Victoria and the NT ramp up restrictions as NSW records more COVID-19 cases

Victoria and the NT have broadened their restrictions on travel from NSW as the state records more cases of community COVID-19 transmission.

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville addresses the media during a press conference in Melbourne on Wednesday.

Victoria Police Minister Lisa Neville. Source: AAP

Victoria is still "a long way" from opening its border with NSW and has announced new restrictions for people travelling from the Blue Mountains and Wollongong after the state's northern neighbour recorded 18 cases of community transmission.

The new cases have also prompted the Northern Territory to declare the Sydney suburbs of Croydon, Croydon Park, Lilli Pilli, Strathfield, Strathfield North, Strathfield South and Sutherland as hotspots, in addition to the Northern Beaches.

The ACT, meanwhile, will continue current travel restrictions until at least 6 January.

Half of NSW's new cases belong to the Sydney Northern Beaches cluster, while a second cluster has emerged in the city's west, along with cases in Wollongong, south of Sydney.

Victoria's Police Minister Lisa Neville says decisions about the border are being made on a daily basis, but based on health advice no one is ready to contemplate changes.

"We're still a long way from that border being open," she said on Wednesday.

The Victorian government later announced people who had visited the Blue Mountains or Wollongong regions from 27 December would not be able to enter the state after December 31.

In the meantime, anyone intending to return from these areas after midnight tonight must apply for a new travel permit through Service Victoria, get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria and self-quarantine at home for 14 days from when they last left the region.

Under the Northern Territory's restrictions, anyone who has been in a declared hotspot in the last fortnight must complete 14 days of supervised quarantine.

Announcing the newest hotspots on Wednesday, Acting Chief Minister Nicole Manison said Sydney hotspot residents already in the territory who had arrived on or after Christmas Day must also self isolate for two weeks and get tested.

The NT has named a number of Sydney suburbs hotspots, restricting travel to the territory for thousands of Sydneysiders.
Source: AAP

“This is based on the latest advice from our medical professionals and after assessing the situation in NSW,” she said.

The ACT's rules prevent people from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and the Wollongong areas from entering the territory, with any returning ACT residents who have visited those areas required to notify authorities and enter quarantine for 14 days.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said they would continue to take a risk-based approach to the ongoing situation in Sydney to ensure local restrictions could remain unchanged.

"We have around 1,500 people in quarantine at the moment and there have been literally thousands of people pulled over by ACT police as they come back into the territory," Mr Barr said on Wednesday.

"We will continue this level of monitoring, advice and activity."

In Queensland, Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said they were watching the outbreak in NSW “very closely”.

“Queensland has strong border measures in place in response to the Sydney clusters, based on expert health advice,” she said.

West Australian Acting Premier and Health Minister Roger Cook said the emergence of more NSW cases was a concerning development that justified his state’s hard border restrictions.

NSW has been declared a medium-risk state, meaning travellers can only enter WA with an exemption and then they must quarantine for 14 days.

Mr Cook said just how long the measures remain in place depends on how quickly NSW authorities get on top of the current coronavirus clusters.


People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction's restrictions on gathering limits. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia, Northern Territory, ACT, Tasmania

Published 30 December 2020 at 7:20pm, updated 30 December 2020 at 7:53pm
Source: AAP - SBS