Several Australian states moved to shut borders as cases stemming from an outbreak of Covid-19 in northern Sydney earlier this month continues to grow and take root in neighboring Victoria state.
Interstate travel had largely been cut earlier this year during the country’s first wave.
Victoria, which reported three new locally transmitted cases Thursday, will close its borders with the state of New South Wales (NSW) starting Friday, according to public broadcaster ABC. As a result of the fresh outbreak in the state, new Covid-19 restrictions have been issued hours before New Year’s Eve celebrations, with gatherings of more than 15 people are no longer allowed and masks are now mandatory indoors.
The state of Western Australia said its restrictions -- which were described by acting Premier Roger Cook as “essentially a hard border ” -- were extended to the state of Victoria starting Friday. Western Australia travel restrictions on those from NSW have been in place since December 19.
In the Northern Territories, Health Minister Natasha Fyles announced that from Friday, travelers from the greater Sydney area would have to go into quarantine in a designated facility. She added they were monitoring the situation in metropolitan Melbourne in Victoria state.
The ABC also reported that the state of South Australia will close its border with NSW from Friday but its border with Victoria will remain open.
The usual New Year's Eve fireworks display in Sydney has been shortened this year, with movement around the city restricted.