People who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days may not enter NSW, unless authorised under NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 which commenced on 7 August 2020.
Border control is necessary for the safety and health of NSW residents.
Compassionate permits to enter NSW from Victoria are granted in very limited circumstances according to strict criteria. Please read the information on this page before you apply.
This information only applies to people who are seeking entry to NSW on compassionate grounds. For information on permits to enter or return to NSW for all other reasons, visit NSW Government - Border restrictions.
Criteria for entry to NSW on compassionate grounds
Compassionate permits are granted in very limited circumstances due to the high risk of COVID-19 transmission. Permits will be considered only where:
- a family member is in their last days of life
- you are attending a funeral or memorial service (only in extenuating circumstances - see Funerals).
Requests to attend weddings, religious ceremonies or family functions will not be considered.
Entry permits issued on compassionate grounds will have specific conditions for individual situations, applied under the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020. You must comply with the conditions while in NSW.
We will grant a permit for entry from Victoria to attend a funeral in NSW only if:
- the deceased is a first degree relative (father, mother, brother, sister or child) or the deceased is of significant importance to you (e.g. sole surviving relative)
- the funeral is intended to have less than 20 attendees - if the funeral has more than 20 attendees, consider options to live stream the funeral so you can attend virtually
- you will wear a mask while at the funeral
- you will only remain in NSW for the minimum amount of time to attend the funeral
- you will arrive and leave by a direct route
- you will not use public transport while in NSW
- you will maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from all other people who are not members of your household where reasonably practical, while you are in NSW
- a copy of the Bereavement verification (available from the funeral director) accompanies the application.
If a permit is granted and you then develop symptoms of COVID-19 or are diagnosed with COVID-19, you must not attend the funeral. Consider the welfare of others.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need a permit to enter NSW for hospital or medical services?
For emergency medical, hospital, dental or veterinary care, a permit is not required. For non-emergency medical or hospital services, a permit is required.
I have not been in Melbourne or in a ‘hot-spot’ area. Do I need a permit to enter NSW on compassionate grounds?
Yes, the border restrictions apply to all areas of Victoria from 8 July 2020.
I live in a border community. Can I enter NSW for compassionate reasons?
Border community residents are under an obligation to self-isolate if they have travelled to a place in Victoria outside a border community. Please see NSW Government - Border restrictions for information for people living in border communities. Travel for compassionate reasons within NSW outside the border community requires an entry permit.
Can I visit my relative in a hospital, health or aged care facility?
A compassionate entry permit includes specific strict conditions from NSW Health. People who have been in Victoria in the last 14 days present a high risk of COVID-19 transmission and should not enter a health care facility unless it forms part of those conditions or they require urgent medical attention.
Approval from the hospital or health care facility is required prior to applying for a compassionate grounds permit. You will need to submit a letter of agreement from the facility with your application.
Visitor access to facilities where vulnerable older people live and receive care is restricted. Requests for entry from Victoria to attend an aged care facility will not be considered due to the current high risk of COVID-19 transmission and the potential consequences in these settings.
Can I transit through NSW to make a compassionate visit in another state?
Transiting through NSW requires an entry permit and is subject to the conditions specified in that permit. You can only enter NSW if you have lawful authority to enter the state outside NSW you are travelling to. Further, you will obliged to leave NSW by the most practicable direct route. Learn more and apply at NSW Government - Border restrictions.
What is required of me if I am a granted an entry permit on compassionate grounds?
Entry permits issued on compassionate grounds will have specific conditions for individual situations, applied under the NSW Public Health (COVID-19 Border Control) Order 2020 [NSW]. You must comply with the conditions while in NSW. The conditions are determined when a permit is granted and are stated on the NSW Health Conditions of Compassionate Permit document that is provided with the entry permit.
What happens after I have applied?
Applications are assessed in order of priority. When an outcome has been determined for your application, you will receive an email to the email address registered on the ServiceNow community portal. You can login to NSW Health ServiceNow to see the progress of your application. Applications take approximately 7 days to process.
What happens if I enter NSW without a permit?
Breaches of the Public Health Order are subject to penalties.
Can I bring other people or children with me to NSW?
Everyone entering NSW on compassionate grounds must have a permit. You will need to submit a separate application for each person. Please include all relevant evidence and the details of people you are travelling with so the applications can be processed together.
How do I apply for a permit to enter NSW on compassionate grounds?
Applications for compassionate permits are assessed on an individual basis. If a compassionate permit is granted, an approval code is provided by NSW Health. This approval code is required to complete your application for a compassionate permit via Service NSW.
Steps to apply
- Register for an account with NSW Health ServiceNow.
- Validate your email address.
- Login to NSW Health ServiceNow and select 'Create New NSW Health Air & Maritime Public Health Orders Exemption Request'.
- Indicate your criteria as 'Travel to NSW from within Australia'.
- If information requested cannot be provided (e.g. passport number), please leave blank or state 'NA'.
- So your application can be progressed, include:
- intended date and time of arrival to NSW
- address where you intend to self-isolate in NSW
- how you will manage self-isolation in NSW: provide a detailed self-isolation plan (refer to the self-isolation guidelines for recently returned travellers who have been granted an exemption.)
- documentation to support your application (applications will not be processed without this):
- If applying to enter NSW to visit a family member is in their last days of life include:
- a letter from the senior treating clinician outlining the current medical status of your family member
- an approval letter from the senior hospital administrator where visitation of family member is taking place.
- If applying to enter NSW to attend a funeral include a bereavement verification (available from the funeral director) including time, date and location of funeral, and the number of attendees.
- If your application is approved, you will receive an approval code. Visit Service NSW and use the approval code to complete your application for a compassionate permit. You will receive your permit document via email from Service NSW.
- If granted a permit, NSW Health will email you the conditions of the compassionate permit specific to your situation. You must comply with the conditions while in NSW.
- Both the entry permit and the conditions associated with your entry permit must be kept with you during your time in NSW. You may receive a follow-up phone call or visit from the Public Health Unit or NSW Police during your stay in NSW.
If you require additional information, phone Service NSW on 1300 288 222.