7 July 2020 I Police and other government agencies will seal off some 54 border crossings between NSW and Victoria later tonight.
Once these extraordinary border restriction measures are set in motion, no one from Victoria will be allowed to cross into NSW by virtue of The Public Health (COVID-19 NSW and Victorian Border) Order 2020.
From 12:01 am on July 8, you will be committing a serious offence if you fail to comply with a Public Health Order issued by NSW police officers. Any violation will attract severe penalties which may include a maximum penalty of up to $11,000 and/or six months imprisonment.
The only travellers who will be allowed into NSW will be those who fulfil specific exemption criteria.
In case of NSW residents returning from Victoria, they will be required to go into 14 days of self-isolation just as they would in case of returning from overseas.
Victorians wishing to travel into NSW will be able to apply for the exemption, if they genuinely needed to travel, on the Service NSW website which is expected to soon upload a link to apply.
The massive multi-agency operation comes amid concerning spike in COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
The border between the two states is already closed to people from the ‘hotspot’ postcodes in Victoria; only the scope will be broadened from midnight today.
“As the scope widens and the border closes entirely, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has appointed Assistant Commissioner Scott Whyte as Operation Commander, to lead approximately 650 police officers in support of local police,” NSW Police said in its press statement today.
The high-visibility police operation to control movement of traffic across the border will be so serious that it will be complete with specialist units like the Rescue and Bomb Disposal Unit.
From July 9, NSW Police Force officers will be further assisted by 350 men and women from the Australian Defence Force.
“I know this closure will inconvenience many on both sides of the border, but the dangers and flow-on effects that accompany a second wave of COVID-19 are not something we want to see for our state,” NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller was quoted as saying.
He further added that the first 72 hours, starting at the midnight of July 8, will be challenging, so we ask the community to be patient and work with us. Importantly, if you don’t need to cross the border, don’t,” Commissioner Fuller said.
Police continue to appeal to the community to report suspected breaches of any ministerial direction or behaviour which may impact on the health and safety of the community.