Victoria-NSW border to remain closed over New Year


Authorities are “nowhere near” to a decision on whether to reopen the Victorian border to NSW, the state government is warning.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville said it was a “day-by-day proposition” but warned the level of coronavirus being transmitted across greater Sydney meant the border would remain shut beyond New Year’s.

“The level of restrictions in place, the number of cases … will inform the health advice to government about the border,” she told reporters on Wednesday morning.

“I don’t think we’re in a position yet to be contemplating opening the border. But we’ll weigh up all the those issues.”

It comes amid growing concerns community transmission of coronavirus may have spread beyond the northern beaches after new mystery cases were recorded in NSW.

Three cases of unknown origin were recorded after 8pm on Monday in areas outside the locked-down peninsula.

One is in Wollongong, another in Sydney’s inner west and one in the “northern area”.

Victorians are being advised against travel into NSW or they run the risk of being refused entry upon return or taken into mandatory hotel quarantine.

“I get it’s been a really long year for those communities and lots of border lockdowns, but I think all Victorians would agree that we cannot take the risk of these getting back in our community when we had 10 long, hard months of dealing with this,” Ms Neville said.

“We did an incredible job, and I think everyone is very supportive of measures that try to do everything we can to stop this getting back in our community.”

Despite recording 61 straight days without any new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, Victorians are being urged to stay away from the CBD on New Year’s Eve unless they have a booking at a hospitality venue.

The measure is being asked of Victorians in a bid to limit movement and stop any possible transmission of the virus.

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