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COVID-19: Safer travel guidance

COVID-19 restrictions in NSW

Latest updates - Thursday 23 September

COVID-19 travel registration

If you live or work in a local government area (LGA) of concern, or you live in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains or Wollongong and need to travel outside your local area, you may need to register your travel.

A travel registration allows you to leave your home and travel outside Greater Sydney, outside your local government area for work, or to move house. You must follow the stay-at-home rules until it has been 14 days since you left your home.

Register your travel

NSW Health Advice for the return to school in parts of regional NSW

With lockdown restrictions easing in some parts of regional NSW, school services will resume in these areas from Monday 13 September.

  • All staff operating vehicles are required to wear a face mask
    • All students aged 13 years and over are required to wear a face mask at a public transport waiting area or in a vehicle being used to provide a public transport service in line with the public health order
    • Children aged 12 years and under are encouraged to wear a face mask whilst using public transport in line with school operational levels. For schools within areas under stay-at-home restrictions, face masks are recommended for children aged 12 years and under whilst using public transport
  • School children/adolescents are encouraged to not eat or drink whilst using public transport. Students are also reminded to not share drinks, snacks or other food
  • Wherever possible students should be transported to schools by private vehicle to minimise mixing en route to school. Restrictions on carpooling may apply
  • Students are encouraged to sanitise their hands prior to entering and after exiting transport vehicles

Stay at home rules

  • Stay at home rules apply across NSW, with the exception of some parts of regional NSW.
  • Everyone must stay at home unless it is for an essential reason.
  • Do not use public transport unless making an essential trip.
  • Do not travel outside your local area if you can avoid it.
  • If you are in a local government area of concern, follow the rules for your area.

For the latest updates, rules and case locations, visit nsw.gov.au.

Across NSW

Consider your travel options and use your private vehicle if you can. If you have to use public transport:

  • Plan ahead as there will be changes to your usual trip.
  • Wear a face mask - Face masks are mandatory on public transport across NSW, including taxis, rideshare and hire cars.
  • Look for the green dots - Sit or stand where you see a green dot on public transport.
  • Avoid non-essential travel
  • Avoid travel to Greater Sydney unless essential AND people will need to observe the stay at home order when they go back home

Public Transport service changes

We are operating a dynamic timetable to support NSW Health. We are monitoring the network and will make timetable adjustments as needed.

We ask that if you need to move around, please use your private vehicle if you can, and for those essential workers needing to use the network, please plan ahead as there will be changes to your usual trip. As always, wear a mask and find a green dot to stay COVID safe.

We continue to work with NSW Health to ensure critical healthcare and emergency workers can continue to go to work while these restrictions are in place.

We understand this is a significant challenge for staff, operators and contractors and will continue to support them as we have done throughout the pandemic.

We continue to support the freight industry as it carries out essential work to get critical supplies to healthcare facilities and groceries and other goods to communities.

From Monday 23 August, the following public transport timetable will be in place to support essential workers and COVID-related staffing issues:

Sydney Trains

  • Modified weekend timetable
  • Additional early morning and early afternoon services to support construction and trade based essential workers;
  • Additional peak and higher demand period services where required to support social distancing

NSW TrainLink

  • Modified weekend timetable for Intercity services
  • Any customers with bookings on regional train services will be contacted directly if their travel is impacted

Metro

  • Services every 10 minutes in the peak and every 20 minutes in the off peak

Light Rail

  • From Monday 19 September, L1 Dulwich Hill Line is running to a Sunday frequency daily.
  • L2 Randwick and L3 Kingsford lines are running to a Sunday frequency daily with additional services on the L2 line between Central Chalmers Street and Randwick during peak periods Monday to Friday (6-9am and 2.30-5pm).

Ferries

  • Services will continue to operate hourly

Sydney Buses

  • Amended Saturday timetable, including:
    • A number of additional early morning and afternoon services for ‘essential worker’ peak periods
    • Frequent services on known high demand routes (dependent on driver availability)
    • Additional weekday only routes that service key employment precincts (dependent on driver availability)
  • There will be no change to current school bus service arrangements
  • Ryde bus depot – trips which run from this depot will be to a Sunday timetable
  • Willoughby bus depot - trips which run from this depot will be a Saturday timetable and will include crossover services ex Ryde depot such as routes 288, N91, 292, 252 and 295
  • Plan your trip to get the most up-to-date times

Dedicated school services operated by Transport for NSW are rostered as normal, with the exception of services where the school has advised they do not need those services.

If possible, please consider driving, walking or cycling to get to school. Please plan ahead as your child’s regular school service may be running less frequently.

Children over 12 years are required to wear a face mask on public transport.

 

Regional travel

Please call NSW TrainLink on 13 22 32 to confirm your interstate booking.

Travel into the ACT

The ACT Government has declared all of NSW as a COVID-19 affected area from 5pm Thursday 12 August 2021.

Additional information and conditions for people travelling to the ACT from affected areas of NSW is available from the ACT Government.

For residents in the surrounding NSW region, if you live in one of the following approved postcodes you may enter the ACT for essential work and healthcare reasons only. You will not need an exemption as you are covered by a standing exemption issued by ACT Health. ACT Policing will be undertaking compliance checks across the ACT and you will be expected to provide proof of residential address and the reason you are moving about the ACT community.

NSW TrainLink services to and from Canberra

Please check latest Government advice on interstate travel before booking. This may include pre-approvals, entry permits and use of face masks.

Travel from Queensland

A COVID-19 concerns notice is in place if you are entering NSW from affected areas, areas of concern and places of high concern in Queensland.

Check the COVID-19 concerns notice  to find out if you have been to one of these places.

Follow the rules for interstate travellers published on the Service NSW website.

Travel into Queensland

From 1am Friday 23 July, the Queensland Government has declared all of NSW a hotspot. Anyone who has been to a hotspot in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter Queensland, unless they are a Queensland resident or have an exemption. This includes people who have stopped or transited through these LGAs. Anyone allowed to enter will need to go into hotel quarantine.

Read more about these updates for anyone travelling from New South Wales.

Queensland Travel Declaration

Anyone entering Queensland from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand must complete a declaration.

Queensland has two types of declarations, a Queensland Travel Declaration and a Queensland Border Declaration Pass.

For full details visit the Restrictions in Queensland page.

NSW TrainLink Service services to and from Brisbane

Due to the Brisbane border closure, NSW TrainLink has ceased interstate services into Queensland.

The following timetabled services have been impacted:

  • NT31 & NT32 will commence and terminate from Casino with no travel provisions available in to Queensland.
  • CLK175 & CLK176 have been cancelled for the duration of the lockdown.
  • CLK163 & CLK164, CLK171 & CLK174, CLK173 & CLK172 will commence and terminate from Tweed Heads with no service provisions between Surfers Paradise and Tweed Heads or Robina and Tweed heads.

Travel into South Australia

Any person arriving from New South Wales is prohibited from entering South Australia. 

The South Australian Government has suspended the NSW Cross Border Corridor.

For full details visit current South Australian Restrictions

NSW TrainLink services within South Australia

Due to the NSW Border corridor being suspended, NSW TrainLink has ceased interstate services into South Australia.

Travel from Victoria

A COVID-19 concerns notice is in place if you are entering NSW from the State of Victoria.

You must complete a travel declaration if you have been in Victoria in the previous 14 days.

You must complete the declaration form:

  • within the 24-hour period before you enter NSW or on entry
  • whether you cross the border by any means including air, road or rail
  • each time you enter NSW, but not more than once per calendar day.

Complete a travel declaration form on the Service NSW website.

Travel into Victoria

From 11.59pm Sunday 11 July, Victoria Government has declared all of NSW a red zone under Victoria's travel permit system.

  • Travellers from a ‘red zone’ will not be allowed to enter Victoria without an exception.

NSW TrainLink services to and from Melbourne

Due to the VIC/NSW border closure, train and coach services are temporarily terminated at Albury with no services onto Melbourne.

Facemasks are mandatory on public transport in NSW.

NSW TrainLink services regional Victoria

Due to the VIC/NSW border closure, coach services have been temporarily adjusted due to VIC border crossings restrictions.

  • CLK 741/742 Albury to Echuca service will terminate and commence from Moama.
  • CLK 733/734 Wagga Wagga to Echuca service will terminate and commence from Moama.
  • CLK725/726 the Cootamundra to Mildura service will terminate and commence from Buronga.

You can apply for a refund for your ticket if you're self-isolating or not travelling due to concerns about coronavirus.

What we are doing

Transport for NSW would like to thank our customers and staff across NSW for their support and hard work during this time.

We're continuing to do everything we can to make our network as safe as possible to travel on.

We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaning across all public transport. Some modes are being cleaned up to four times a day. We have hired an extra 1,800 cleaners and increased to more than 2 million extra hours of cleaning since March 2020.

Our staff are:

  • Wiping down high-touch surfaces like handrails and Opal readers with strong disinfectant every day.
  • Cleaning key interchanges more frequently throughout the day.
  • Providing hand sanitiser at key transport hubs, including at high demand stations.

To help you stay COVID safe on the network, we are:

  • Tracking passenger numbers in near real-time to help manage customer flow and crowding.
  • Increasing public transport services where capacity and resources are available.
  • Deploying extra staff at stations, interchanges, wharves and stops to assist customers as they move through the network. These marshals will also be available to assist any customer with visual impairments or any other disability.

Estimated capacity in the Trip Planner and Opal Travel App

Estimated capacity information is now available for all metro and train, Opal-enabled bus, ferry and light rail services in the Trip Planner and Opal Travel App to help you plan ahead. Based on previous data, the estimated capacity is used whenever real-time data is unavailable.

If you see:

  • A one person icon and/or green indicator shows shows seating space in the service.
  • A two person icon and/or amber/orange indicator shows limited space in the service.
  • A three person icon and/or red indicator shows service has reached capacity.

COVID capacity onboard guidelines

  • The number of seats available per travel mode are shown below.
  • Figures refer to both seated and standing capacity.
  • From 23 June 2021 capacity has been decreased on all public transport modes.
  • Figures are indicative and are subject to change. Please check capacity before boarding.
 
Mode Number of green dots per vehicle

Metro

Sydney Metro North West

  • 64 per carriage

Train

Sydney Trains

  • Waratah - 32 per carriage
    T1, T2, T3, T5, T8, T9
  • Millennium - 36 per carriage
    T1, T2, T3, T5, T8, T9
  • Tangara - 30 per carriage
    T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T8, T9
  • C-set - 30 per carriage
    T2, T3, T5, T8
  • K-set - 32 per carriage
    T2, T3, T5, T7, T8

NSW TrainLink

  • Oscar - 36 per carriage
    T1, T4, T9, CCN, SCO
  • V-set - 34 per carriage
    BMT, CCN
  • Hunter - 23 per carriage
    HUN
  • Endeavour - 23 per carriage (100% capacity)
    BMT, HUN, SCO, SHL
  • XPT - 54 per service
    North Coast NSW, Western NSW, Southern NSW
  • Xplorer - 54 per service
    North Western NSW, Western NSW, Southern NSW
  • Coaches - 12 per bus

Bus

  • 2 door - 15 per bus
  • 3 door - 25 per bus
  • Double decker - 25 per bus
  • 2 door city bus - 12 per bus
  • 1 door urban bus - 12 per bus
  • 2 door urban bus - 12 per bus

Ferry

Sydney Ferries

  • Freshwater - 245 per ferry
    F1
  • First Fleet - 88 per ferry
    F2, F4, F5, F6, F7, F8
  • RiverCat - 41 per ferry
    F3
  • SuperCat - 71 per ferry
    F5, F6, F7
  • Emerald - 156 per ferry
    F4, F5, F6, F7
  • HarbourCat - 27 per ferry
    F3, F4

Newcastle Ferries

  • Stockton - 70 per ferry
    Stkn

Light rail

Inner West light rail

  • 22 per service
    L1

CBD and South East light rail

  • 52 per service
    L2, L3

Newcastle light rail

  • 54 per service
    NLR

Help is available for those who need it.

At stations and on buses staff will deploy ramps, help with questions and provide directions.

On the Sydney Light Rail, Drivers will deploy the ramp on L1 Dulwich Hill Line services, while L2 Randwick Line and L3 Kingsford Line are fully accessible: it means you can board and alight services independently. For urgent assistance, help points are available on all platforms and onboard all light rail vehicles.

We have deployed hundreds of extra staff at stations, interchanges, wharves and stops to assist any customer with visual impairments or any other disability.

Transport for NSW acknowledges some customers do not have visible disabilities. We want to assure them our staff will be there to help either in person on the network or through our customer service phone lines.

Priority seating is available on every public transport mode for our priority customers.

Children and customers requiring assistance, such as those with disability, will be given priority access. If you feel uncomfortable and choose to get off, please be patient while waiting for the next service.

Light rail journeys have been made safer with doors now opening automatically at every stop to minimise your contact with light rail vehicles.

Staff will validate tickets without contact via Opal card payment.

Opal single tickets are no longer sold on bus services across the Opal network. You can use an Opal card, or contactless credit or debit card or device to pay for your travel.

We publish multi-modal travel data to help you plan ahead and understand the latest travel trends. You can filter by public transport mode, day of the week or key commercial centres in greater Sydney and regional NSW. See Travel Insights dashboard.

Supporting students returning to school

Transport for NSW is working closely with the Department of Education and the education sector and is playing a vital role in supporting students getting back to school.

The NSW Government’s policy is to not leave a school student behind.

There are currently no physical distancing restrictions on dedicated school services.

School students will be given priority over other customers on general services, even if this means a service goes over capacity.

Adults may have to wait for the next service or may choose to get off if they are not comfortable with how many customers are on a service.

Parents and carers should make travel choices which suit their individual circumstances, including driving, walking and cycling.

Transport for NSW is here to support our customers with real time information provided through the Trip Plannertravel apps, and social media to see which services have space available.

Transport for NSW continues to ramp-up cleaning across the network with a daily focus on high-touch areas like handrails and Opal readers.

Students are reminded to tap on and tap off using their Opal cards on Opal enabled services.

Everyone must remember they have a role to play in making the public transport network as safe as possible.

Our frontline people have been doing an amazing job and we ask everyone to continue to show respect and understanding.

To help keep yourself and others safe and keep traffic levels lower, we’re encouraging everyone to walk and cycle if they can.

By choosing to walk and cycle to work, school, the shops or for local trips, you are keeping yourself fit and healthy, saving money and staying safe.

Pop-up cycleways

We are working with councils across Sydney and surrounds to open new pop-up cycleways that connect to existing cycling routes and employment hubs.

Speed limits along these cycle routes are reduced to provide a safer environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

Find out more about pop-up transport options and locations.

Plan your walking or cycling trip

You can use the Trip Planner to plan a bike ride or walking route for all or part of your trip. Select your preference for:

  • walking or cycling
  • how long you want to allow for each option
  • your preferred speed

Pedestrians are reminded

  • Roads may be less congested, but stick to the Road Rules for pedestrians. These include:
    • obeying signals at crossings
    • crossing at a pedestrian crossing if one is available
    • not walking on the road (unless there’s no footpath or nature strip to walk on)

Automated pedestrian crossings

Automated pedestrian crossings at traffic lights within the Sydney CBD and key health districts across the Greater Sydney area are active 24 hours a day to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

You do not have to push the button at signalised crossings to safely cross the road in the CBD or these health districts.

 Bicycle riders are reminded

  • Ride on low traffic roads/dedicated bike paths or shared paths if you are a new or less experienced rider
  • Roads may be less congested, but stick to all the Road Rules for bicycle riders; these include:
    • wear an approved helmet, securely fitted and fastened
    • use lights at the front and back at night or when the light is poor
    • if you’re riding with children under the age of 16, you can ride on the footpath; however, you must keep left and give way to pedestrians
  • Give yourself plenty of buffer space, look out for car doors opening and leave yourself room to stop
  • Increase your visibility by wearing bright or high-vis clothing
  • Use your own bike if you can and make sure it is well maintained – tyres are pumped, chain is oiled and brakes are working

For more cycling information:

Face masks must be worn at all times by passengers and drivers in point to point vehicles (taxis and hire vehicles, including rideshare) and at taxi ranks, which includes any area where persons queue or gather when waiting at a taxi rank.

NSW Health advises you to travel in the back seat with a mask on.

Should a passenger not be wearing a mask, a driver may refuse to provide a point to point service as it may be a safety risk. This does not apply to children under 12 or persons with a physical or mental health illness or condition, or disability that makes wearing a fitted face covering unsuitable including, for example, a skin condition, an intellectual disability, autism or trauma.

Some travel advice when using taxis, rideshare and hire cars:

  • Do not travel if unwell
  • Practise good hygiene
  • Cover your mouth when you cough and sneeze
  • Sit in the backseat of the vehicle
  • Use contactless payments where possible
  • Handle your own luggage where possible

Our Point to Point commissioner is working closely with the industry to provide additional advice and support, including new vehicle sanitisation stations in 13 locations across the state.

Drivers are reminded to obey the road rules and take care.

Drivers and motorcycle riders are reminded

  • Continue to follow the Road Rules
  • Watch your speed and always comply with speed limits; lower speeds reduce the severity of crashes
  • Keep a lookout for pedestrians on, or crossing, the road – there are many more around
  • Look out for bicycle and delivery riders – always check your blind spots and remember to observe the minimum passing distancefor bikes too:
  • 1 metre when the speed limit is 60km/h or less
  • 5 metres when the speed limit is more than 60km/h

Parking

If you have to travel by car into the Sydney CBD or other CBD precincts for work, plan ahead and consider the available car park options.

Check commercial car park websites or local council websites for more details on available parking locations near your place of work.

Please note the Moore Park Showground Field pop-up commuter car park closed on Thursday 1 April 2021. Car park users are encouraged to use trip planning tools to find the best way to and from their workplace by public transport, active transport options or the various parking facilities in the Sydney CBD.

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