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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Border update after COVID-19 cluster grows in Sydney’s Northern Beaches

Several states have altered their border rules for travellers from NSW in response to the growth of the Northern Beaches COVID-19 cluster. There are now 28 cases confirmed cases linked to the Northern Beaches, as reported by NSW Health this morning.

ACTGiven the increase in cases and the evidence of community transmission, a new Public Health Direction that has been put in place from 11.59am this morning, declares the Northern Beaches Local Government Area as a COVID-19 affected area. Under the Direction, those who have been in the Northern Beaches from Friday 11 December are legally required to self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they were last there. Further information on requirements for quarantine is on the ACT COVID-19 website.

ACT Health is asking people to do three things:

  1. Do not to travel to the Northern Beaches area of Sydney at this time. People from the Northern Beaches area should also not travel to the ACT.
  1. Anyone who has visited the Northern Beaches area from Friday 11 December 2020 must self-quarantine for 14 days from the date they were last there and get tested, even if they do not have symptoms. People must stay in quarantine for the whole 14 days even if they have a negative test result.
  1. Anyone who has been in an affected location identified by NSW Health should follow the advice on the NSW website and contact the ACT Health COVID-19 team on (02) 5124 9213 for further advice.

With demand for testing currently at high levels, ACT Health asks those impacted by this direction to immediately quarantine, organise their testing for later in the day and be patient with staff at testing clinics. For information on testing clinics, visit the ACT COVID-19 website.

“We are acting quickly to respond to this outbreak as is NSW Health and we are working closely with our counterparts in NSW. We know this is difficult but we need the community to work with us and follow the health and travel advice closely,” Chief Health Officer Dr Kerryn Coleman said.

“This remains a rapidly evolving situation and we will keep the community informed as more information comes to hand.

“As we make plans to come together with our family and friends in the coming weeks, or travel over the summer holidays, we must be COVID-Safe and get tested, even with the mildest of symptoms,” Dr Coleman said.

NSW Health advice and the list of affected locations is available at: www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/latest-news-and-updates

South Australia: As of 10am today, the South Australian Government has imposed no new restrictions on travellers from NSW.

QueenslandA statement from Queensland chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young, reads: “Any travellers from NSW who were in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December and are already in Queensland should get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.

“Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after midnight [last night – Thursday 17 December], must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.

“Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region on or since Friday 11 December and arrives in Queensland on a flight from Sydney after 1am Saturday 19 December 2020 must go into hotel quarantine at their own expense for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches, and get tested.”

Western Australia: Effective from midnight this morning (12.01am, Friday 18 December), anyone arriving in NSW is required to self-quarantine in a “suitable premises” for 14 days. Arrivals to WA will be tested for COVID-19 on day 11 of their quarantine.

For those who arrived in WA before midnight last night but after 11 December, the WA Government has imposed the following: requirement to self-quarantine as soon as possible; present for a COVID-19 test as soon as possible; return to self-quarantine until a negative test result is confirmed; and undertake a further test on day 11 after arrival in WA.

Victoria: The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services released a statement regarding the situation in NSW.

“Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region or other NSW exposure sites on or since Friday 11 December and is already in Victoria should get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches,” it said.

“Anyone who was in the Northern Beaches region or other NSW exposure sites on or since Friday 11 December and arrived in Victoria after midnight [last night], Thursday 17 December, must get tested and quarantine in their home or accommodation for 14 days from the date they left the Northern Beaches.”

The Victorian Government is set to make a further announcement later today.

Northern Territory: The NT chief health officer declared the Northern Beaches Council LGA a hotspot for the purposes of travel into the NT, effective from midnight today (12.01am, Friday 18 December).

“Anyone travelling to the Northern Territory from Northern Beaches Council LGA will need to undertake 14 days of mandatory, supervised quarantine in either Alice Springs or Darwin,” the statement read.

“If you are intending to travel to the Northern Territory from an identified COVID-19 hotspot, you are advised to rethink your plans.

“If you are a Territorian intending to travel to a hotspot you are advised to rethink your plans.

“If you travel to Northern Beaches Council LGA while it is a declared hotspot, you will be required to undertake 14 days mandatory, supervised quarantine on your return at a cost of $2,500 per person.

“Anyone who has already arrived in the Northern Territory from Northern Beaches Council LGA on or after the 11 December 2020 needs to arrange for a COVID-19 test and self-quarantine whilst awaiting the test results.”

Tasmania: In a statement, the Tasmanian Government announced that “travellers who have been in this area or at these premises during the specified times [since Friday 11 December] are not permitted to enter Tasmania unless approved as an essential traveller.

“Anyone already in Tasmania who has been in this area or visited these premises is asked to self-isolate immediately and call the Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 (Monday-Friday, 8am-7pm; Saturday-Sunday 9am-5pm) to book a COVID-19 test.”

For updates, visit the NSW Government Covid-19 website.

By Calum Thomson, Newcastle Weekly.

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