New South Wales’ border with Victoria will be closed from midnight on Tuesday, July 7, in response to the recent surge in new cases in Vic over the past week. The border closure will include the ACT, which will also be closed to visitors from Victoria. Travellers from Melbourne have been barred from entering NSW effective immediately, and NSW residents returning from Victoria will be expected to self-isolate for 14 days. It will be the first time in more than a century that the border between the three states has been closed.
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian had previously resisted calls to seal the border, citing the disruption to border towns where crossing into Victoria for work, school or recreation is commonplace. The border between Victoria and New South Wales remained open throughout the initial spike in cases in March. However, following an early morning emergency meeting between Berejiklian, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews and the prime minister, Scott Morrison, it was agreed that shutting the border was the best course of action to stop Victoria’s possible 'second wave' spreading northwards.
It will be up to New South Wales authorities to enforce the closure at the 50 official border crossings between Victoria and NSW, as Vic's police and security personnel are already stretched thin implementing lockdown measures in Melbourne.
Victoria has experienced an explosion of new cases – upwards of 70 a day, including a 108 new cases on Saturday, July 4 and 127 new cases on July 6 – which has led to the lockdown of 10 Melbourne postcodes, including a ‘hard lockdown’ of nine public housing blocks where police have been deployed to prevent residents from leaving their homes. NSW, on the other hand, has continued to see very low numbers of cases, almost exclusively within returned travelers in hotel quarantine.