Border restrictions dampen Christmas travel after COVID-19 cluster in Sydney


NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian with Deputy Premier John Barilaro. Source: AAP/Joel Carrett.

A cluster of COVID-19 cases has emerged in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where over 20 businesses are now listed as potential places of transmission, causing states and territories to declare border restrictions one week before Christmas.

NSW Health confirmed on Friday that there are 28 cases of COVID-19 linked to the outbreak and called on residents in the Northern Beaches to get tested and stay home until they received negative results.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian told journalists today that it is essential for people in the area to stay at home and not visit any venues unless they have to, while the state confirms more results from the testing blitz that is underway.

“I am asking people to brace themselves today. We are going to see more cases overnight,” Berejiklian said.

Given each state leads its own health response and controls its borders, this new cluster raises doubts about unrestricted interstate travel over the holiday period.

Most states have announced that Sydney’s Northern Beaches are a COVID-19 hotspot, and are requiring return travellers to either quarantine at their own expense or at home.

Here are what the states and territories have declared.


Victoria has announced that anyone who was in the Northern Beaches from December 11 and arrived in Victoria after Thursday must get tested and self-quarantine for 14 days.

The Victorian government will update health advice for travellers arriving in Victoria from the Northern Beaches later today.


Queensland has announced that anyone who has been to the Northern Beaches from December 11 and arrives in the state from Thursday must go into hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense.

People who visited the Northern Beaches and entered Queensland between December 11 to December 18 must get tested and self-quarantine at home or in accommodation.

Western Australia

Western Australia is not isolating the Northern Beaches as a hotspot, and has instead announced that anyone arriving from NSW must self-quarantine for 14 days.

Northern Territory

The Northern Territory declared the Northern Beaches a hotspot on Friday, saying that anyone travelling to the territory from the beaches must undertake 14 days quarantine in Alice Springs or Darwin, at their own cost.


Tasmania has declared the Northern Beaches a high-risk area, and will no longer allow anyone who has visited the Northern Beaches from December 11 to travel within the state without first spending 14 days in self-quarantine or in a government quarantine hotel at their own expense.

People who have visited the Northern Beaches and already returned should self-isolate and get tested.

Australian Capital Territory

The Australian Capital Territory advised residents not to travel to the Northern Beaches, adding that anyone who had been there from December 11 must self-quarantine and get tested.

South Australia

South Australia is yet to make an update about travel restrictions, and has so far advised people travelling in or out of New South Wales to monitor NSW Health’s website.


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