Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes. Photo / @Milliganreports
Victoria’s border with New South Wales closes at midnight, blocking the entry of anyone who doesn’t get there in time.
Vehicles that arrived at the border checkpoint after the deadline were reversed by police and ordered to return to NSW.
Yesterday Jeroen Weimar, commander of the Covid-19 response from the Victoria Ministry of Health, confirmed the country’s hardline stance.
“We need to close the border, because we don’t want to continue importing high-risk Covid cases back into Victoria,” Weimar said.
“We don’t think it will be right or fair for the Victorian community.
“We don’t have the capacity to put hundreds of people into hotel quarantine because they choose to leave late at night.
“If anyone has ever been to NSW, we are not designing and setting up a hotel quarantine system to allow people vacationing in NSW to return later.”
However, some of the people who rushed to the border last night had traveled as far as Queensland.
Images posted on social media show massive queues hours before the border closes.
Photographer Simon Dallinger is at the Hume Freeway checkpoint. He reported that the last people allowed to pass, seconds before midnight, were Kelli Rippon and Rachel Bartlett. The couple traveled from Brisbane to Dubbo, and then to Victoria.
They made it in time. Others weren’t that lucky.
Health authorities in Victoria believe the virus has been spreading there for nearly two weeks.
All 10 cases reported since Wednesday ate at the Smile Buffalo Thai restaurant in Black Rock on December 21, or were close contacts of others who did.
“We know we have a possible starting point until December 21 – that is now 10 or 11 days ago,” Weimar said yesterday.
“That gives us good reason to be concerned that this could cause another chain of transmission to return to that point.”
Across the border in NSW, three new infections were identified in West Sydney yesterday.
The contact tracer is now trying to link the new cases to the existing cluster.
Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklian has warned tighter restrictions could be imposed on Greater Sydney if more cases arise without a known link.
“If we reach a stage, or if we feel there are too many cases that are completely unlinked or unrelated, or something unexpected comes up and raises concerns, of course we will adjust our arrangements if that is the case,” Berejiklian said. yesterday.
Now, residents on the north coast will find out whether their local restrictions will be relaxed. The lower north coast, in particular, can be governed under the same rules as the rest of Sydney.