Victoria has joined South Australia to slap new restrictions on travellers coming from certain areas of Sydney but chief health officer Brett Sutton had a somewhat harsher message.
Mr Sutton announced the changes in a late night update on Tuesday, declaring seven local government areas in NSW as “red zones” under the state’s travel permit system, effective 1.00am Wednesday.
It comes as health authorities identified several new expanded potential covid exposure sites that infectious people have visited in the last week, including two flights and more Bondi hot spots.
A spike in the NSW covid outbreak has shocked the state as its eastern suburbs cluster grew to 21, with 10 new cases announced Monday.
The cases are almost all linked except for a mystery case; a primary school student in the east.
The NSW local government areas are:
• City of Sydney
• Canada Bay
• Inner West
Victorian residents who have travelled within one of those red zones (other than for transit) can obtain a permit to re-enter the state but they must quarantine at home for 14 days.
If you are a non-Victorian resident and have been within a red zone (other than for transit), “you cannot enter Victoria”.
“If you try to enter Victoria at a land border from a red zone without a permit, you will be sent back,” a statement from Victoria’s health department said.
“If you enter at an airport or seaport from a red zone without a permit, you will be fined and will stay in Hotel Quarantine until return transport is arranged.”
Mr Sutton “strongly discouraged” non-essential travel into Victoria either of the zones and warned, “you cannot get a permit to enter Victoria” if you have been in affected areas.
“If you have symptoms, don’t travel – get tested.”
Victoria has also listed the coastal city of Wollongong, south of Sydney, as an “orange zone” effective 1.00am Wednesday.
If you’ve been in an orange zone – or in a previously-designated orange zone before it became a red zone – you need an orange zone permit to enter Victoria, health officials said. Orange zone permit holders must isolate on arrival, get tested, and stay isolated until they get a negative result.
Already, anyone who has been in Waverley Council area or a Covid-19 exposure site is not allowed to enter SA.
“Restrictions continue to apply to arrivals into South Australia who have been at a NSW Covid-19 case location or Waverley Council area in the 14 days prior to their arrival,” a SA Police statement read.
From midnight on Tuesday, the SA government will also tighten rules on passengers arriving from Sydney’s local government areas of Randwick City, Bayside, City of Canada Bay, Inner West, City of Sydney and Woollahra Municipal Council.
The restrictions will apply to people who have been in any of those LGAs at any time during the past 14 days (but not before June 11, 2021) who arrive after midnight.
It will not apply to travellers who arrive before midnight. After midnight, all travellers from those LGAs will be subject to level 3 requirements:
- Get a COVID-19 test on days one, five and 13
- Self-quarantine until the first COVID-19 test has been undertaken (do not need to wait for the test result)
- No entry into high-risk setting for 14 days after arrival unless clause 9 applies
- No entry to Covid management plan events where more than 1000 are likely to attend
However, essential travellers and permitted arrivals – including returning SA residents, people relocating and people escaping domestic violence – will be allowed to enter SA but will need to follow the level 3 requirements.
SA Premier Steven Marshall said authorities had to make the changes “in response to the situation that‘s unfolding in NSW”.
“We do that to keep South Australia protected. We’re enjoying a quality of life and a strong economy, the likes of which many other parts of the world are hugely envious of at the moment,” he said on Monday.