More Victorians will be able to return home safely from Sydney this week with updated health advice allowing some border restrictions to be downgraded.
Premier Daniel Andrews and Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton announced today that, due to the reduced exposure risk and low community transmission in some areas of Greater Sydney, a number of red zone Local Government Areas (LGAs) will transition to orange – allowing Victorians in those areas to return home if they want to.
As of 6:00pm (Victorian AEDT) Monday 18 January, the Blue Mountains, Wollongong and all Greater Sydney LGAs except for Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality will be declared an orange zone due to the improved epidemiological conditions there.
Anyone who has been in the LGAs of Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality in the last 14 days (other than for transit), is still not permitted to travel to Victoria without an exemption, exception or essential worker permit.
People from these 10 LGAs who have already applied for an exemption application will not need to reapply.
The updated orange zone listing overrides the previous classification as a red zone and applies to the last 14 days. Anyone who is now in an orange zone and meets the permit criteria can now apply for an Orange Zone Permit from 6:00pm tonight.
Travel from an orange zone requires people to self-isolate, get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in quarantine until they receive a negative result.
Travellers must also confirm they have not been in any of the remaining 10 red zone LGAs in Greater Sydney within the past 14 days (other than for transit), have not been in close contact with a coronavirus case and do not have any coronavirus symptoms.
In addition, New South Wales border towns with Victoria will move to a green zone from 6:00pm tonight, ensuring easier movement for people on either side of the border.
This includes Albury City, Balranald Shire, Bega Valley Shire, Berrigan Shire, City of Broken Hill, Edward River Council, Federation Council, Greater Hume Shire, Hay Shire, Lockhart Shire, Murray River Council, Murrumbidgee Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Snowy Valleys Council, City of Wagga Wagga and Wentworth Shire.
Cross-border communities do not need to apply for a travel permit, as long as they carry a valid form of ID with their address – like a driver licence – and have not been in a current orange or red zone area in the last 14 days.
Anyone living in a cross-border community who has been in an orange zone in the last 14 days (other than for transit) – such as the Greater Sydney area, must apply for an Orange Zone Permit and agree to the conditions including the requirement to get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.
Anyone living in a cross-border community who has been in one of the 10 LGAs currently in the red zone in the last 14 days cannot travel to Victoria without an exemption, exception or essential worker permit.
Exemption applications will no longer be required for those LGAs being downgraded to an orange zone – unless people have also been in a red zone in the last 14 days – and will not be considered. People can apply for an Orange Zone Permit via the Service Victoria website at service.vic.gov.au.
Victorians have been incredible in getting tested and the Government continues to urge everyone if you have any symptoms at all – please get tested and stay home until you get your result.
As stated by Premier Daniel Andrews
“We know this has been a difficult time for Victorians who have been staying in Sydney and want return home. We’ll continue to review remaining red zones every day and will downgrade them as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
As stated by Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton
“We’ve been examining the data from Sydney closely and I’m pleased to be able to downgrade a number of areas of Greater Sydney. I’m asking everyone returning from an orange zone to please get tested within that 72-hour timeframe after they arrive home, and isolate until they have their result.”