As the coronavirus cluster grows on Sydney’s North Beaches, several states updated their border rules overnight to try to prevent another wave of COVID-19 cases in the run-up to Christmas.
New South Wales confirmed 13 new cases yesterday, bringing the total number linked to the group to 39.
As of midnight, Western Australia has reintroduced its hard border with New South Wales. From 1 a. M., All travelers from New South Wales to Queensland must complete a border pass declaration. Victoria has expanded her restriction zone and is expected to make more announcements this morning.
To date, this is how every state and territory is tackling the border issue and dealing with Christmas trips in response to the Northern Beaches outbreak.
At 5pm yesterday, the Northern Beaches local government area entered the March version of the lockdown: residents can only leave home for four reasons: to buy food, to work, to visit a sick family member, or for compassionate reasons. . People can exercise too.
This area has a population of about 250,000 people.
It is scheduled to end at midnight on Wednesday, but that date could change if the situation worsens.
The wider Sydney region has been asked to limit your movements as well and avoid any non-essential travel.
Premier Gladys Berejkilian said the state may impose more restrictions if the group cannot be controlled.
Anyone in NSW experiencing even the slightest symptoms has been urged to get tested.
Western Australia reestablished its hard border with New South Wales starting at midnight. Prime Minister Mark McGowan announced last night that New South Wales was now a “medium risk” state.
Arrivals from New South Wales without a legitimate exemption could now be returned at the border or at the airport, McGowan said.
Those who arrive before midnight will be quarantined for 14 days. Anyone who has been in NSW since December 11 and has not spent 14 days in a low or very low risk jurisdiction will also be barred from the state.
Waivers are available to government officials, Commonwealth deputies, active duty military personnel, and individuals performing critical transportation.
“This is not what anyone wanted a few days before Christmas,” McGowan said, adding that he hoped the reestablished hard border would only be active for a short period of time, but that its enforcement was currently open.
Victoria’s health authorities held an emergency meeting last night to decide whether the border would be closed to all Sydney residents.
COVID-19 restrictions have so far been extended to the central coast of NSW, now an “orange zone” under Victoria’s “traffic light” permit system:
- Red zone – North beaches and places of interest from December 11: permits not available, travelers are not allowed
- Amber zone – Greater Sydney and Central Coast Area – Permits available, but all travelers must be tested and isolated until they get a result
- Green area – Regional NSW: Permits Granted, Get Tested If Symptoms Develop
Anyone entering Victoria in the next few days, or who has already entered Victoria and has visited the Central Coast since December 19, should now be tested and immediately isolated until they receive a negative result.
Anyone who has visited Sydney’s COVID-19 hotspots will have to be quarantined for two weeks if they enter Victoria.
According to the Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria Police are preparing for checkpoints and will request the support of the defense forces.
More announcements will be made this morning.
The Queensland government is keeping its border with New South Wales open for now, but new restrictions have been announced.
Starting at 1 a.m., anyone wishing to cross into Queensland from New South Wales must complete a border pass declaration.
People traveling from the Central Coast and Greater Sydney areas will be asked to undergo a test upon arrival and then quarantine until they get a negative result.
And travelers to the closed northern beaches will have to apply for an exemption and, if one is granted, they will have to spend two weeks in hotel quarantine.
The New South Wales border with South Australia remains open as people rush to reunite with their families and loved ones for Christmas.
Thousands of people are expected to fly between Sydney and Adelaide in the coming days, but South Australia has so far only imposed restrictions on travelers from Sydney hotspots and northern beaches.
Those who visited the locations of the coronavirus hotspots are barred from entering, while anyone from the northern beaches must self-isolate for two weeks.
Those who arrive in Adelaide are greeted by the police, who carry out checks to ensure that they have not visited any access points. Authorities continue to review the situation, with a possible border closure if the group spreads into Sydney.
Tasmania has declared the entire Greater Sydney to be a “medium risk” area, meaning that new arrivals will have to quarantine themselves for 14 days.
The Tasmanian government last night ordered the entire city to be considered at risk due to the Northern Beaches outbreak (which in Tasmania remains a “high risk” area).
Persons wishing to travel to Tasmania who have been in Greater Sydney in the 14 days prior to arrival will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.
Essential travelers can apply for a quarantine exemption, but may be subject to other conditions, including testing and health screening.
The Northern Territory has declared Sydney’s North Beaches as a hotspot for the coronavirus and will force travelers to the area to self-quarantine immediately.
“Anyone traveling to the Northern Territory from the LGA Northern Beaches Council will be required to undergo 14 days of mandatory supervised quarantine in Alice Springs or Darwin,” the Department of Chief Ministers and Cabinet said in a statement Thursday night.
“If you intend to travel to the Northern Territory from an identified COVID-19 hotspot, it is recommended that you reconsider your plans.
“If you travel to the Northern Beaches Council LGA while it is a declared hotspot, you will be required to perform a mandatory 14-day supervised quarantine upon your return at a cost of $ 2,500 per person.
“Anyone who has already arrived in the Northern Territory from the Northern Beaches Council LGA on or after December 11 should arrange a COVID-19 test and self quarantine while awaiting test results.”
Health Director Dr Hugh Heggie said the new restrictions “were made quickly” and that decisions in the coming days will be critical to contain the Sydney group.
Australian Capital Territory
Following the new Sydney cluster, Canberra residents are advised not to travel to the northern beaches.
Anyone in the territory who has been in the area since last Friday must now be quarantined for 14 days and tested.