NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced a raft of new border restrictions aimed at substantially reducing the flow of travellers entering or passing through the state. From midnight on Friday, August 7, no travellers by road will be allowed to enter NSW from Victoria outside of certain border communities that rely on open travel over the Victorian border. From August 7, the only way to enter the state will be by air via Sydney airport. All new arrivals, from both domestic or international destinations, will be required to complete a 14-day hotel quarantine period. As with international arrivals, interstate travellers will be required to pay for their quarantine themselves at a cost of $3,000 per adult.
The stringent new border restrictions are in response to the escalating number of cases in Victoria, which set a new record for daily infections of 725 on August 5. A low but stubbornly persistent level of community transmission has been found in NSW in recent weeks after an outbreak at the Crossroads Hotel in Casula was linked to a man from Victoria in early July. NSW health minister Brad Hazzard said that security staff and border officials would meet all new arrivals into Sydney airport, and that harsh penalties would face anyone found to be providing false information in order to enter the state.
Berejiklian said that only a small number of exemptions would be granted to enter the state without completing a 14-day hotel quarantine period, including on compassionate grounds or for critical workers in certain industries that are vital to the function of essential services. However, these instances would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, to ensure no loopholes could be exploited by people attempting to enter the state fraudulently.
The Queensland premier announced on the morning of August 5 that Queensland would shut its border with NSW and the ACT from August 8, as part of its efforts to contain recent outbreaks linked to travellers entering from southern states.