Authorities in Victoria are tightening the Australian state border with New South Wales from Tuesday evening in an attempt to curb the spread of the Delta variant of the virus that causes Covid-19.
NSW recorded 207 new cases on Monday, while Victoria identified two more infections.
Under the changes, residents of the “border bubble” can only cross the border to enter Victoria without a permit for “necessary goods and services”, including medical care and obtaining a test or test. a Covid-19 jab; reasons of care and compassion; paid or voluntary work; education; or play sports and exercise in a club or recreation center.
Victoria’s health director Brett Sutton said the changes would take effect at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.
Persons crossing the border into Victoria cannot travel further than is reasonably necessary. “In other words, if you’re from Albury, you can’t shop in Wangaratta or Melbourne if you can get the essentials you need in Wodonga,” Sutton said.
Victorian residents who plan to enter New South Wales are subject to the same restrictions.
The Queensland lockdown will continue until at least Sunday after authorities ruled the initial three-day stay-at-home period will be ‘insufficient’. It was due to end on Tuesday.
Victoria Police said residents were “98.9%” compliant when observing border checks linked to the most recent closures.
Victoria Police said they have deployed 1,300 dedicated coronavirus law enforcement officers to the state of 6.8 million people, including 400 roving patrols near the borders of New South Wales and South Australia.
Police checked at least 76,630 people and police said most non-compliant people “were either naive or ignorant of the required process.”
The agency said the main problem was that truck drivers had mistakenly applied for permits. “The drivers tried to do the right thing; However, they made mistakes in the process, ”police said in a statement.
“In the majority of these cases, the drivers were given a warning and ordered to return to their original destination and return with the correct papers.”
When the fines were imposed it was on people entering Victoria without a permit or certificate of exemption.
“There have been very few fines imposed on a daily basis – sometimes none – because most drivers are compliant and trying to do the right thing.”
Certain border areas in New South Wales – the town of Wagga Wagga, Hay and Lockhart counties and Murrumbidgee Council – are no longer included in the cross-border travel bubble and are considered “extreme risk areas” in line with the rest of NSW.
Residents need an exemption, exception, transit permit, or specified work permit to enter Victoria.
South Australia and Norfolk Island are Orange Zones and people who have been to these areas in the past 14 days and are traveling to Victoria must apply for an Orange Zone permit. People cannot apply for an amber zone permit if they have also been in a red or extreme risk zone in the previous 14 days.