Victorians from virus hot spot suburbs will face fines of up to $11,000 or jail time if they enter NSW from midnight tonight.
The draconian new public health orders were flagged by NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard today and will include a legal requirement for NSW residents returning from hotspot suburbs in Victoria to enter into 14 days of quarantine.
NSW residents will also be banned from visiting the hotspot suburbs across the border in Victoria, with the same penalties applying to those that are caught defying the orders.
“Look, normally we love having Victorians and Queenslands and everyone else coming to visit us,’’ Mr Hazzard said.
“It’s people from hotspots. They are not welcome here. It’s not something we want to do but we must do for our own safety. Do not leave the hotspot. But if you come to NSW…you will be exposed to the possibility of six months jail and an $11,000 fine.
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“If you are found here in NSW you face very heavy penalties. So, don’t come.”
Some exemptions will apply but only for “very special circumstances” such as for medical care or compassionate reasons.
Anyone who then returns to NSW after visiting the hotspot areas would need to go into 14 days isolation if they return to NSW.
“If you choose to go there, when you really shouldn’t be, you will be required to go into isolation,’’ Mr Hazzard said.
“Victorians living in virus hotspots have to take the Victorian and NSW health orders seriously and should be very aware that NSW will impose additional penalties if they seek to leave their suburbs to enter NSW.
“If you go to any of these hotspots that have been identified by the Victorian Government, you’ll be liable to the same penalties as any Victorian.”
Queensland has also implemented heavy fines for Victorians and anyone who has visited the state — not just the hotspots — within 14 days.
Anyone travelling to Queensland from Friday will have to sign a declaration form saying they haven’t come from or visited Victoria, and those found to be falsifying information will be hit with a $4000 fine.
Earlier, the Prime Minister flagged that state and federal leaders had discussed tougher fines for Victorian residents who refuse virus tests.
“It is disappointing. But, you know, we’re doing this in an Australian way. We’re looking to do it through incentive, through the use of carrot, not stick,’’ he said.
“But occasionally the stick will have to be put about, whether it’s fines or other sanctions that are in place to ensure that we keep everybody safe.”
The Morrison Government has come under fire for criticising Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for closing borders given the situation now evolving in Victoria.
Mr Morrison denied “singling out’’ Queensland.
“Well, I haven’t. There’s an election in Queensland, so I’m not surprised that the political rhetoric is amping up,’’ he said.
“Look, we’re keeping all of the country together to focus on this. I made similar comments about the changes in borders in South Australia yesterday. So, look, I think you can file that under a Queensland election.”
“Well, on borders there’s never been a National Cabinet decision to have internal borders. That was never the medical expert advice that was given to National Cabinet. States have gone their own way and the reason a lot of the other states haven’t had the same impact is because they haven’t had the same number of returning travellers that have come into Sydney and Melbourne.
“I mean, if Sydney and Melbourne said, you know what? If people if Queenslanders or South Australians or Tasmanians or Western Australians want to go straight through Sydney or Melbourne and go back to your home states without quarantining, well, I think they would been presented with a lot more risks.”