COVID-19 — SECOND VICTORIA BORDER UPDATE

ACF is updating you on all customs and forwarding news, in Australia and across the world. This is the latest freight and logistics update issued by the Victorian State Government and Department of transport. You can download the full release here. The below outlines the updated restrictions and closures. 

Updated restrictions

In line with advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has announced that metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will return to Stage 3 Stay at Home restrictions from 11.59 pm on Wednesday 8 July 2020.

This decision was made in response to a significant increase in community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in these areas. These restrictions will not affect freight services or workers who live in metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire. As an essential service, freight services can continue to operate normally throughout Victoria for business purposes. This will ensure that essential supplies get to where they need to go during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

NSW border closure

The New South Wales Government has closed its border with Victoria from 12:01 am Wednesday 8 July 2020. Freight is considered a critical service under the NSW issued Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order, see http://tiny.cc/q7jisz Entry permits are required and can be applied for via https://www.service.nsw.gov.au/transaction/apply-covid-19-nswborder-entry-permit, but do not require self-isolation if your employer has a COVID-19 safety plan. COVID-19 safety plans and guidelines to assist the industry are available here http://tiny.cc/y6jisz Freight Victoria is continuing to work closely with Transport for NSW which is working with NSW Police and NSW Health to streamline movements for freight over the border. Road users are encouraged to plan ahead as detours are in place along some routes and delays may occur. Keep up to date at VicTraffic https://traffic.vicroads.vic.gov.au and NSW Live Traffic https://www.livetraffic.com/.

Of the 55 border crossings, six have been prioritised as main crossings: Wodonga Place, South Albury; Hume Highway, South Albury; Cobb Highway, Moama; Newell Highway, Tocumwal; Sturt Highway, Buronga; Princes Highway, Tambillica. Further information can be found here http://tiny.cc/84jisz.

Queensland border closure

The Queensland Government has updated its coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions. This will mean that people who have been in Victoria within the last 14 days must not enter Queensland and will be turned away at the border without a valid pass. Freight drivers from Victoria must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass prior to entry– border passes are valid for 7 days. There are additional requirements for freight drivers from Victoria. They must:

  • Keep a record of people they come into close contact with while in Queensland.
  • Maintain a 1.5-metre distance from others.
  • Remain self-quarantined in their vehicle or accommodation as much as possible

Queensland Border Declaration Passes are available at —https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/healthalerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/border-restrictions

South Australia border closure

A person travelling from Victoria cannot enter South Australia, unless they are considered an essential traveller https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/latest-news/updated-border-restrictions-in-place such as a commercial transport or freight driver. Commercial transport and freight drivers must apply for Cross Border Travel Registration and essential traveller status in order to enter South Australia. Drivers and operators will be required to:

  • wear a face mask – cloth mask or surgical face mask – covering the mouth and nose, when in public.
  • self-quarantine when not performing those duties for which they have been permitted to enter South Australia or are travelling to/from the place they perform those duties.
  • keep a record of people they come into close contact with while in South Australia over a period of 14 days from when they arrive (or, until the period they leave South Australia if their stay is less than 14 days). These records must be retained for 28 days after the 14 days of record keeping. Self-quarantining can include a driver sleeping in their truck’s cabin.

These restrictions also apply to any commercial transport or freight crews entering South Australia. Applications for Cross Border Travel Registration and essential traveller status can be made via South Australia Police found here https://www.police.sa.gov.au/online-services/cross-border-travel-application. People travelling from Victoria into South Australia are prohibited from entering South Australia except on certain roads. For more information, visit https://www.covid-19.sa.gov.au/latest-news/updated-border-restrictions-in-place

Clarifying procedures for maritime crew

On 1 April, Australian Border Force expanded a 14-day on-board quarantine rule to include crews on vessels from any port outside Australia. The Victorian Government has provided further detail on quarantine of crews on vessels and the movement of non-cruise maritime crew. The changes affect:

  • Maritime crew who live in Victoria or elsewhere in Australia arriving into Victoria on vessels from international waters
  • Maritime crew arriving into Victoria from overseas on an international flight planning to board a maritime vessel in Victoria
  • Maritime crew who are leaving the vessel in Victoria to board an international flight
  • Maritime crew arriving on an international vessel and planning to leave Victoria on another vessel that is departing for an international port
  • Maritime crew on a vessel that has left an Australian port, travelled into international waters, and then arrived back into a Victorian port (for example, a surveying vessel)
  • Maritime crew arriving into Victoria on vessels that have only been in Australian waters
  • Maritime crew requiring medical attention (for non-coronavirus or other listed human disease-related illness) who would not otherwise be disembarking in Victoria
  • Shore-based professionals performing work on a vessel in Victorian ports
  • International crew performing shore-based activities

Further detail on the complete list of changes can be found in the full Coronavirus (COVID19) release as referenced at the top of this article. You can download the release here.