Australia

The border between NSW and Victoria has fully reopened after being closed for four months


The border NSW-Victoria border is fully open for the first time in more than four months and the first flights between the states are due to touch down on Monday morning.

The border opened a minute after midnight allowing Victorians to freely visit NSW for the first time since 8 July without having to go into quarantine.

A DJ helped people celebrate when the checkpoint at Albury was removed overnight.

The border was closed by NSW in July to stop the spread of COVID-19 as Victorians hunkered down to deal with a second wave of the virus.

Qantas and Jetstar are operating 17 return flights between Sydney and Melbourne on Monday, carrying around 4500 passengers.

During the lockdown, flights on the route dropped to as low as one flight per day for what is normally the busiest air route in the country.

Qantas and Jetstar sold more 25,000 seats in the first 48 hours after it was announced the border restrictions would be lifted.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian visited the border town of Wodonga on Sunday to thank the community for its efforts during the border closure.

“We never want to see this ever again,” she said.

“This is the last time in our lifetime this border is closed and … it will be a whole new era for both of our states.”

Ms Berejiklian admitted the border operation had been expensive.

“It has cost several millions of dollars if you add up all the costs but you can’t put a price on community safety,” she said.

More than five million cars and 500,000 heavy vehicles passed through the checkpoint during its operation.

Meanwhile, QR codes are now also compulsory for businesses in NSW to record customer visits, with pen and paper no longer acceptable for record-keeping.

And from Monday in NSW choirs of up to 30 people are also allowed to sing outside and audiences and congregations may participate in the singing, but anyone 12 years or older must wear a mask.

There have been no recorded cases of community transmission of COVID-19 in NSW for 15 days and Victoria has been COVID free for 23 consecutive days.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your jurisdiction’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW,VictoriaQueenslandWestern AustraliaSouth AustraliaNorthern TerritoryACTTasmania. 


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