After 17 new COVID-19 cases in Sydney’s northern beaches, many Australians have woken up to find their Christmas travel plans in chaos as state governments reimpose tough restrictions.
Christmas plans are in chaos after a COVID-cluster exploded on Sydney’s northern beaches.
Contact tracers confirmed a list of nearly 20 new affected venues and three train lines.
With just one week out from Christmas, thousands of Australians had plans to travel across state borders to visit loved ones for the first time in months. However, states announced a raft of toughened interstate travel restrictions to stop the spread of the virus – and it couldn’t have come at a more inconvenient time.
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All the latest interstate travel restrictions, state by state
The Queensland government announced anyone arriving from Sydney on Friday, and who has been to the northern beaches since December 11, must get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days.
These rules will toughen at 1am Saturday, when any travelers from Sydney who have been to the region will be forced into hotel quarantine.
The state has also banned anyone who has gone to the northern beaches region since December 11 from visiting hospitals, aged care homes and prisons in Queensland.
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan announced that anyone arriving from NSW is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and get tested on day 11.
“I understand these changes will cause some frustration and uncertainty for some people,” Mr McGowan announced on Thursday evening.
Tasmania has prevented people who visited the Northern Beaches in NSW, from entering the island state.
Northern Territory authorities warned anyone coming from the northern beaches area will need to enter 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine in either Alice Springs or Darwin.
Those travelling to Victoria and who have visited the high-risk locations, must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days.
Victorians have voiced their frustration on social media, saying harsher restrictions need to be imposed after the state endured one of the world’s toughest COVID lockdowns.
“Sorry NSW, I think we should support you in all the ways that we can but having an open border under the circumstances is totally unacceptable,” one person Tweeted. “I know that’d ruin some Xmas plans but TBH this is life and death so I don’t care RN.”
Another one said: “Close the border. They would if it was us. We don’t want to go back into lockdown here because of this. It’s still not mandatory to wear a mask in NSW despite the (COVID-19) outbreak underway. Honestly this is just too much risk for a virus that is airborne and if NSW govt is too scared of its business paymasters to take the necessary action, then other states have to.”
A third person begged: “Please oh please not be the undoing of all our hard work and sacrifices.”