Canberrans stuck at the NSW-Victorian border for six days will have a four-day window to drive home under strict conditions.
Some 100 ACT residents were trapped at the border on Friday after a last-minute change to permits last week. They will be able to drive home between Thursday and Sunday.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said NSW Police would assist to ensure the ACT residents didn't pose a health risk to the state.
Mr Hazzard said the drivers must take a direct route and could only travel between 9am and 3pm.
The drivers must refuel at Wodonga and will not be allowed to get petrol on the three-and-a-half hour journey to Canberra.
There will be one designated stop, at a Gundagai McDonalds, on the journey.
They will need to travel directly to the ACT along the Hume Highway, show their paperwork at the border and arrive at a reception centre in Hall by 3pm on the same day.
There was confusion among ACT residents on Wednesday afternoon about where they could take a break.
The ACT government initially proposed the drivers stop 4km north of Gundagai at the Mingay rest area which has a public toilet block and picnic tables but is situated away from any businesses.
While the NSW government previously said it was concerned about the travellers coming into contact with NSW residents, it chose to make the South Gundagai McDonalds the designated rest stop.
In order to get into the ACT by 3pm, travellers would need to leave Victoria by 11.30am.
The residents must not return to NSW within 14 days and will spend that time in self-isolation upon return to the ACT.
The ACT government had been working with the NSW government since Friday to find a solution to the issue.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr was relieved a solution had been found but said it was regrettable it had taken so long.
"I'm fairly certain most will want to travel back tomorrow, given how long they have been waiting," he said.
One of the Canberrans who has been stranded at Wodonga, who asked that his name be suppressed because of the nature of his work, said there was enormous relief the impasse had been resolved.
"My partner just burst into tears. We've had no idea how long we'd be stuck here and felt like pawns in a bizarre game. There was no need for this to happen," he said.
"Cancelling the valid permits of people who are just trying to get home just has to be done with some notice.
"We're glad NSW has seen sense, but bitterly disappointed it took six days - particularly when it took only hours to rectify the bungle when it affected MPs in the same boat."
Anne Cahill-Lambert - who has been stuck at Benalla after trying to return home to the ACT last week with her husband Rod, who had just finished a four-month contract as a locum doctor at a Victorian hospital - said she felt a mix of relief and anger.
"I should say that this approach to Australia was not what our forefathers - and there were no mothers - had in mind," Ms Cahill-Lambert said.
"The premier made no apologies for keeping NSW people safe, but she was doing this at the expense of other Australians by wanting to send them to the epicentre of the pandemic to fly to Sydney - the second epicentre of the pandemic. This is tribal rather than Australian."
Ms Cahill-Lambert said said she was eagerly awaiting formal advice from the NSW government so they could start the journey home.
She thanked the people of Wodonga and other towns in north-east Victoria for accommodating the border "refugees".
"Can hardly wait to get home," she said.
Ross Muir and his wife, Helen, said they would be at the border first thing Thursday, eager to get home.
"We'll be at the border checkpoint I would say at about 9 o'clock if we can make it," he said.
"This is our sixth day since we were stopped on the Friday morning so it's really great to hear the impasse has been overcome and we're going."
"Everyday we're here is one day more isolation [in the ACT] we have to do."
After days of uncertainty, some people decided they couldn't wait any longer.
Greg Robinson - whose car was fully loaded to move to Canberra when his transit permit was cancelled on Friday - said he made the heartbreaking decision to leave all his worldly possessions behind and fly into the ACT on Wednesday morning.
Mr Robinson's partner is a critical healthcare worker who had been due to start work at Canberra Hospital when the snap decision from NSW disrupted their plans.
"My partner and I actually talked about it last night for a long time and we decided we couldn't afford to delay starting work any longer. So we booked a flight for this morning - we're now in quarantine in Canberra," Mr Robinson said.
"It wasn't an easy decision, this morning we had to leave cars and a bunch of personal items in Victoria. How we get them to Canberra is another issue.
"I wish we could have waited it out, but with no information from NSW for five days, we had to make a decision."
Mr Barr said the new health direction would only last for the next four days, and any other travel from Victoria to the ACT afterwards would be subject to rules from the NSW government.
"I can't speculate as to what they're going to do in two to three weeks time or next month," Mr Barr said.
"Things will change at short notice, and it goes to reinforce that unnecessary travel into Victoria shouldn't be undertaken, otherwise you might find yourself stranded."
The Chief Minister said it was not likely those stranded ACT residents would take legal action against the NSW government for the almost week-long wait at the border.
"Most people would want to get home at this point," Mr Barr said.
"Everyone understands the reason for the restrictions and why these measures need to be put in place."
The news came as NSW residents returning from Victoria were given one month to get home before they would have to pay for mandatory hotel quarantine.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian last Wednesday announced Sydney Airport would be the only point of entry from Victoria and anyone coming in would be required to pay for 14-days in hotel quarantine.
However, a grace period has been extended to NSW residents.
"We don't want to see a backlog because people can't afford it or are experiencing hardship," Ms Berejiklian said.
The charge will be waived retrospectively and apply to NSW residents already in hotel quarantine after travelling from Victoria.
It came as the state reported 18 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Tuesday night.
Among that number is one case linked to the Batemans Bay Soldiers Club cluster which now stands at 11.