Entering and Leaving the ACT

Entering-the-ACT-icoEntering the ACT

Rules and restrictions, based on travel are identified in the current Public Health (COVID-19 Areas of Concern Notice 2021), and include high risk geographical areas (listed as COVID-19 Affected Areas), COVID-19 places of concern and close and casual exposure locations.

What you are required to do is dependent on your vaccination status and if you have been to an identified high-risk area in the last 14 days or an exposure location in the ACT or any other state or territory.

If you are travelling outside of the ACT, please stay up to date on any information relevant to you.

The current Public Health (COVID-19 Areas of Concern Notice 2021) is updated twice daily, where required and a summary of restrictions in place can be found below.

JurisdictionStatus
New South Wales High Risk Geographical Areas and exposure locations- Check for details
Victoria High Risk Geographical Areas - Check for details
Queensland Exposure locations in Queensland - Check for details
South Australia Exposure locations in South Australia - Check for details
Northern Territory Exposure locations in Northern Territory - Check for details
Tasmania Exposure locations in Tasmania - Check for details
Western Australia No restrictions
Jervis Bay No restrictions
Flights Flights identified - Check for details

Declaration-forms-iconDeclaration and exemption forms

The online declaration and exemption form for entering the ACT are available on the Online travel form page.

Conditions for high-risk geographical areas

Fully vaccinated (residents and non-residents of the ACT)

I have been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • Travellers are permitted to enter the ACT for any reason.
  • Travellers must complete an exemption form within 72 hours prior of their intended arrival into the ACT.
  • Exemption documentation will be issued immediately confirming entry into the ACT.
  • Travellers must monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days from the last date in the area.
  • If any symptoms develop, you must seek testing immediately and isolate until a negative result is received.

I have not been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • You can enter the ACT for any reason
  • You do not need to complete an exemption form.
  • You do not need to undertake any quarantine or stay at home requirements.

Unvaccinated residents

I have been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • Complete an exemption form within 72 hours to their intended arrival into the ACT.
  • An exemption confirming the ACT resident’s ability to enter the ACT will be issued following verification of identity, residency, confirmation of authority to leave the jurisdiction in which the person is currently located.
  • Individuals are required to Stay at Home until 14 days have passed since last in the area.
  • Individuals are permitted to leave their premises for the following:
    • a. To undertake essential work or study, if they cannot work or study from home or remotely.
    • b. To attend usual childcare arrangements, where parents or guardians need to undertake essential work or study.
    • c. To shop for essentials like groceries, medicine, and necessary supplies.
    • d. To attend to medical or health care needs including compassionate requirements, and looking after the vulnerable.
    • e. To attend a facility to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, where the individual is eligible for a vaccination in the ACT, an appointment has been booked, and the individual is not in isolation or in quarantine.
    • f. To exercise outdoors, limited to one hour per day. g. For essential animal welfare purposes (e.g. to feed pets or livestock that live elsewhere).
    • h. Leaving due to an emergency.
  • All individuals aged 12 years and over must wear a mask at all times upon leaving their premises for the above-mentioned reasons.
  • Mask wearing is not required if individuals are undertaking vigorous exercise outdoors.

I have not been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • You can enter the ACT for any reason
  • You do not need to complete an exemption application.
  • You do not need to undertake any quarantine or stay at home requirements.
  • This applies to residents and non-residents entering the ACT.

Unvaccinated non-residents

I have been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • Not enter the ACT unless they obtain an exemption before arriving.
  • Where an exemption has been granted, comply with all Stay at Home requirements and/or any conditions outlined in the exemption documentation.

I have not been to a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days

  • You can enter the ACT for any reason
  • You do not need to complete an exemption application.
  • You do not need to undertake any quarantine or stay at home requirements.
  • This applies to residents and non-residents entering the ACT.

Travellers under the age of 12

Accompanied travellers under the age of 12

  • Accompanied travellers under the age of 12 who have been in a high-risk geographical area in the last 14 days will be asked to follow the same requirements as the accompanying parents or guardians.

Unaccompanied travellers under the age of 12

  • Not enter the ACT unless they obtain an exemption before arriving.
  • Separate conditions will be provided on a case by case basis. These conditions will likely include testing requirements only.

Conditions for close contacts in the ACT and other states & territories

Fully vaccinated residents of the ACT who are currently in the ACT must:

I have been identified as a close contact of an exposure location in any state or territory and I am a fully vaccinated resident of the ACT who is in the ACT

  • Complete the declaration form and upload proof of vaccination within 24 hours from the commencement of a COVID-19 Area of Concern notice.
  • Quarantine immediately for 7 days since attending the exposure location.
  • Undergo appropriate testing for COVID-19, regardless of whether symptoms are present, upon entering quarantine, on day 6 of the quarantine period and on day 12 or 13 since last attending the exposure location.
  • Not attend a high-risk setting between days 8 and 14, unless the setting is their usual residence or exempted by an authorised public health officer.
  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date last in a listed exposure location, and if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, they must go to a COVID-19 testing clinic to be retested.

Note: The definition of fully vaccinated is outlined in the Public Health (COVID-19 Diagnosed People and Close Contacts) Emergency Direction 2021.

Unvaccinated residents of the ACT who are currently in the ACT must:

I have been identified as a close contact of an exposure location in any state or territory and I am an unvaccinated resident of the ACT who is currently in the ACT

  • Complete the declaration form within 24 hours from the commencement of a COVID-19 area of concern notice.
  • Quarantine immediately for 14 days since attending the exposure location.
  • Undergo appropriate testing for COVID-19, regardless of whether symptoms are present, upon entering quarantine, on days 5 to 7 of the quarantine period and again on days 12 to 13.
  • Monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date last in a listed exposure location, and if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, they must go to a COVID-19 testing clinic to be retested.

Note: Close contacts under 12 years of age will be considered as unvaccinated close contacts and will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Residents of the ACT who are not currently in the ACT must:

I have been identified as a close contact of an exposure location in any state or territory and I am a resident of the ACT who is not currently in the ACT

  • Follow the health advice of the jurisdiction they are currently in.
  • If required, seek an exemption from the appropriate jurisdiction, should they wish to return home to the ACT.
  • Seek an exemption from ACT Health prior to entering the ACT. Note: Quarantine requirements will apply.

Non-residents of the ACT must:

I have been identified as a close contact of an exposure location in any state or territory and I am a non-resident of the ACT

  • Not enter the ACT unless they obtain an exemption from ACT Health before arriving.
  • Where an exemption has been granted, comply with all conditions outlined in the exemption documentation.
  • Unless advised otherwise, quarantine immediately for 14 days since attending the venue, regardless of your test result.

Note: Non-Residents of the ACT who travelled to the ACT prior to the commencement of this Notice, must comply with the requirements for Residents of the ACT who are currently in the ACT.

Conditions for casual contacts in the ACT and other states & territories

Residents and non-residents of the ACT – regardless of vaccination status:

I have been identified as a casual contact of an exposure location in any state or territory.

This applies to residents and non-residents.

  • Persons who are currently in the ACT and have attended a listed Casual Contact Exposure Location in New South Wales are to complete a self-declaration form within 24 hours of being in the Exposure Location, or within 24 hours from the commencement of a COVID-19 area of concern notice.
  • Undergo appropriate testing for COVID-19, regardless of whether symptoms are present, and quarantine at your place of residence or other suitable accommodation until informed of a negative test result
    • Persons who were at a casual contact location less than 5 days ago will need to undergo two tests. The person is to undergo the first test upon learning that they are a casual contact and quarantine until they receive a negative test result. The person must undergo a second test on day 6 after the person was at the casual contact exposure location.
    • Persons who were at a casual contact exposure location 5 or more days ago will only need to undergo one test, to be conducted as soon as possible upon learning that they are a casual contact. The person must remain in quarantine until the person receives a negative test result.
  • Continue to monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the date last in a listed exposure location, and if they experience any symptoms of COVID-19, they must go to a COVID-19 testing clinic to be retested.

Note: Points 2 and 3 continue to apply regardless of whether a negative test result was obtained in another jurisdiction. Irrespective of tests conducted under Point 2, persons who are Casual Contacts should get tested again for COVID-19 if the person experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild.

Note: A test means a Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test. Rapid Antigen Tests are not considered a COVID-19 test for the purposes of this Direction

Leaving the ACT iconLeaving the ACT

There are no rules or restrictions in place to prevent you leaving the ACT for any reason, however, ACT Health advises that any travel to high-risk geographical areas should be undertaken with caution.

Each jurisdiction has their own public health directions and if restrictions are in place, these must be followed when you are in that area. This may include restrictions based on your vaccination status including a requirement to show your COVID-19 digital certificate, as proof of vaccination on entry into certain premises.

It is your responsibility to keep informed of any restrictions relevant to you in other jurisdictions and follow all public health directions which are in place.

For the latest rules on vaccination and travel, check the government website of your destination:

Read more here for information on testing requirements for domestic travel.

Hish-risk-areas-iconTravel and high-risk settings

A high-risk setting is defined as a setting where there are a large number of people who are vulnerable to severe disease from COVID-19 (e.g. due to age or chronic medical conditions), and/or where there is a higher risk of COVID-19 transmission due to close proximity and difficulties maintaining physical distancing.

High-risk settings include:

  • hospitals
  • residential aged care facilities
  • correctional and detention facilities
  • residential accommodation facilities that support people who require frequent, close personal care and who are vulnerable to severe disease.

For information on any restrictions currently in place for high-risk settings please visit the High-risk settings page.

Face-mask-iconFace masks for air travel

Face masks are mandatory for people aged 12 years and over while inside the Canberra Airport terminal and during domestic commercial flights in and out of Canberra.

If you are transiting through other states or territories to reach the ACT, you must check the Face masks 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: November 30 2021