NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says COVID-19 restrictions will not be tightened across the state “at this stage”, and that it could take several weeks before authorities know if the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Melbourne has made its way to NSW.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday morning, Berejiklian, who had flagged possible changes to NSW’s coronavirus restrictions, said no extra rules would be imposed on businesses for the time being.
“I want to stress that what’s occurred in Victoria is a wake-up call for all of us about how contagious the virus is,” Berejiklian said.
“It doesn’t take very long for things to escalate quickly and it doesn’t take very long for that rate of community transmission to increase.”
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The guidance is good news for businesses across Australia’s most-populous state, many of which have been on edge about the prospect that Melbourne’s recent outbreak could spread north.
But it could be a while before NSW authorities will really know whether the Melbourne outbreak has been successfully contained, because it can take several weeks for infections to show up.
State officials across the country have tightened their border restrictions with Victoria, after NSW closed the border with its southern neighbour for only the second time in Australian history earlier this week.
South Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland have announced new border restrictions for Victorian travellers in an effort to insulate themselves from the outbreak.
But business lobbyists, including the Australian Industry Group, are calling for some border restrictions to be eased already, arguing the lockdown in Melbourne lowers the risk the virus will spread to other states.