Vector-borne viral diseases pose significant risks to human health. To control the transmission of these viruses, a number of approaches are required. The ability of the intracellular bacteria Wolbachia to limit viral accumulation and transmission in some arthropod hosts, highlights its potential as a biocontrol agent. Whilst Wolbachia can reduce the transmission of several epidemiologically important viruses, protection is not consistent amongst all insects, viruses and strains of Wolbachia, which confounds elucidation of the mechanisms that underly this protection. Evidence of different mechanisms has emerged, but is not always consistent, suggesting the tripartite interaction may be complex. Here we provide evidence that Wolbachia-mediated antiviral protection is dependent on the presence of Wolbachia in individual cells, and cannot be conferred to surrounding cells. Our results suggest that protection is cell-autonomous, and this has several mechanistic implications, which can direct future research.