What COVID-19 travel restrictions mean for Sydney residents after northern beaches outbreak20th December 2020
Meanwhile, people residing outside the ‘red’ (Greater Sydney and the Central Coast) and ‘hot’ (northern beaches) zones are free to enter Victoria, but are strongly advised to have a COVID-19 test and isolate while waiting for the result.
From midnight on Sunday, Victorian residents who have visited Greater Sydney or the Central Coast must register for a permit before returning to Victoria. Residents of border towns are not required to obtain a permit, but will need to show their driver’s licence or a photo ID with their home address in order to travel between the two states.
Victoria is “not at the point” of creating a hard border between Victoria and all of NSW, Mr Andrews said, but he said penalties for those from Greater Sydney breaking the rules would be “significant”.
Mr Andrews said Victoria’s measures would last “as long as the public health advice tells me they should” for people travelling from Sydney.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced a widening of travel restrictions from NSW, declaring greater Sydney a COVID-19 hotspot.
The expansion beyond the northern beaches local government area will take effect from 1am on Monday, Ms Palaszczuk said. “If you are from Greater Sydney now is not the time to travel to Queensland,” she said.
All travelling across the border from NSW will need a border declaration pass to enter, with limited exemptions.
Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said the move was important based on the “continued escalation” of cases in Sydney and relaxed restrictions across Queensland.
The state will require all arrivals from the greater Sydney area to quarantine for 14 days from midnight on Sunday.
They will be required to have a coronavirus test three times – on arrival, on day five and on day 12 – and anyone who has been in the northern beaches area will be barred entirely.
On Saturday night, Premier Mark McGowan reinstated a hard border, barring all travel from NSW to WA unless an exemption applies.
The state declared the greater Sydney area as medium-risk from midnight on Saturday, meaning anyone who travels from Sydney will have to quarantine for 14 days, either at home or at their own cost in a government facility.
The northern beaches are already declared high-risk and travellers from there are not permitted to enter unless approved as an essential traveller or if they’re a returning Tasmanian resident.
They will be quarantined on arrival and required to take a COVID-19 test within 48 hours.
The remainder of NSW will remain low-risk, and travellers will be allowed to enter without quarantining.
Australian Capital Territory
The ACT will be effectively closed to non-ACT-residents from Greater Sydney and adjacent regions effective midnight on Sunday.
Anyone who has been in the northern beaches from December 11 must quarantine for 14 days from when they left the area and should get tested. Anyone who has been in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and the Blue Mountains from December 21 must quarantine for 14 days from when they left the area and should get tested.
ACT Chief Health Officer Kerryn Coleman said people travelling to the ACT from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Illawarra-Shoalhaven and Nepean Blue Mountains regions would be required to notify territory officials by completing an online declaration form in advance.
Ms Coleman said the restrictions were “likely to continue over Christmas and in the New Year”.
ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said the government would not accept exemption requests from non-residents except in extreme circumstances.
Police will also check travellers’ details at Canberra Airport to make sure people aren’t dodging border restrictions.
The territory has declared Greater Sydney a coronavirus hotspot, effective immediately.
Acting Chief Health Minister Nicole Manison said on Sunday afternoon that 130 passengers on a flight from Sydney would be transferred to hotel quarantine when the aircraft landed, at no cost to the travellers, or return to Sydney.
However, other people flying to the territory would be given the choice of turning around or paying $2500 for quarantine.
“We’ve said that our number one priority is to protect the lives of Territorians, and that if we had to, we would go hard, wide, and early and we’d act quickly, and today we have again,” Ms Manison said.
“We will expand the current hotspot of the Northern Beaches local government area to Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains and Illawarra, and the Central Coast. This means anyone coming into the Northern Territory from 3pm today from these regions will have to go into mandatory quarantine.”
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