News Coronavirus ‘You can travel back’: Victoria opens up to most of NSW
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‘You can travel back’: Victoria opens up to most of NSW

victoria border permit
Many Victorians who have been stuck in NSW because of COVID travel rules will be able to return home from Monday night. Photo: Getty
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People from most local government areas in greater Sydney will be allowed to travel back to Victoria from 6pm Monday, provided they have a permit.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the change, which will apply to 25 out of 35 local government areas that had previously been declared red zones by the Victorian government.

“You get a permit, you can travel back,” Mr Andrews said.

“You’ll get an automatic permit and you can travel back and you must get tested and isolate until you get that test result, that negative result.”

Travel to Victoria still remains banned from these areas in Sydney:

  • Blacktown City
  • Canada Bay
  • Burwood
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield City
  • Inner West
  • Liverpool City
  • Parramatta City
  • Strathfield

NSW had no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday, as well as eight cases in hotel quarantine.

In a day of zeroes for Australia, Queensland also reported no local infections. There was one new positive in hotel quarantine.

“What the detailed and extensive evaluation of the epidemiological conditions in Sydney has revealed is that transmission and cases are pretty much confined to those 10 local government areas and we’re not seeing cases and spread or contacts that are in isolation in those other 25 local government areas,” Mr Andrews said.

“That’s what gives the public health team confidence to provide to me and the government and therefore for decisions to be confirmed about releasing or changing from red to orange, those 25 local government areas.”

The Blue Mountains and Wollongong areas will also be downgraded
from red to orange from 6pm on Monday.

At the same time, 16 local government areas on the NSW side of its border with Victoria will move to green zones, allowing free travel (with a permit).

That is likely to be of most benefit to Victorians from outside the border area who have visited those regions. Residents within a designated “border bubble” are excluded from travel restrictions.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty again urged people to come forward and get tested. Monday’s data came from fewer than 9000 tests – compared to nearly 14,000 in Victoria.

“The drop in daily testing numbers is of concern and NSW Health renews its calls for people to get tested if they are experiencing even the mildest of symptoms,” Dr McAnulty said on Monday.

“The best thing we can do for our friends and family is to get tested.”

NSW had six new local cases of COVID-19 on Sunday. Five were household contacts of a previously confirmed case.

NSW Health has genomically linked those cases to the Berala cluster but the route of transmission is yet to be established.

The sixth case was a Concord Repatriation General Hospital staff member who worked in the cardiology and radiology wards and might have been infectious on January 12-14 but had minimal patient contact.

Vic records 12 straight days with zero local cases

The change came as Victoria notched up its 12th consecutive day without local COVID infections. Mr Andrews said there were four new cases “associated with the [Australian Open], and they’re all tucked away safely in hotel quarantine”.

Mr Andrews said he had informed NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian of Victoria’s decisions.

On Sunday, Ms Berejiklian issued a fresh blast at Victoria’s decision to restriction travel. She said closed borders were against Commonwealth health advice because there were no official COVID-19 hot spots in Australia.

“He‘s not been in touch with me at all but I also say that [border opening] should have occurred quite a while back because we don’t have a hot spot in NSW,” she said.