NSW enforces border quarantine as infections soar


Travellers to New South Wales from neighbouring Victoria will be forced to quarantine from Friday (photo courtesy Unsplash/Dan Freeman).


More restrictions have been placed on domestic travellers in Australia as the country battles a second wave of coronavirus infections.


New South Wales announced today (August 5) that it will be introducing a two-week hotel quarantine for Victorians travelling into the state.


State premier Gladys Berejiklian said that anyone coming into NSW from Victoria would be put into mandatory quarantine at their own expense. The new regulation will come into force on Friday August 7.


“In view of the health advice, in view of the escalating situation in Victoria, the NSW government today has decided to ensure and require that every returning traveller from Victoria goes into the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine when they get to Sydney Airport,” she said at a press briefing.


She added that all airports in NSW will close to flights from Victoria except for Sydney Airport. It’s hoped such a move will better control the flow of travellers.


Berejiklian said she would be further limiting the reasons Victorians can seek exemptions to cross the border. All Australians wanting to enter NSW from Victoria must apply for a permit. Exemptions are currently in place for critical service providers, emergency services workers, people requiring medical treatment, children attending boarding school and people needing to meet legal obligations.


International travellers have been expected to quarantine at their own expense since last month and it has not gone unnoticed that exempted Victorians have been able to enter NSW without any testing or quarantine. Australian media was reporting earlier this week that passengers on flights from Melbourne to Sydney were free to walk off the plane and enter the city without restrictions.


International arrivals are expected to pay for two weeks mandatory hotel quarantine and undergo multiple coronavirus tests before being allowed to enter the wider community.


Queensland has also announced that its state borders will close to people from NSW and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) from 1am on Saturday August 8. Queensland had already closed its border to residents of Greater Sydney as infections surged in Australia’s most populous city.


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