Cars lined up along the Federal Highway on Saturday as the Australian Capital Territory banned travellers from New South Wales coronavirus hot spots.
Hundreds of cars were stopped at the ACT border as the new restriction was brought in at midday.
Anyone who has been in the Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, Central Coast or Wollongong is not allowed to enter the nation’s capital without a valid permit.
“We are putting in place strengthened travel restrictions to make it absolutely clear to non-ACT residents who live or have recently visited COVID-19 affected areas of NSW that they are not able to be in the ACT at this time,” Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said.
However if people need to travel to the ACT for “extraordinary circumstances” they will need to apply for an exemption at least three days before travelling.
“For those in COVID-19 affected areas of NSW, we ask that you respect the public health direction that has been put in place and do not travel to the ACT,” Dr Coleman said.
These changes do not apply to residents of the territory returning from coronavirus hit areas, who will be allowed to return home.
But they need to notify the health department of their planned return, and quarantine for 14 days.
Police officers were at the Federal Highway to patrol the border from New South Wales and to check whether travellers had their exemption passes.
Anyone who breaches the new rules will be hit with fines, the government said.