Despite there being no community transmissions of the COVID-19 coronavirus in New South Wales, Premier Gladys Berejiklian has just announced that the border between NSW and Victoria will be closing.
Ms Berejiklian held a press conference half an hour ago. ‘I can confirm that following the receipt of health advice this morning from Dr Chant and following conversations with both the Victorian Premier and the Prime Minister Mr Morrison, that New South Wales and Victoria will be shutting down the borders from midnight tomorrow night – so today and tomorrow is the last time in which any Victorians will be allowed across the border unless they a special permit or some exemption.’
Ms Berejiklian said this decision was based on health advice, especially given the fact that when we had those higher number of cases back in February, the vast majority of those cases were from overseas travellers or their direct contacts. ‘What is happening in Victoria is very different which is why we have taken this necessary step.’
It is estimated that there will be 55 patrolled border crossing stations.
The commissioner of the NSW Police Force Mick Fuller said it’s a very long border and they would be using, amongst other things, drones and other aerial surveillance. ’At the same time, we will be focusing on primary arterial roads where most of the vehicle traffic comes from.’
Ms Berejiklian said this was a different issue from when Queensland closed the border to NSW, as in that instance, most of the new cases were coming from overseas. She said the situation now was that new cases were coming from within the community and that police had been tuning back residents from known hotspots over the weekend.
‘This is unprecedented. The situation is so different. It’s actually in Australia. This could be New South Wales at some time in the future.’