South Australia will reimpose a hard border with New South Wales from New Year’s Day in response to Sydney’s growing coronavirus outbreak.
Travellers from NSW will be banned from entering SA, unless they are essential travellers, returning South Australians or permanently relocating.
SA Premier Steven Marshall said a 100-kilometre buffer zone will apply for people living in border communities, including Broken Hill and Wentworth.
People transiting to SA via NSW will also have an exemption, provided they do not stop in NSW on the way.
“This morning we have received advice that would suggest we need to strengthen our border restrictions with New South Wales,” Mr Marshall said.
“As of midnight tonight, in fact one minute past midnight tonight, we will be putting a hard border back in place.
“This will have very few exceptions … only South Australians returning, people relocating permanently or essential workers will be exempt from this arrangement.
“The South Australians returning or those people relocating will need to do 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.”
State Coordinator and Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said the travel ban would come into effect from 12:01am on Friday.
“That will require New South Wales residents to essentially cease all travel into South Australia,” he said.
“The buffer arrangement, the cross-border community arrangement, will allow residents of Broken Hill and Wentworth to travel across the border and throughout South Australia.
“It will also allow South Australians who live near the border to travel freely between Wentworth, Broken Hill and back into South Australia without any impediment.”
Commissioner Stevens said incoming travellers seeking exemptions must complete cross-border applications online, and that resources at checkpoints had been bolstered.
“Several days ago we reintroduced personnel to the borders at Yamba, Pinnaroo and Oodla Wirra and also Wentworth,” he said.
“We have police officers stationed there, and they will continue to provide that border checking process.”
NSW today recorded 10 COVID-19 cases, three of which are part of the new Croydon cluster in Sydney’s inner-west.
More to come.