New South Wales faces going back into lockdown if widespread community transmission is detected in the state as Melbourne battles a huge coronavirus outbreak.
Health Minister Brad Hazzard this morning said re-introducing restrictions is a ‘possibility’ if the virus spreads from Victoria into New South Wales.
‘If that advice comes to us that would be a possibility but hopefully we can keep the transmission to a bare minimum,’ he told Sydney radio 2GB.
‘We’re in a pandemic so we have to expect that from time to time we will get cases in NSW, that’s logical.
New South Wales faces going back into lockdown if widespread community transmission is detected in the state. Pictured: NSW police officers at Sydney Airport
Passengers arrive from a Qantas flight that flew from Melbourne at Sydney Airport to be met by health officials taking their temperature
‘But what we don’t want is broad scale transmission which is occurring in Victoria.
‘We’ll take advice as we move along.’
Mr Hazzard warned residents to not travel to Victoria where more than 300,000 residents in 12 Melbourne postcodes have been put back into lockdown.
‘Do not travel to Victoria. You would have to have an extremely necessary reason to go,’ he said.
Any resident returning from Victoria has to self-isolate at home for two weeks.
NSW Health on Monday evening said the two possible cases had returned positive results on preliminary testing in the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, with further testing underway.
One suspected case had recently been to Melbourne but returned before hotspot travel restrictions came into force.
Nine tower blocks in Melbourne have been placed into a hard lockdown where residents cannot leave for any reason
Residents look from a window at one of nine public housing estates locked down due a spike in COVID-19 coronavirus numbers in Melbourne
NSW Health is setting up a pop-up clinic in the border city of Albury from Tuesday, and is urging residents in the area with even the mildest symptoms to get tested.
It comes ahead of the Wednesday border closure, which was agreed to by the NSW and Victorian premiers and the prime minister.
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard also announced that hotspot travel restrictions would be extended to include residents from Greater Melbourne from Tuesday.
It means they will only be able to enter NSW for limited reasons, such as getting medical care, or fulfilling a legal obligation.
Then on Wednesday at 12.01am, the whole border will be shut.
Victoria on Monday had recorded an additional 127 new COVID-19 cases and two deaths.
Former Labor leader and MP for Maribyrnong, Bill Shorten, delivers food to the Flemington Towers Government Housing on Monday
Since last Monday Victoria has detected 632 new patients, only 14 of whom are returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine. Pictured: Police at a Melbourne housing estate
NSW reported 10 cases, all in hotel quarantine, from 11,500 tests.
The Department of Defence will help NSW Police in what Ms Berejiklian has labelled the ‘mammoth task’ of border enforcement.
On Monday NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said authorities would monitor border 55 crossings across five southern NSW police districts.
NSW residents who return from anywhere in Victoria will from Wednesday be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
How will NSW-VIC border shut-down work?
The border will close from 12.01am Wednesday morning
It will be be enforced from the NSW side with roadblocks, drones and helicopters
Permit system will be used for people with unavoidable travel to NSW
People living in border communities will be able to travel for work and essential health services
Specific arrangements will be set up for healthcare in Albury-Wodonga – Victoria runs the Albury Hospital even though it is located in NSW