Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials to close the New South Wales-Victoria border in Australia from 0001 July 8. Plan for transport disruptions.

  • Alert Begins: 06 Jul 2020 06:35 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 20 Jul 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Event: Border closure
  • Location(s): New South Wales and Victoria (map)
  • Start Time/Date: 0001 July 8
  • Impact: Increased security, cross-border transport disruptions, quarantine requirements; possible shipping delays

Summary
New South Wales officials will close the state's border with Victoria beginning 0001 July 8 due to rising community transmission of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in parts of Melbourne. New South Wales Police will enforce the border restriction. New South Wales government will make exceptions for freight shipments and critical services. Exemptions are also likely for residents in border areas, though details remain unclear. Officials have not announced when border traffic will resume.

Authorities plan to deploy some 400 officers and other staff to crossings between the states; officials will also monitor the border constantly with surveillance equipment and aircraft. Shipping delays and traffic congestion are possible at border crossings. Although the closure is likely to cause significant transport disruptions between the two states, the New South Wales government will allow some passenger train and plane travel. However, visitors must obtain a permit from state authorities before attempting to enter the state.

Victoria residents traveling to New South Wales before the deadline will have to undergo self-quarantine for two weeks. New South Wales residents returning from Victoria will have to self-isolate for two weeks. Travelers violating the orders could receive fines of up to AUD 11,000 (USD 7,660) and face up to six months in jail.

Advice
Consider delaying nonessential travel between Victoria and New South Wales due to quarantine requirements. Follow all official instructions. Reconfirm all cross-border travel arrangements. Seek a permit from New South Wales authorities before attempting to enter the state. Plan to undergo self-quarantine if traveling from Victoria

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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