NSW Premier won't put time limit on Victorian-NSW border closure

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in Sydney at a previous announcement. Picture: Geoff Jones
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian in Sydney at a previous announcement. Picture: Geoff Jones

Following the announcement of the Victorian-NSW border closure, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said NSW residents need to be forever vigilant and mindful that the COVID-19 situation in Victoria could happen in their state.

"This is a new part of the pandemic and requires a new type of response, we have taken this action because of major community transmission," Ms Berejiklian said at a media conference on Monday.

The premier said there have already been authorities in place stopping anyone residing in Melbourne hotspots from entering NSW, but from 11.59pm on Tuesday, July 7 this will extend to all Victorians.

Responding to the announcement, Bega Valley Shire Mayor Sharon Tapscott urged visiting Victorians and returning residents to travel home safely and with caution.

"We have been grateful to welcome so many visitors here during the first week of the Victorian school holidays and we thank them for their support and goodwill," she said.

She said the decision to close the border was an understandable health precaution that would be felt strongly by both visitors and local businesses enjoying the support of returning holidaymakers.

"Let's make sure we support one another, share information, stories and experiences as we continue to manage through these challenging and uncertain times," Mayor Tapscott said.

At Monday's media conference NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller referred to the enormity of logistics, with 55 border crossings between NSW and Victoria, and said the defence force will assist with border operations.

The main focus of enforcement will be on the four primary arterial roads, with police, defense and other workers also stationed at other crossings, in addition to aerial surveillance.

NSW residents returning from all parts of Victoria will need to isolate for 14 days.

Ms Berejiklian said she recognised the disruptions this closure will cause for those in border communities and efforts will be made to ensure all citizens can conduct regular business in a sensible way.

Services NSW will have an online application for exemptions for border crossings from Tuesday.

Anyone who feels they will be impacted too much for their essential daily activities or those with hardship can apply for these exemptions.

Ms Berejiklian said there would be some flights and train services continuing for NSW residents returning home and other exemptions where people are eligible for a permit.

The closure will be in place temporarily but is "totally dependent on health advice and ongoing monitoring of the situation," she said.

"I'm not going to put a time on it," Ms Berejiklian said.

"It is in our national interest to contain the virus."

Those experiencing even the mildest of symptoms are encouraged to present for testing, no matter what their circumstances.