Victoria and Queensland lock out seven Sydney areas

Victoria and Queensland lock out seven Sydney areas

Seven local government areas (LGAs) in Sydney have been labelled as red zones by both the Victorian and Queensland Governments, meaning non-residents are not permitted to enter the states.

Effective overnight for Victoria and from 1am tomorrow for Queensland, the seven areas classified as red zones include the city of Sydney, Waverley, Woollahra, Bayside, Canada Bay, Inner West and Randwick.

Queensland had already classified Waverley as a red zone but will add the other suburbs in response to the growing outbreak of the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 in Sydney.

"As we know, the Delta variant is much more infectious than other variants and we have serious concerns," QLD Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

"We want everyone to be safe and we wish New South Wales the very best in getting on top of this particular variant, but was you know we're going well here in Queensland and we want to continue to keep Queenslanders safe."

The border restrictions come as Queensland reports one new COVID-19 case in hotel quarantine today - a returned traveller from Zambia, who is infected with the Delta variant.

QLD chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young highlights the rapid spread of the Delta variant worldwide.

"That's the variant we're now seeing in people returning from all parts of the world. So we're not seeing that Delta variant only coming from India now, it's widespread and that's to be expected," says Dr Young.

"When you get a variant that's more transmissible it becomes the dominant variant."

Only Queensland residents who have visited any of the red zones will be permitted to re-enter the state but must quarantine in a hotel at their own expense.

Victorian residents who have been in a red zone can obtain a red zone permit to get back home but will be required to quarantine at home for 14 days.

In addition, the VIC chief health officer has declared the LGA of Wollongong as an orange zone, meaning those wanting to travel down south must acquire an orange zone permit to enter the state.

Orange zone permit holders must isolate on arrival, get tested and stay isolated until a negative result is received.

"The CHO strongly discourages non-essential travel into Victoria from red or orange zones," says the Victorian Department of Health.

The border changes come as Victoria reports no new locally acquired cases of COVID-19 today, and one new case acquired overseas currently in hotel quarantine.

Meanwhile, QLD is poised to relax restrictions from 1am on Friday 25 June, increasing density limits in venues and removing limitations on gatherings in homes or outdoor public spaces.

In addition, anyone looking to enter QLD from anywhere in Australia or New Zealand must now complete a border declaration pass before arriving in the state.

Concurrently, New Zealand paused its travel bubble with NSW in response to the recent rise in locally acquired cases connected to the Bondi cluster.

The pause came into effect overnight and will last initially for 72 hours, coinciding with the country's planned reopening of its bubble with Victoria.

The number of cases connected to the Bondi Cluster now total 21 after NSW reported 11 cases yesterday.

Updated at 9.36am AEST on 23 June 2021.

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