The arrivals terminal at Canberra Domestic Airport was full of ANU jumpers and young faces on Thursday evening.
A flock of students rushed back to the ACT from Melbourne to avoid getting stuck in Victoria's five-day-lockdown, which started at midnight.
While it had not been announced when the flyers boarded, many accurately predicted the lockdown after watching case numbers grow.
They also avoided the two-week stay-at-home requirement, which applies to anyone who left Victoria from midnight.
ANU languages student Georgia hurriedly got back to Canberra on a Qantas flight that arrived at about 6pm.
"I had a feeling there was a lockdown looming, so lucky I made it," she said.
"As the cases sort of went up since Tuesday, I was like I need to get back [now] if I want to be able to make it back for the start of semester."
She said she was glad to have Canberra to come home too, and was even able to bring her memory-foam pillow.
"[Canberra has] been sort of a safe bubble, which has been nice. It's just a pain trying to get here," she said.
"I was getting a few strange looks [on the plane]. Not many people travel with a pillow but I was like I can't go without my memory foam for goodness how long."
Peter changed his flight after visiting his parents, in their 80s, and son in Melbourne.
He moved to Canberra for his wife's job and started working remotely just before the pandemic in 2020, thinking he would be able to visit family every month.
He hasn't seen them since April, and now expects the state will go into an extended lockdown because of the spread of the Delta variant.
"I suspect I won't see them for another two months," he said.
READ MORE COVID-19 NEWS:
ACT Health has said no travel to and from Victoria should take place from midnight.
People in Victoria who are not ACT residents will need to apply for an exemption to enter the territory, and will be subject to stay-at-home orders on arrival.
The stay-at-home requirements will remain in place until 11.59pm on Tuesday July 20.
Any ACT resident who has been in Victoria from Thursday - regardless of whether or not they are currently in the territory - must complete an online declaration form.
"The rapidly unfolding situation in Victoria is concerning and we are continuing to monitor it closely," ACT Health said.
"It is possible these restrictions on arrivals from Victoria may need to be tightened further to protect the ACT community."