Victorian border rapidly closing as Greater Sydney and the Central Coast declared a ‘red zone’

Following the identification of additional COVID-19 cases in New South Wales, some outside of Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has today advised that from 11.59 pm Sunday, 20 December all of greater Sydney and the Central Coast have been declared a ‘red zone,’ and travellers from these areas will be refused access to Victoria.

Victorians returning to Victoria need to apply for an exemption permit to enter the state and will have an additional 24 hours to get home (prior to midnight on Monday night). They will then be subject to a period of 14-days of home quarantine.

If Victorians return after midnight on Monday night, they too will be subject to a period of 14 days in hotel quarantine.

Residents from VIC and NSW border communities will be able to “cross the state border freely and repeatedly,” on presentation of their drivers licence.

The Northern Beaches have been declared a ‘hot zone,’ while areas outside greater Sydney, the Central Coast and the Northern Beaches remain a green zone.

Mr Andrews noted these were difficult but appropriate decisions, proportionate to risks posed by the evolving virus situation in Sydney, given missing links in current chains of transmission there.

State road borders will be subject to a hard border lockdown, where 700 Victorian Police will monitor state entry and exit points. As aforementioned, returning Victorians will require a permit to re-enter Victoria. Residents from the Northern Beaches; greater Sydney and the Central Coast will not be issued with a travel permit.  

Mr Andrews confirmed that these measures will be in place “for some time” and “won’t be lifted in next couple of days.”

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