Media release
21 December 2020

Victorian residents who have been in or visited the Greater Sydney or NSW Central Coast region from Friday 11 December 2020, have until 11:59pm tonight to return home.

Those residents returning today must apply for a new travel permit through Service Victoria, must get tested within 24 hours of returning to Victoria and must self-quarantine at home for 14 days from when you last left the red zone. Testing sites have been established at all terminals at Melbourne Airport. 

The Department of Health and Human Services will contact each returning resident and provide them with further information about their quarantine. 

These new border measures have been introduced in response to new community cases of COVID-19 being reported in NSW. Today, NSW Health has reported an additional 15 new cases all linked to the Avalon cluster.

COVID-19 cases linked to the Avalon cluster have visited many locations throughout Sydney’s northern beaches, lower north shore, eastern and southern suburbs raising the possibility that there could be cases of COVID-19 emerging in other parts of Sydney. 

Victoria has designated the Greater Sydney area and the NSW Central Coast as “red zones” and the Northern Beaches area of NSW has been declared a “hot zone”.

Residents from these zones found trying to enter Victoria in breach of this order will be subject to 14-day mandatory hotel quarantine. Victorians who are currently visiting Greater Sydney or the Central Coast have until 11:59pm tonight to apply for a permit to return home. They must be tested and quarantine at home for 14 days from when they last left a red zone area.

Victorians who have served hotel quarantine in New South Wales do not need a permit or an exemption to return to Victoria as long as they:

  • travel directly to the airport when released from their hotel 
  • do not leave the airport prior to their flight departure; and 
  • wear a face mask during the flight, inside the Melbourne Airport terminal, and throughout their transportation to their destination.

If these conditions are met, they will not need to quarantine again in Victoria. They will need to be prepared to show authorised officers evidence about their completion of quarantine in NSW, their flight details and their Victorian place of residence.

Anyone found to have entered Victoria without a valid permit of exemption may be subject to penalties in excess of $1652 and if you intentionally provide false information on your permit application, you may be issued a fine of $1652 or face a penalty of up to $9913.

The rest of regional NSW is designated as a “green zone.”

If you hold a Green Zone permit, your permit is still valid and you will not be required to apply for a new permit. However, this does not apply to Green Zone permits that were issued for the Central Coast, which is now a red zone. 

If you are a resident in a border community you do not require a permit, however you must travel with your driver’s licence or other valid photo ID with your address details. 

Victoria has established a hard road border with NSW and Victoria Police has established 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. 

These checkpoints will operate 24 hours a day and will be on major arterial roads connecting Victoria to New South Wales.

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

Freight corridors will continue to operate to ensure Victoria’s supply chain services can move in and around Victoria, from our ports, and across our borders in a safe and efficient way. 

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 one new internationally acquired case of coronavirus which was diagnosed in a recently arrived flight attendant who has been in self-quarantine since arrival in Melbourne.

This brings the number of internationally acquired cases since Victoria commenced receiving international arrivals to 13. 

This new case is not showing symptoms and acquired their infection overseas.  

The case flew on a crew-only (no passenger) flight from Doha on 19 December.

The other members of the flight crew have all tested negative to COVID-19 and have since left Australia on a crew-only flight to complete their quarantine in their home country.

One local close contact has been identified, who transported the crew from the airport to their hotel. This person is required to quarantine for 14 days. 

Today is the 52nd straight day where Victoria has recorded zero daily community transmission cases. There are no new deaths.

A total of 3,761,458 test results have been received in Victoria which is an increase of 13,695 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.