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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Jervis Bay Territory Is Currently Off Limits to Sydneysiders Due to Commonwealth Border Restrictions

Jervis Bay Territory, a small peninsula section of Jervis Bay, is actually administered by the Commonwealth Government, and falls under the laws of the ACT — which currently deems Greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot.
By Sarah Ward
January 12, 2021
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Jervis Bay Territory Is Currently Off Limits to Sydneysiders Due to Commonwealth Border Restrictions

Jervis Bay Territory, a small peninsula section of Jervis Bay, is actually administered by the Commonwealth Government, and falls under the laws of the ACT — which currently deems Greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot.
By Sarah Ward
January 12, 2021
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Perched along the New South Wales coast and boasting 20 kilometres of shoreline, Jervis Bay is known for its spectacular beaches. Because it's around a three-hour drive from Sydney, it's also a popular holiday spot for anyone keen to get out of the city, get splashing and soak in some stunning sights. But, in news that might come as a surprise to Sydneysiders, the area known as Jervis Bay Territory isn't actually part of NSW — which means that, under current COVID-19 restrictions, folks from some parts of the state aren't presently permitted to visit.

Jervis Bay Territory, a small peninsula section of Jervis Bay encompassing Booderee National Park, is actually a Commonwealth-administered territory, and has been since 1915. It also falls under the laws of the Australian Capital Territory as a result — and the ACT has restrictions in place people who've been in the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong areas. Those border rules apply to Jervis Bay Territory, too, so if you're thinking about heading south for a beach trip, you may need to adjust your plans.

For much of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jervis Bay Territory has had Public Health Emergency Directions in effect, which are designed to "protect residents and minimise risks to visitors". The latest, from December 21, 2020, makes it clear that anyone from a place deemed a hotspot by the ACT is not allowed to enter Jervis Bay Territory. While that list is updated frequently, with the last change coming into effect yesterday, Monday, January 11, the Greater Sydney, Central Coast and Wollongong areas are still considered 'COVID-19 affected areas'.

A map of Jervis Bay Territory

As detailed in a government update to start the new year, if you try to enter Jervis Bay Territory without an exemption, you'll be turned away. If you're a resident of the area and you're returning home from a hotspot, you'll be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days. And, if you're wondering how checking these details works, when you're entering the region, you're required to provide information — including photo ID — if asked by an emergency services officer.

The penalty for failing to comply with the border restrictions is hefty, with fines up to $8000.

Exemptions to enter the ACT and Jervis Bay Territory "will only be granted in highly exceptional circumstances" according to the ACT's Public Health (COVID-19 Interstate Hotspots) Emergency Direction 2021 — and you're considered an 'affected person', and therefore unable to access the region, if you've been in a COVID-19 hotspot within the past 14 days.

For more information about Jervis Bay Territory border restrictions, head to the Commonwealth Government website.

Top image: Kristina Kl. via Flickr.

Published on January 12, 2021 by Sarah Ward

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