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COVID-19 SA Border Information for Essential Travellers

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

Image displays "COVID-19 SA Border Restrictions" and "Essential Travellers" on a teal background.

This page is intended to provide information specific to the transport industry, particularly cross-border Service operators, with regards to South Australian declarations and requirements.

Regular email updates will be provided. It contains links for further information and will be monitored to respond to your questions and feedback.

Airline Traveller Entry Requirements

As of 12:01am Saturday 27 March 2021, travellers arriving in South Australia at Adelaide Airport are required to use the COVID Safe Check-In to scan a QR code immediately after their arrival. Travellers should download the mySA GOV app prior to travel.

Once in South Australia, travellers must use the COVID SAfe Check-In when arriving at a business, venue or event in South Australia.

For more information, read the media release.

Road Border Entry Requirements


Commercial Transport and Freight

  • If arriving by road and rail must produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before their arrival or undertake a point-of-care antigen based test and/or a COVID-19 test within 12hrs of entering the State of SA

Commercial Transport and Freight – arrival by road and rail

  • Required to produce evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72hrs prior to arrival in SA or directed to undertake a point-of-care antigen based test and/or a COVID-19 test within 12hrs of entering the State of SA.

Arrival by road

  • Required to produce evidence of having received at least one dose of a Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved COVID-19 vaccine from 12.01am on 7 OCTOBER 2021.

ESSENTIAL TRAVELLERS -  From 11 October 2021 must produce evidence of having received at least 1 dose of TGA approved COVID-19 vaccine.

*Essential workers who are ordinarily residents in the Victorian cross border corridor,  are excluded from the requirement to be vaccinated, as is a person with a medical exemption or a person who is pregnant.

SA.GOV.AU Cross Border Travel Page

Associated Direction #53

  • Specialist workers in essential sectors and remote or isolated workers are level 6 if arriving from one of the following restricted zones (NSW, Vic, ACT).
  • Please note: travellers under those categories can make application to SA Health for an exemption if they need to travel to SA.

Entry into South Australia Requirements Table  (Current at 23 September 21)

The cross border corridor is defined as the area 70 km either side of the border.  Essential Travellers, returning SA residents, people genuinely relocating and people escaping Domestic Violence, are subject to Level 4 requirements.

As of 3:22 pm on 18 August 21, please note: Remote or Isolated workers and Specialist workers in Essential Sectors - A declaration must be attached to their Cross Border Travel application declaring the risk mitigation plan complies with guidelines made by the Chief Public Health Officer on the SA Health website and the necessity of their travel into SA.

ACT & NSW Essential Traveller Table (Current at  23 Sept 21)

Victoria Essential Traveller Table (Current at  23 Sept 21)

All Commercial Transport and Freight Service operators into South Australia are required to complete a cross border registration form at least 72 hours prior to arrival. Those who completed Essential Traveller cross border registrations are NOT required to update their cross border status and can still travel on their current approvals.

Operators with an Approved Essential Traveller Application that is due to expire on any date in January 2021 have automatically had their approval extended for a period of six months. There is no requirement to make a new application. Operators whose application expired prior to January 2021 are required to reapply using the current process.

View the SAPOL Cross border travel page

Commercial Transport and Freight Services operators travelling from a “Prohibited or Restricted Zone” in NSW, ACT and Victoria are required to provide evidence of a COVID-19 test taken by an appropriately trained and qualified health care worker, within 72 hours preceding their arrival.  They must also comply with the other requirements of Essential Travellers as applicable, which may include: the need to self-quarantine when not working, wearing a mask when not in the cab, and when in contact with people, to keep records and to have a letter/documentation from their employer.

All overseas arrivals into Australia (including those from New Zealand) are required to complete mandatory quarantine in an place determined by SA Health. In the first instance this is likely to be an approved medi-hotel for 14 full days and nights. They must have COVID-19 test on day 1,5 & 13,  must wear a face mask (covering mouth and nose) at any time that they come into contact with the public for a period of 14 days after their arrival in SA.

Police Officers at the border will note whether evidence of a test was sighted or a direction to obtain a test was given.

Those Commercial Transport and Freight Service operators approved to enter SA from prohibited zones must not, without the approval of the Chief Executive of the Department for Health and Wellbeing, the South Australian Chief Public Health Officer or a deputy, enter a disability care, correctional or residential aged care facility, or a health care facility while they are in SA.

There are no restrictions on travellers who have completed a cross border registration from low community transmission zones provided that they have not been in any place other than the low community transmission zone within the last 14 days. There is no requirement to self-quarantine while waiting for test results, unless displaying symptoms of COVID-19, with the exception of travellers from Western Australia (other than those from the prohibited zone) who are required to self-quarantine until they receive a negative result from the day 1 test.

Commercial Transport and Freight Services (Essential Travellers) must keep and retain records of close contacts from the date of arrival in South Australia for 14 days not counting the day of arrival, or if they remain in South Australia for a period less than 14 days, for that period.

The records required to be kept are the name and phone number or other details of the close contact and the location at which the contact occurred, or if it is not reasonably practical to obtain the details – the time and location at which the contact occurred. The records need to be retained for a period of 28 days from the end of the period for which the records must be kept.

Note: Commercial Transport and Freight categories are excused from the COVID-19 testing regime if they can produce evidence of a COVID-19 or a negative COVID-19 result in the last 72 hours.

Important- If a person has entered South Australia under a previous COVID-19 Cross Border Direction they are required to follow those Directions provided to them upon entry unless otherwise instructed by an authorised officer.

Please  refer to the SA.GOV.AU  site for current Travel Restrictions


All essential travellers from the following restricted zones (apart from people who are ordinarily resident in the Victorian cross border corridor and essential travellers who are emergency services workers or commercial transport and freight workers):

(a)   ACT restricted zone

(b)   New South Wales restricted zone

(c)   Victorian restricted zone,

must produce evidence of a COVID-19 test as follows in order to be a level 4 or 5 arrival (as applicable)—

(i)     - if arriving by air, produce evidence of a COVID-19 test taken by an appropriately trained and qualified health care worker, within 72 hours before their arrival in South Australia; and;

(i     -  if arriving by any other means, produce evidence of a COVID-19 test taken by an appropriately trained and qualified health care worker, within 72 hours before their arrival in South Australia or, in the event that an authorised officer is satisfied that they were unable to obtain a test within that period, must comply with the testing requirements in clause 5 of the General Direction applicable to Level 2-5 arrivals.

Commercial Transport and Freight Service operators are not required to have a COVID-19 test before entering SA if arriving from low community transmission zones.

View contact-tracing alerts.


There is no requirement to self-quarantine while waiting for test results, unless displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

Maritime Crew - Requirements Updated

Maritime crew arriving into South Australia from overseas are deemed not to arrive if they do not disembark the vessel. A crew member who has been on a vessel within the preceding 14 days, with no one else embarking, is cleared to disembark providing they submit to a COVID-19 test within 48 hours with a negative result and is cleared to disembark by a Human Biosecurity Officer for SA. If the conditions noted cannot be met either through arrival on a vessel, or an aircraft, the crew member must reside and remain, quarantined and segregated from others, at a location determined by an Authorised Officer for a 14-day period starting at the time of their arrival.

A person must not embark a vessel that has arrived in South Australia from a country other than Australia, and that has not been cleared by a  Human  Biosecurity Officer unless:

  • the person is wearing personal protective equipment as approved by the Department; and
  • the person has been vaccinated against COVID-19 or (comes into affect 12.01 Friday 10th September)
  • the person is an emergency service worker responding to an emergency

Fact Sheets have been provided to detail;

Rail Workers - Requirements

Please note - A Rail worker entering from interstate must apply for border crossing as a Commercial, Freight and Transport worker

Medicare Rebate for Freight Operators

The Australian Government announced a $2 billion extension in funding for Medicare-subsidised telehealth and pathology services for a further six months, to 31 March 2021. This includes an extension to the Medicare rebate for asymptomatic testing of freight operators at private COVID‑19 testing clinics. The Medicare item has been expanded to include testing of rail crew.

The 18 September 2020, update of the Medicare Benefits Scheme is available at:

To receive updates

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If you have a query relating to an Essential Worker, please email

See previous email alerts/updates

For further information, please see the following links


SA Health