Application for an exemption to enter ACT

If you are a non-ACT resident and you have been in Victoria in the past 14 days, you will need to apply for an exemption to enter the ACT, even if you are currently in NSW or another State or Territory.

If it has been more than 14 days since you have been in Victoria, you will not require an exemption to enter the ACT

The ACT has closed its borders for anyone travelling into the ACT from Victoria, unless you have an exemption to enter.  ACT residents can return home, but they will be required to enter quarantine until 14 days after leaving Victoria.

If you are not an ACT resident and you have an exceptional need to travel to the ACT, you will need to apply for an exemption at least 48 hours (wherever possible) before your intended travel date. Anyone entering the ACT without an exemption will be denied entry.

If you are travelling by road, you may also require a permit to travel through NSW. Visit the Service NSW website.

Exceptional circumstances

Exceptional circumstances include:

  • urgent medical care;
  • law enforcement;
  • emergency purposes;
  • transiting through the ACT by road for business or freight purposes;
  • transiting through Canberra airport by air to another destination and you are not leaving the Canberra airport during your transit; or
  • you have travelled directly to the ACT immediately after completing an unbroken 14-day hotel quarantine period in Melbourne following a flight that originated from overseas.


You may be eligible for an exemption for the following reasons:

  • providing essential services in the ACT which may include the following industries;
    • health Care
    • government, law enforcement or military
    • Member of Parliament or staff
    • education
    • agriculture
    • construction, Engineering, or manufacturing.
  • compassionate grounds e.g. visiting a family member receiving palliative care;
  • attending the funeral of an immediate family member;
  • entering the ACT as a person in-transit;
  • needing to attend medical appointments;
  • entering for child access or critical care arrangements; or
  • required to attend court or legal proceeding.

You should not apply for an exemption if Victoria’s current public health restrictions prevent you from travelling.

Applying for an exemption

In your application for an exemption you will need to supply:

  • your name and date of birth
  • your address, phone number and email address
  • reason for entry
  • the address you intend to stay in ACT
  • evidence to support your request e.g. medical records, legal documents; and
  • evidence to support you are an essential worker including:
    • the work is essential i.e. it would have a negative impact to the work sector or ACT community if not provided at this time;
    • the work cannot be undertaken by another person within the ACT, performed remotely, or by a person from another jurisdiction other than Victoria; and/or
    • a letter or statement from your employer (or statutory declaration if self-employed) that your entry to the ACT is essential and cannot be undertaken remotely or by another person.

* Exemptions may only be approved with specific restrictions such as quarantine requirements.

Entering the ACT

When entering the ACT, you must have:

  • a copy of your exemption paperwork with you; and
  • supporting evidence associated with your travel.

Additional advice for essential workers

Health care workers

Additional evidence will be required for healthcare workers including that the health service must be deemed essential; the health service cannot be provided by a person within the ACT or another jurisdiction other than Victoria, and the person providing the health service can comply with quarantine restrictions with exception to the essential service being provided.

Freight services

The Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Travellers) Emergency Direction 2020 specifically exempts all transits through the Australian Capital Territory by road for business or freight purposes.

Therefore, under the Direction, freight, transport and trucking companies do not need to apply for an exemption to enter the ACT.

The preference would be that companies who are transiting through the ACT restrict their activity to the delivery or receipt of goods only.  Should there be a need to take a rest stop in order to manage fatigue, we ask that drivers adhere to the following protocols:

  • drivers should contain rest stops to one overnight stay;
  • drivers should take all reasonable steps to minimise their contact with other persons;
  • drivers should look to quarantine during their time in the ACT.  They should remain in their vehicle or accommodation when not working, and not attend public places;
  • ordering of food should be by delivery and contactless wherever possible; and
  • keep good records of where you have been including dates and times.

If drivers intend to stay for longer than a one-night rest stop they must apply for an exemption.

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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 14 2020