NSW premier warns against Melbourne travel

The NSW premier has recommended against travelling to Melbourne or its outer-suburban hotspots amid an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Victoria.

Victoria confirmed another 19 coronavirus cases on Sunday, 16 on Monday and 17 on Tuesday, taking to 193 the number of new cases over the past nine days.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly criticised interstate travel restrictions imposed by states including South Australia and Queensland and this week said she would not agree to border closures with any of NSW’s neighbour states.

She nevertheless advised against travel to Melbourne, particularly its six current hotspots – the local government areas of Hume, Casey, Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin.

NSW recorded just one COVID-19 case – in a returned traveller in hotel quarantine – in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday from more than 8000 tests.

Some 3150 COVID-19 cases have been reported in NSW to date, with no one in intensive care.

Ms Berejiklian again encouraged NSW residents to seek testing if they feel unwell.

“When back in March we had cases in excess of 200 (per day) in NSW, all of our borders remained open, and we’ve seen as the number of cases have reduced the ability of our health system to cope with reducing the spread,” Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.

“As the NSW government and Victorian governments have both said, you should not be moving around the community if you live in one of those hotspots in Melbourne.

“If you are someone in NSW, you should not be going to any of those hotspots, full stop … (and) you should not be travelling to Melbourne at this time.”

She also encouraged NSW businesses to deny service to travellers from those hotspots.

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that Australia’s international borders would remain closed for “a very significant” amount of time as global coronavirus infection rates accelerate – potentially until a vaccine is secured.

The number of coronavirus infections around the world has now exceeded nine million.

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