News just in. Victoria will close its border with NSW from Tuesday night as it battles to control its surging COVID outbreak, with a surge of 127 more cases confirmed today. The new infections – the highest yet in the state – include 34 connected to known outbreaks, 40 from routine testing and 53 still being investigated.
Following a discussion between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian this morning, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has made the decision to close the border, with thousands of housing commission residents in Melbourne having just spent their second night in hard lockdown imposed to contain a coronavirus outbreak after 27 people in the North Melbourne and Flemington towers tested positive.
“All of us agreed that the best thing to do is to close the border,” Mr Andrews said.
“That closure will be enforced on the New South Wales side, so as not to be a drain on resources that are very much focused on fighting the virus right now across our state.
“I am grateful to the Premier of New South Wales for her support in giving effect to that.”
The closure will come into effect from 11.59pm tomorrow night.
Mr Andrews said there would be a permit system for residents of towns on the NSW-Victoria border who had to travel, particularly those residing in Wodonga. Ms Berejiklian was expected to announce further details later on Monday.
The NSW Government had already enforced strict conditions on travellers from Victoria, with anyone from Melbourne’s designated virus hotspots facing an $11,000 fine or six months behind bars.
This news comes following Premier Daniel Andrews announcing the state’s 21st death from the virus – a man in his 90s who died in a Melbourne hospital on Sunday night.
Recording its largest amount of coronavirus infections since the pandemic began, Victoria’s total cases is now at 2660. There are 645 active virus cases in Victoria.
More on this to come.