New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reignited another war of words over border closures, this time with Daniel Andrews.
The premier accused her interstate counterpart of ‘wasting resources’ as Victoria prepares to slam shut its borders with NSW as both states battle to control fresh coronavirus outbreaks.
Victorian motorists faced lengthy queues to cross the NSW border and get home before midnight on Friday to avoid 14 days in mandatory hotel quarantine.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison also weighed into border closure debate on Friday, but stopped short of criticising individual jurisdictions.
It comes as an outbreak in Sydney grew to 173 cases on Friday as a cluster in Victoria grew to ten in the last 48 hours, prompting the hard border closure.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured on New Year’s Day) lashed out at her Victorian counterpart as her state recorded three new mystery cases in western Sydney on Friday
‘I don’t think at this stage closing the border between NSW and Victoria is a good use of resources,’ Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Friday.
‘I think we’re better off asking the community to come forward to get tested, cutting off those chains of transmission, making sure everybody has enough information about venues and about COVID safe activities.’
‘That is the strategy we have been adopting a NSW and it is a very volatile situation.’
The borders between the states is being slammed shut again just five weeks after NSW reopened its borders to Victoria for the first time in four months.
Victoria and South Australia have joined Western Australian in closing their borders to all of NSW, with restrictions already in place in Queensland.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed into the debate but stopped short of criticising individual premiers.
There were long queues for Victorians trying to get back home before the border with NSW was slammed shut at midnight Friday. Pictured is a border checkpoint at Mallacoota on New Year Eve when the hard borders were announced
Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews (pictured) has been accused of ‘wasting resources’
Instead, he singled out and praised those states and territories which haven’t shut out entire jurisdictions.
‘Look, the end of the day, state governments are elected by the people of their states to exercise their responsibilities when it comes to the public health of people in their state,’ Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.
‘And as much as we would like there to be greater consistency across all of these things, we must respect their jurisdictional authority because they are ultimately responsible for what would happen in their state if there were to be an outbreak in their state.’
Ms Berejiklian said she waited until new cases in virus-riddled Victoria consistently reached 120 a day or more before closing the border in July.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (pictured) praised those states and territories which haven’t shut out entire jurisdictions
Victorians holidaying outside the state made an urgent dash for the border on Friday.
Anyone crossing back on Friday needs to have a border permit and must isolate at home for 14 days.
Hundreds of drivers face lengthy queues to get back into the state from New South Wales before the hard border closure comes in at midnight on Friday.
In the state’s west at Genoa one motorist on Friday reported a wait of almost six hours as a line of hundreds of cars snaked through a checkpoint.
Victorians who cross the border after 11.59pm Friday will be ordered into hotel quarantine for 14 days.
Victorians cross the NSW border from midnight Friday must go into hotel quarantine. Pictured is a border checkpoint in Mallacoota
Acting premier Jacinta Allan apologised for the border closure but said Victorians who are in NSW should not be surprised.
‘We have been sending a very strong message for the better part of a week-and-a-half … advising people to think very carefully about their travel to NSW,’ Ms Allan said on Thursday.
‘These difficult decisions are about protecting the community.’
COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES
- Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan.
- Victoria – A hard border has been put up, with the entire state of NSW declared a red zone. If people cross into Victoria before 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, they must self- isolate until they test negative. If they enter before 11.59pm on New Year’s Day, they must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of test results. If they cross into the state after January 1, they must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
- Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
- South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
- Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate.
- ACT – Anyone who has been in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast or Wollongong must quarantine for 14 days in a government facility.
- Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.
NSW records just THREE new coronavirus cases as hopes mount outbreak has been contained – but Gladys Berijiklian warns numbers could swell after NYE celebrations as new cluster pops up in western Sydney
All three cases recorded on Friday from western Sydney and are regarded as mystery cases, taking the statewide total to 173 since the second wave began on the Northern Beaches.
Since then, clusters have popped up in Wollongong and Sydney’s inner west at Croydon, but both have now been linked to the original Avalon cluster.
But the new western Sydney cases, three men ages in their 20s, 30s and 40s, have not yet been linked to any known outbreak.
The man aged in his 20s is a close household contact of one of the mystery cases.
The surprise outbreak prompted health authorities urged residents in the Greystanes, Auburn, Berala and Lidcombe areas to watch out for symptoms following the latest infections.
NSW chief health officer Dr Kerry Chant also announced two infected Victorians visited several venues in Eden and Bermagui on the NSW far south coast on Wednesday and Thursday.
It’s since been revealed the two Melburnians ignored warning calls from contact tracers and crossed the border into NSW to enjoy a night away.
NSW recorded three new locally-acquired cases from Friday, all in western Sydney, where residents are urged to get tested if they have the mildest of symptoms. Pictured is a healthcare workers at the Bondi testing clinic
New Year Eve celebrations in Sydney were subdued with vantage points closed off to keep the public away. Pictured are diners in East Circular Quay on Thursday night
An urgent alert has been issued for anyone who was at The Swallowed Anchor in Wollongong on December 19 after infected cases from both the Croydon and Wollongong clusters attended the tapas and wine bar.
Anyone who attended the venue anytime that day is ordered to get tested and self-isolate until further notice.
‘At this point in time, we have the genomic sequencing which has given us some additional, very valuable information which will guide our investigations,’ Dr Chant said on Friday.
‘And that will help us narrower and take one line of inquiry over others which hopefully will speed up our ability to find the missing link.’
Other new venues added to the list include a BWS and a Thai restaurant in Berala, along with a Bunnings and tile shop in Smithfield in Sydney’s south-west.
While many Sydneysiders spent a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, some revellers (pictured) hit the town to celebrate a 2020 most of us would rather forget
The NSW far south coast towns of Eden and Bermagui are also now on high alert after two infected Melburnians visiting the region dined at several venues.
The pair ate at the Great Southern Hotel in Eden on Wednesday from 5pm to 6.30pm and also at Bermi’s Beachside Cafe in Bermagui on Thursday 9am-10am.
‘It is important if you are hearing this and you know anybody within the Bermagui area that you reach to them and make sure that they are aware of the situation,’ Dr Chant said.
‘We understand that there may be a lot of visitors who have travelled to that part over the festive season.’
The visiting Melburnians are close contacts of a case linked to a Thai restaurant in Black Rock in the city’s bayside region.
A new cluster has emerged in western Sydney with three mystery cases recorded on Friday.
The pair continued on their journey and crossed the border into NSW, despite being called by contact tracers who told them to self-isolate and get tested.
It comes just hours after millions of Sydneysiders enjoyed a quiet New Year’s Eve at home, with emergency restrictions seeing households limited to just five guests.
The city’s annual New Year’s Eve firework extravaganza was cut short, with the usual hoards of tourists banned from the foreshore and households only allowed five visitors.
NSW Health remains hopeful New Year’s Eve gatherings haven’t tipped a ‘volatile’ COVID-19 situation over the edge.
More than 32,000 NSW residents came forward for testing on Thursday. Pictured is the long queue at a testing clinic in Five Dock in Sydney’s inner-west on Wednesday
Stay-at-home orders applying to Sydney’s Northern Beaches residents north of the Narrabeen Bridge will continue until at least January 9, the Premier confirmed on Friday.
A lockdown for the peninsula’s southern zone will be in place until January 2 with Ms Berejiklian to provide details about possible relaxed restrictions on Saturday.
‘Given the date we have identified is getting longer and longer and it gives us greater heart that most if not all about community transmission has really been stomped out in that region,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘Once you know you have got that and put that to bed, you can obviously focus all your resources into the growing number of cases in Western Sydney.’
She warned that the clusters are likely to grow further after more contact tracing testing takes place.
The third and deciding cricket Test between Australia and India will go ahead with a half-capacity crowd at the Sydney Cricket Ground despite the outbreak.
Anyone who attended The Swallowed Anchor (pictured) in Wollongong on December 19 is urged to get tested and self-isolate
The Swallowed Anchor (pictured) in Wollongong was visited by an infected patron on December 19
Victoria will slam shut its borders with New South Wales from midnight after eight new cases were recorded within 24 hours.
The outbreak ended Victoria’s 61-day run of zero community transmissions.
No new cases were recorded in Victoria on Friday morning, other than the five revealed on Thursday.
But just hours later, another two cases were recorded – taking the cluster to ten.
Eight of the 10 Victorian cases are now linked to a Thai restaurant in Black Rock.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk