Victoria Is Reopening Its Borders to All of Greater Sydney From 6pm on January 29
Travellers from all of Sydney will be able to enter the state — and folks from most of NSW won't need to get tested upon arrival.
Before 2020 rolled around, the Victoria–New South Wales border hadn't closed for more than 100 years. So when it shut last July, it was a rather big deal. In the months since, however, residents of both states have seen the situation change back and forth multiple times.
After a COVID-19 outbreak hit Sydney's northern beaches over the Christmas and NYE period, the border closed again, with Victoria starting 2021 by shutting off to all of NSW. Since then, the latter state reopened to regional NSW, then to all but ten Greater Sydney local government areas and finally to all but one LGA. From 6pm tonight, Friday, January 29, it's reopening to that last LGA, Cumberland — which means that no one in NSW will be forbidden from entering.
Victoria implemented a traffic light-style system earlier in January, which colour-codes different regions of the country depending on their COVID-19 cases — so, as part of this new change, Cumberland will move from a red zone to an orange zone. That'll mean that folks who've been in the LGA in the past 14 days can enter Victoria, but they'll need to isolate on arrival and get tested within 72 hours. And, they'll need to receive a negative result before they're free to leave isolation.
They also have to apply for a permit before entry, too — like all Australians, because compulsory permits are now part of Victoria's process for anyone who wants to enter the state. If you try and enter Victoria without a valid permit, you risk being fined $4957. You can apply for one online.
Cumberland isn't the only part of NSW that has been downgraded, either. Victoria is also moving all parts of the state that were previously classified as orange zones to green zones. On the list: the Greater Sydney LGAs of Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield City, Inner West, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality and Liverpool, plus Wollongong and the Blue Mountains. Travellers entering Victoria from a green zone still need to apply for a permit, but do not need to get tested or isolate on arrival, unless they develop symptoms.
The loosened border restrictions come as Victoria records its 23rd consecutive day of zero new cases of community transmission. Overnight, the state did record one new case in hotel quarantine.
Announcing the change in a statement, Premier Daniel Andrews said that he is "extremely happy to see the last red zone in New South Wales be downgraded. We're reminding people to get tested if they're returning from an orange zone, so we can continue to enjoy an open and COVID-safe summer."
For more information on Victoria's new permit system — or to apply for one — head to the Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on January 29, 2021 by Sarah Ward