Queensland and Victoria Are Closing Their Borders to All of Greater Sydney
Initially, the two states only shut their borders to seven Sydney Local Government Areas; however, the border closure is now extending to the entire Greater Sydney region.
Whenever an Australian state experiences a new COVID-19 outbreak, a few things tend to happen — and fast. As cases grow, restrictions are implemented, masks are mandated and other parts of the country start shutting their borders. Usually, the latter happens incrementally, starting with banning folks from certain areas, then moving onto the entire city, and then perhaps even the whole state.
That's the process that has been playing out over the past week regarding Sydney's current COVID-19 cluster. Masks are back, restrictions came into effect yesterday, Wednesday, June 23, and other states have started closing their borders to the New South Wales capital. In fact, after closing up shop to seven Sydney Local Government Areas over the past couple of days, Queensland and Victoria are now doing the same with the whole Greater Sydney area.
So, if you're a Queenslander or a Victorian with a trip to Sydney in your future — or vice versa — the pandemic has definitely interrupted your plans again. All of Greater Sydney is now considered a hotspot by Queensland and a red zone by Victoria. Queensland's ruling came into effect at 1am today, Thursday, June 24, while Victoria's will kick in at 1am tomorrow, Friday, June 25.
Accordingly, folks who've been in Greater Sydney will no longer be permitted to enter either Victoria or Queensland, other than in a few circumstances. Queensland residents coming home from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast, Blue Mountains, Wollongong and Shellharbour will need to go into hotel quarantine for 14 days — and non-residents will only be allowed to enter if they receive an exception, and will also need to go into hotel quarantine for a fortnight. Plus, everyone going to Queensland will need to complete one of the state's online travel declarations first, after that system was brought back into effect last week.
Under its traffic light-style permit system, Victoria will allow the state's own residents who've been in Greater Sydney and Wollongong to obtain permits to return home — but they'll then need to quarantine for 14 days. If you're not a Victorian resident and you've been in the NSW capital, you will no longer be able to enter Victoria.
In separate press conferences today, leaders in both states advised that people from Sydney have been turned away after trying to enter both Queensland and Victoria — and put on flights back to Sydney.
Victoria's Acting Premier James Merlino also announced that a case linked to the current NSW outbreak has been identified in Melbourne, after a man in his 60s flew into the city from Sydney, was tested and returned a positive result.
For more information about Queensland's COVID-19 border restrictions, or about the status of COVID-19 in the state, visit the Qld COVID-19 hub and the Queensland Health website. For more information about COVID-19 in Victoria and the state's border restrictions, head over to the Department of Health website.
Published on June 24, 2021 by Sarah Ward