Victorian-NSW border closed

By Robert Muir

The border between NSW and Victoria was scheduled to close at midnight, Tuesday, July 7 as Victoria’s second surge of the COVID-19 crisis intensified. 

People who reside in border towns such as Yarrawonga and Mulwala can, however, still travel to each town but only for specific reasons.

Employment, health, schooling and “essential services” are reasons conveyed at this point in time, as the Yarrawonga Chronicle was going to print.

Cross over the border arrangement will be via a permit system which is being developed.

The dramatic decision to close the borders was made at an early morning hook-up between Mr Andrews, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday.

The decision followed news that 127 people were diagnosed with Covid-19, which is the highest daily total Victoria has recorded.

It was decided that given the amount of community transmission the best decision was to close the NSW-Victorian border to try to stop the spread.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews made the announcement at 10.45am on Monday.

“The closure will be enforced on the New South Wales side so as not to be a drain on resources that are very much focused on fighting the virus right now across our state,” he said.

There are about 50 border crossings between Victoria and NSW — as well as towns which share the border.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian subsequently stressed the border closure is a temporary measure.

“As I have said before, it is in our national interest for borders to be open,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Special conditions will be in place for freight operations and other critical services.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said a hard border would be established at appropriate locations to enforce the border closure.

“The NSW Police Force is ready to step up, 400 police officers plus other agencies are preparing to enforce the closure of the NSW and Victorian border,” Commissioner Fuller said.