Thanks to the incredible efforts of Victorians in getting vaccinated so quickly and the high levels of community protection – from 6pm today the domestic travel permit system will end.
The new public health directions come into effect as Victoria hits 90 per cent double dose vaccinated – it abolishes the traffic light border scheme and all domestic border permits, regardless of vaccination status.
This change is in line with Phase D of the National Plan, which foreshadows domestic border restrictions being eased as local vaccination targets are met. As such, the red, orange and green zones permits required for entry into Victoria, as well as specified worker permits that allowed certain workers to cross the border for essential work, will no longer be required.
The border crossing permit system was introduced in January 2021 to prevent incursions of COVID-19 from other states and territories with active community transmission.
While Victoria still has active cases in the community, our high levels of vaccination mean the traffic light system and border permits are no longer a proportionate response.
This will also mean the border bubbles will end and international travellers who complete quarantine interstate will no longer need a permit.
Other permit provisions relating to international arrivals and international aircrew will remain. All visitors will still be required to follow public health orders while in Victoria.
Quotes attributable to Acting Chief Health Officer Professor Ben Cowie
“Victoria’s border permits were designed for a time before we had a vaccine, and there was the likelihood of incursions from other states and territories. Now we are a highly vaccinated society and there are fewer cases interstate, the risk is much lower.”
“Even though we are highly vaccinated, it is still critical that we wear masks where recommended, maintain social distancing, use hand sanitiser and have gatherings outside wherever possible. It is also essential that we get tested if we have any symptoms of coronavirus, no matter how mild, and tell our family, friends, workplace and school if we test positive to COVID.”
Reviewed 25 November 2021