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Andrews shuts border to all but authorised workers, compassionate exemptions as NSW outbreak grows

The Premier said Victoria’s outbreak was a result of an interstate incursion and he wasn’t prepared to see the hard work done by people in lockdown undone by people returning from Sydney.

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“While the situation further deteriorates and we see more and more cases, hundreds of extra cases, in Sydney, [if] we get this outbreak under control, and then we finish up with another incursion brewing, I don’t want that to happen,” he said.

“So those rules will apply for the next two weeks, and I know that will cause inconvenience, that will cause … a real challenge for many people.

“There will be exemptions on compassionate grounds, if you had a loved one that was unwell, if you yourself needed medical care, if you needed to attend Victoria and spend time in Victoria for one of those sorts of reasons we will boost the number of people who are dealing with those exemptions.

“I’d ask in advance, patience.”

The changes come as NSW recorded 78 new locally acquired COVID-19 cases, of which 27 were infectious in the community. There was also another death.

There are now 95 COVID-19 cases in hospital in NSW, with 27 people in intensive care and 11 requiring ventilation.

Mr Andrews likened the new border restrictions to the state’s controversial ‘ring of steel’ policy enacted last year to protect country Victoria, and the rest of the nation, from Melbourne’s outbreak.

“I just remind you all, we had a ring of steel around Melbourne, last year, and it didn’t just protect country Victoria, it protected the whole country,” he said.

“We don’t want to get this outbreak under control only to see another outbreak flare-up, another incursion. It’s never just about lockdown, there’s a whole range of other measures.”

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