- The NSW-Victoria border will close from midnight on Tuesday night for the first time in a century, as COVID-19 cases in Victoria continue to swell.
- Premier Daniel Andrews announced an increase of 127 cases overnight, and one death.
- Andrews said he, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and Prime Minister Scott Morrison “agreed that the best thing to do is to close the border.”
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
The NSW and Victoria border will close from midnight on Tuesday for the first time in a century, as COVID-19 case numbers continue to swell in the southern state.
Premier Daniel Andrews announced the drastic move at a press conference on Monday morning, after confirming an increase of 127 cases overnight, and one death.
“From 11.59pm midnight tomorrow night, the border with New South Wales will be closed,” Andrews said. “That is the result of a phone hook-up between the Prime Minister and the Premier of New South Wales and myself just an hour or so ago, where we have – all of us – agreed that the best thing to do is to close the border.”
“I apologise for any inconvenience that will cause people who have unavoidable travel to New South Wales,” he added.
Andrews said the enforcement of the border closure would be handled by NSW, so as not to be “a drain on resources” on the fight against the virus in Victoria.
The Premier said that a permit system will be in place for those with non-negotiable travel planned between the states.
The death announced by Premier Andrews, a man in his 90s, is the 21st person in Victoria to die of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and the 105th in Australia.
The NSW Premier says the state has a ‘no regrets’ policy regarding the border closure
Speaking at a press conference at midday on Monday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated Andrews’ comments.
“Today and tomorrow is the last time in which any Victorians will be allowed across the border unless they have a special permit or some exemption,” she said.
Despite the fact the border does not officially closure until midnight on Tuesday, Berejiklian stressed that border crossings between now and the official closure will be difficult and may be seriously delayed.
Berejiklian used the press conference as an opportunity to take shots at other states which have closed their borders with NSW, suggesting that the action against Victoria should change the situation.
“I also stress to the other States, now that New South Wales has taken this decision and given where we are, there is really no excuse for any other State, apart from Victoria, to have any border closures with New South Wales,” the premier said.
“I urge all the other States of Australia, in our national interest, to think about that.”
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