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TRAVEL & LEISURE

Victoria Is Reopening to 25 Greater Sydney Local Government Areas from 6pm on January 18

Which means, travellers from most of Sydney can now enter the state once applying for a permit — and self-isolating until receiving a negative test result on arrival.
By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
January 18, 2021
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By Samantha Teague and Sarah Ward
January 18, 2021
  shares

Among the many challenges that Australians have faced over the past year, our love of travel has been hit hard. Domestic border restrictions keep changing with frequency in response to new cases and clusters in different states, meaning that planning a holiday beyond your own city has been more than a little tricky. This was particularly true over Christmas and NYE, when an outbreak on Sydney's northern beaches saw many states quickly shut their borders to NSW — including Victoria.

On January 1, 2021, Victoria closed its borders to all of NSW. A week ago, it reopened to regional NSW. From 6pm tonight, Monday, January 18, it's reopening to parts of Greater Sydney, too. From that time, 25 of Greater Sydney's 35 LGAs, as well as the Blue Mountains and Wollongong, will be changing from a 'red zone' to an 'orange zone', as part of Victoria's new traffic light-style system, which means travellers from those areas can enter Victoria — but they'll need to isolate on arrival and get tested within 72 hours, then when they receive a negative result they're free to leave isolation.

They'll also have to apply for a permit before entry, too — like all Australians. Last week, Victoria introduced compulsory permits 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 over here.

Travellers who have been in the remaining ten Greater Sydney LGAs in the past 14 days, which are still 'red zones', cannot enter Victoria. Those LGAs are: Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality. Folks who've been in a red zone can apply to receive an exemption or a specified worker permit. The former covers instances such as emergency relocations, funerals, essential medical care, and people needing to return home for health, wellbeing, care or compassionate reasons.

From 6pm tonight, NSW towns along the Victorian border will also move to 'green zones'. 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. These new 'green zones' include: Albury City, Balranald Shire, Bega Valley Shire, Berrigan Shire, City of Broken Hill, Edward River Council, Federation Council, Greater Hume Shire, Hay Shire, Lockhart Shire, Murray River Council, Murrumbidgee Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Snowy Valleys Council, City of Wagga Wagga and Wentworth Shire.

The loosened border restrictions come as Victoria records its 12th consecutive day of zero new cases of community transmission. Overnight, the state did record four new cases in hotel quarantine, all of which are linked to the Australian Open.

Of course, the current designated zones and regulations are subject to change, with Premier Daniel Andrews advising that designated red zones would be reviewed daily.

Victoria also reclassified the LGAs of Greater Brisbane as 'orange zones' from 6pm on Saturday, January 16.

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 18, 2021 by Samantha Teague

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