. You will need to provide the number of the registered MyWay card   you used to travel.

If your service had a case identified, call the COVID-19 Helpline on (02) 6207 7244 for more information.

If you develop symptoms, please follow advice on the Feeling unwell page.

Driving and licenses

It’s a good idea to limit passengers from outside your household to one.

Where possible, maintain physical distancing and keep up good hygiene.

In a car, this might mean a passenger sits in the back. Clean the hard surfaces after travel.

Driving lessons are allowed.

Learner drivers and their supervising licensed drivers should maintain physical distancing and keep up good hygiene as much as possible.

Please cancel or postpone the lesson if you are feeling unwell.

You may need to limit the time of your lessons and stay within ACT borders.

Learner licences

All learner motorbike and car licences that expire between 23 March 2020 and 1 January 2021 will have their expiry date extended by 12 months.

You do not need to do anything and there is no associated cost.

You will not be issued with a new licence.

The police will know the new expiry date because they have access to the ACT licensing system.

If you need a replacement licence, apply online with Access Canberra.

New P-plate provisions

If you received your learner car licence before 1 January 2020 and it is extended, you will remain on the previous licensing scheme.

You will not be subject to the new requirements for obtaining a provisional car licence.

If you need to renew your learner licence after this extension, you will transition to the new licensing scheme.

You will then have to satisfy the requirements that started on 1 January 2020.

Overseas licence

Holders of a current overseas licence who have become permanent residents have an additional three months to convert to an ACT licence.

This means you have six months in total to convert your licence.

Driver testing for overseas licence holders has ceased until further notice.

Interstate or external territory driver licences

Holders of an interstate or external territory driver licence who move to the ACT are required to obtain an ACT driver licence within three months of taking up residency in the ACT.

These licence holders will now have an additional three months to covert to an ACT licence, making six months in total.

Taxis and ride share

Taxis and ride share vehicles are operating in the ACT.

Do not use or drive a taxi or ride share vehicle if you feel unwell.

Drivers and passengers should maintain physical distancing and good hygiene.

Passengers should sit in the backseat where possible. If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and clean hard surfaces with disinfectant wipes if possible.

Advice about wearing masks is on the Protect yourself page.

Drivers    should put in place extra cleaning practices.

For example, clean surfaces with detergent or disinfectant wipes at the end of each shift.

If a passenger coughs or sneezes, ask them to use a tissue to cover their nose and mouth and clean hard surfaces before the next passenger gets in.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and have no private means of transport to get to a centre for testing, please contact Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 to arrange alternative travel.

Travelling interstate

You should not travel if you are unwell.

ACT residents should not travel to COVID-19 hotspots, including Melbourne suburbs that are currently under stay at home public health orders until 29 July 2020.  Any non-essential travel to other parts of greater metropolitan Melbourne is strongly discouraged.

From 7am on Friday 3 July 2020, anyone entering the ACT who has been in a Melbourne COVID-19 hotspot, including ACT residents, must undergo a period of quarantine (at their own expense) until 14 days after leaving the hotspot.

Further information for people entering the ACT from the greater Melbourne metropolitan area can be found on the Health advice on COVID-19 hotspots in Melbourne page.

If you choose to travel interstate, it is your responsibility to maintain physical distancing and practise good hygiene.

Adhere to the rules of the state you are travelling to. Check the rules for each state or territory.

More travel advice is available on the Australian Department of Health website.

Travelling to NSW

Canberrans can visit NSW for a holiday.

For information about visiting NSW, please visit the NSW Government website.

Travelling to the ACT

The ACT borders have never been closed.

You should not travel if you are unwell.

From 7am on Friday 3 July 2020, anyone entering the ACT who has been in a Melbourne COVID-19 hotspot, including ACT residents, must undergo a period of quarantine (at their own expense) until 14 days after leaving the hotspot.

Further information for anyone coming into the ACT from the greater Melbourne metropolitan area can be found on the Health advice on COVID-19 hotspots in Melbourne page.

Depending on your state’s rules, you may need to quarantine when you go home.

If you are driving to the ACT, keep your stops to a safe minimum.

You must follow current Public Health Emergency Directions in the ACT.

It is your responsibility to maintain physical distancing and practise good hygiene.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms while in the ACT, get tested immediately.

For more information, contact the ACT’s COVID-19 Helpline on (02) 6207 7244 between 8am and 8pm daily.

Travelling overseas

Entering Australia

Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel back to Australia.

All travellers returning home from overseas are quarantined at their arrival port in a designated facility like a hotel for 14 days.

For more information, visit the Australian Government's update about quarantining.

Leaving Australia

There is ban on Australians travelling overseas.

The Smartraveller Travel Advice is Level 4 – Do Not Travel overseas.

Exceptions include:

  • for those citizens who usually live overseas
  • where travel is essential
  • where travel is in the national interest
  • on compassionate and humanitarian grounds.

Australian Border Force manages these exemptions.

More travel advice is available on the Australian Department of Health website.

Temporary visa holders

Many Canberrans have temporary visas.

For information about support available in the ACT, please visit the Access help page.

acknowledgement icon
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the ACT, the Ngunnawal people. We acknowledge and respect their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

Last Updated: July 03 2020