The New South Wales government will enact further border restrictions to make it more difficult for Victorians to enter the state, with tougher measures for border residents.
It comes after Victoria recorded 363 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths on Sunday.
From midnight on July 21, a “strict” new border zone will be established along the Murray River, and all current permits will expire. Those who need a permit will need to reapply, but the rules will be tightened.
Victorians seeking to enter NSW will be able to do so for “extremely limited purposes”. There will also be fewer valid reasons for NSW border residents to travel into the Victorian side of the border zone, and those who travel beyond the zone will need to self-isolate upon return for 14 days.
Other NSW residents who cross the Murray River, enter Victoria or have been to Victoria in the last two weeks will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on their return to NSW.
Border zone residents with a permit will only be able to cross into the other side of the zone to work or learn if they cannot do so from home, or to obtain medical care, supplies or health services, according to NSW health minister Brad Hazzard.
“On top of that, we’re strengthening the rules so the fewer people granted permits to enter NSW must now carry a copy of their permit and produce it when directed by enforcement officers,” he said on Sunday.
Hazzard noted authorities would be given greater enforcement powers to stop people from entering NSW and to direct non-residents to leave if they present an “unacceptable” health risk.
Border residents can check the Service NSW website from July 20 at 2pm to determine if their address falls within the newly established border restrictions.
Under the new rules, freight workers and people entering NSW for child access or care arrangements will be required to have COVID Safety Plans. Critical service workers will need to self-isolate when not providing their services, and people attending boarding school or universities as either staff or students must self-isolate for 14 days and obtain a negative swab before attending school.
Anyone who accompanies a person with a permit, such as a dependent child, will also be required to comply with any conditions on the permit.
Entry for medical or hospital services will be restricted to only be allowed where those services are not available in Victoria or cannot be accessed remotely, and will stop seasonal workers coming from Victoria into NSW.
NSW recorded 18 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday.
Meanwhile, from 11.59pm on July 22, people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will be required to wear a face covering when leaving home. Those caught not wearing a mask will be slapped with a $200 fine.