The NSW-Victoria border will be closed as COVID-19 cases in the southern state climb – despite Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s repeated criticism of border closures elsewhere and insistence Australians are “all in this together”.
The border will close from 11.59pm AEST on Tuesday after talks between Ms Berejiklian, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Ms Berejiklian has consistently criticised interstate travel restrictions as a handbrake on economic recovery and insisted she wouldn’t agree to border closures with any neighbouring states.
She has also said that a shut Victorian border would harm Albury-Wodonga and complained about the impact of Queensland’s border closure on Tweed Heads.
But Ms Berejiklian on Monday changed tack as nine public housing towers in Melbourne and 12 Victorian postcodes were locked down due to COVID-19.
Victoria has for weeks grappled with a coronavirus outbreak in multiple Melbourne suburbs with botched hotel quarantines leading to outbreaks.
Mr Andrews confirmed the border closure on Monday as he announced an additional 127 new COVID-19 cases in Victoria and one death.
“All of us have agreed that the best thing to do is close the border – that closure will be enforced on the NSW side,” Mr Andrews told reporters.
NSW on Sunday recorded 14 new coronavirus cases but all were returned travellers from overseas who are now in hotel quarantine.
Deputy Chief Health Officer Jeremy McNulty over the weekend said four residents of virus-hit Sydney nursing home Newmarch House and an XPT passenger who were showing symptoms all tested negative to COVID-19.
An outbreak at the western Sydney facility run by Anglicare was declared over in mid-June after 37 residents and 34 staff caught the virus and 19 residents died.
Any NSW residents who have returned from a hotspot location in outer-suburban Melbourne need to self-quarantine for 14 days.