Huge lines and lengthy wait times have been reported on the roads linking Victoria and New South Wales, hours after the border was closed to the vast majority of folks entering from Victoria.
At midnight last night, most travellers from Victoria were barred from entering NSW on account of Victoria’s ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Only NSW residents and special permit holders are allowed to enter from Victoria, and police checkpoints have been established across six main highways and dozens of smaller roads.
It’s reportedly very slow going in the border community of Albury-Wodonga, where motorists attempting to enter NSW have formed an enormous queue.
Speaking to RN Breakfast this morning, NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said motorists have lined up for four kilometres in some areas.
Some 44,000 people have already applied for permits, he said.
BORDER SHUTS: a long queue has already formed with people trying to get into NSW via Albury. Many are frustrated locals wanting to get to work. All cars are being diverted through here off the Hume. Expect huge delays #7newsmelb @sunriseon7 #alburywodonga pic.twitter.com/d6tdDrFeTH— Teegan Dolling (@tdolling) July 7, 2020
This is the queue to get across the border from Wodonga into Albury – as NSW police stop each car and check for permits and ID pic.twitter.com/9sQCsB2UMC— Trudy McIntosh (@TrudyMcIntosh) July 7, 2020
NSW residents returning home will be required to self-isolate for fourteen days.
Anyone caught flaunting those restrictions, or found to have fibbed on their permit, could face six months in prison or a fine of up to $11,000.
AAP journo Finbar O’Mallon reports an individual from one of Victoria’s coronavirus hotspot postcodes has been turned back already.
Police at this checkpoint in Albury-Wodonga say they’ve already turned back one person coming from a Melbourne coronavirus hotspot trying to cross the border. pic.twitter.com/PXO4S0kd97— Finbar O'Mallon (@finbaromallon) July 7, 2020
The border is slated to remain closed indefinitely – at least, until Victoria’s outbreak is brought under control.