Media Release
20 December 2020

The Victorian Government has today announced a strengthening of its border arrangements with NSW to better protect the state from the possible spread of COVID-19.

From 11.59pm tonight, the Greater Sydney area and the NSW Central Coast will be designated as “red zones” and the Northern Beaches area of NSW will be declared a “hot zone”

That means people who live in these communities, or have visited these communities since 11 December 2020, should not visit Victoria. If passengers do arrive from a red zone or the hot zone, after this date they will be transferred to Hotel Quarantine where they will be required to remain for up to 14 days.

This change has been introduced in response to an additional 30 cases of COVID-19 being identified in Sydney today. While most of the current NSW cases are linked to the Northern Beaches area, there are now more exposure sites outside of that area and a real possibility that there could be cases of COVID-19 emerging in other parts of Sydney.

Returning Victorian travelers from the red zone Greater Sydney or Central Coast areas, will have until 11.59pm on Monday 21 December to return home but need to enter a period of self-quarantine at home.

These Victorian returning travelers must apply for an exemption permit on the Services Victoria website and get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria. Testing sites have been established at all terminals at Melbourne Airport.

Returning Victorian travellers from the hot zone of the Northern Beaches area will not be permitted to enter Victoria.

The rest of regional NSW is designated as a “green zone” but residents from these areas will still need to apply for and receive a valid permit to enter Victoria.

People living in local government areas along the border will not need a permit but will be able to use Valid ID with their address, like their driver’s license, as proof of their place of residence, to travel between Victoria and New South Wales.

Victoria will establish a hard road border with NSW and members of Victoria Police will establish check points along the border to ensure only people with valid permits, residents in border communities and those with eligible exemptions are allowed into Victoria.

Border queues are expected with possible long delays. People crossing the border should allow extra time for their travel.

Freight corridors are being established to ensure that vital goods and supplies from NSW can continue to arrive into Victoria. This system will be similar to the freight corridor system that operated recently on the Victoria-South Australian border.

Drivers must still apply for a permit if they are a truck or freight driver, or air freight worker travelling to Victoria for work. They are not permitted to enter Victoria if they have been in a hot zone.

Victorians are strongly advised not to travel to Sydney as you may not be able to re-enter without undertaking hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Victoria has recorded two new internationally acquired cases of coronavirus in returning travellers currently in hotel quarantine. The cases are a man aged in his 40s and a man in his 30s.

This brings the number of internationally acquired cases since Victoria commenced receiving international arrivals to 12.

This is the 51st straight day where Victoria has recorded zero daily community transmission cases. There are no new deaths.

A total of 3,747,763 test results have been received in Victoria which is an increase of 9771 since yesterday. Wastewater monitoring is continuing at more than 60 locations across Victoria.

As always, it remains vitally important that any Victorians with any COVID-19 symptoms, no matter how mild, stay home and get tested.

Testing site details, including opening hours, are available on the Where to get tested page. 

Further information about the wastewater testing program can be found on the Wastewater monitoring page.

Information regarding COVID-19 is available at the Department of Health and Human Services website or by calling 1800 675 398.

Further details on permits and how to apply can be found on the Victorian Border Crossing Permit page.