How the NSW-Victorian border closure will work

The Department of Defence has been called in to help NSW Police in the “mammoth” task of enforcing the closure of the NSW-Victoria border.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Monday said the decision to close the border was based on health advice as COVID-19 cases in the southern state climb.

The border will close from 11.59pm AEST on Tuesday after talks between Berejiklian, Victorian Premier Dan Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“We wouldn’t take this step unless we absolutely had to,” Berejiklian told reporters in Sydney on Monday.

“It’s a mammoth task.”

Police and health officials are already on the border stopping anyone arriving from Melbourne.

The Premier said a ‘permit system’ would allow residents of border communities, such as Albury-Wodonga to move between the two states for work or other essential business.

Permits can be applied for online via Services NSW, but it may take three days to get the system in place.

NSW residents who return from anywhere in Victoria will from Wednesday be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

Berejiklian said there was “no excuse” for all the other states to have border closures and urged them to open up to NSW given the state was taking strong action to ensure that Victorians could not travel into NSW.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said he has asked the Department of Defence for assistance with the border operation.

“The task is not lost on me in terms of the enormity of logistics of this operation,” he told reporters.

“There will be aerial and other surveillance across that border.”

He warned there will be delays at the border over the next 24 hours. 

Victoria has for weeks grappled with a coronavirus outbreak in multiple Melbourne suburbs with botched hotel quarantines leading to outbreaks.

Andrews confirmed the border closure on Monday as he announced an additional 127 new COVID-19 cases in Victoria and one death.

“All of us have agreed that the best thing to do is close the border – that closure will be enforced on the NSW side,” Andrews told reporters.

There is no timeframe yet for how long the closure will last.

NSW on Monday recorded 10 new COVID-19 cases from more than 11,500 tests. 

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