VICTORIA was scheduled to close its New South Wales border at midnight on Friday amid growing COVID-19 outbreaks in Sydney and Melbourne.
In Victoria, masks are now required indoors other than at home, and gatherings in private homes are limited to 15 guests.
According to the new measures, residents of municipal areas near the border do not need a permit to cross the border, but can use a driver’s license or other photo ID to prove their address.
Residents under the age of 18 do not need to show any ID.
Residents of the border zone who entered Victoria late Friday in Mildura were allowed to enter with minimal delays on presentation of proof of address.
Exceptions for freight, medical care and emergency services were provided.
More details on the arrangements and system for travelers in other states who must return through NSW to return to Victoria were expected in the coming days.
Everyone else returning to Victoria from NSW on Saturday were instructed to take a COVID-19 test and be placed in hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Announcing the new restrictions on Thursday, incumbent Prime Minister Jacinta Allan said she hoped the measures would effectively combat the spread of the recent outbreak.
“These tough decisions are about protecting the community and keeping the caseload down and doing whatever we can to secure the gains we made over the course of 2020 so we can move on to 2021 and a much better one Year for 2021, ”she said.
The residents of the exempt local government areas included Bendigo, Buloke, Gannawarra, Loddon, Mildura, Swan Hill, and Yarriambiack in Victoria.
The exempted areas of New South Wales included the counties of City of Broken Hill and Balranald, Edward River, Murray River, and Wentworth Shires.
As of Thursday, South Australia restored its hard border with NSW with a 100 km buffer zone for border communities.
Victoria recorded eight COVID-19 cases on Friday, five of which were acquired locally, while NSW recorded three.
Victorians were strongly advised not to travel to NSW due to warnings that the border restrictions would be checked daily.
For more information or to apply for a travel permit for Victoria, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au
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