Australia

ACT extends border ban with NSW

The ACT’s border ban with NSW has been extended for another week and will be in place at least until January 13, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced.Mr Barr said on Tuesday the measure designed to keep Greater Sydney residents out amid a coronavirus outbreak would be reviewed on January 12.He said the restriction was…

The ACT’s border ban with NSW has been extended for another week and will be in place at least until January 13, Chief Minister Andrew Barr has announced.

Mr Barr said on Tuesday the measure designed to keep Greater Sydney residents out amid a coronavirus outbreak would be reviewed on January 12.

He said the restriction was “not a hard border closure” and police would not man checkpoints 24 hours per day.

Officers will instead randomly patrol the border to ensure people are complying with public health orders, Mr Barr said.

“Now, we acknowledge these public health measures are disruptive. They inconvenience people. That is understood,” he said.

“They are only going to be in place for the time frame necessary to reduce our risk from the Greater Sydney outbreaks. The situation is being reviewed multiple times each day.

Under the rules non-ACT residents are banned from entering the territory if they have travelled from hot spots, unless granted an exemption.

That means all non-residents who have been in Greater Sydney, the Central Coast or Wollongong local government areas will be refused entry at the border.

ACT residents returning from COVID-affected areas of NSW can still return to the ACT, but must notify ACT Health via an online declaration form and enter quarantine for 14 days.

Anyone who breaches the orders faces a fine of $8000.

The extension comes as the NSW government recorded four new cases of community transmission in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday and diagnosed a fifth that will be included in tomorrow’s numbers.

ACT chief health officer Kerryn Coleman said concerns remained about several COVID-19 clusters that have emerged in Sydney in recent weeks.

“We have been closely monitoring the situation in NSW and what has been unfolding there over the past few days,” Dr Coleman said.

“The recent Berala cluster in Sydney‘s west is particularly concerning and another example of how quickly and easily the virus can spread.

“For those in COVID-19 affected areas of NSW, please continue to respect the public health direction in place and do not travel to the ACT.

“We also remind Canberrans, do not travel to a COVID-19 affected area at this time, especially Greater Sydney. If you do, you will be required to quarantine on your return to the ACT.”

There have been no new cases of COVID-19 recorded in the ACT in the past 24 hours.

There are also no active cases in the ACT.

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