The majority of Sydneysiders as well as residents from the Blue Mountains and Wollongong will soon be able to enter Victoria under a relaxation of rules announced today by the state's Premier Daniel Andrews.
From 6pm tonight only the following 10 local government areas (LGAs) in NSW, all in western Sydney, will be classified by the Victorian authorities as red zones, meaning if someone has visited these areas in the past 14 days they will not be allowed in without an exemption:
- Blacktown City
- Canada Bay City
- Fairfield City
- Inner West
- Liverpool City
- Parramatta City
"What the detailed and extensive evaluation of the epidemiological conditions in Greater Sydney, indeed in New South Wales, is that transmission and cases are pretty much confined to those local government areas," Premier Andrews said.
"We have not seen cases and spread or contacts that are in isolation in those other 25 local government areas," he said, in reference to the Sydney LGAs that were relaxed from red to orange under the state's 'traffic light' system, whereby visitors must apply for a permit.
"Based on the same detailed analysis, from 6pm tonight the Blue Mountains and Wollongong will also be downgraded from red to orange."
The Premier also confirmed 16 LGAs in NSW alongside the Victorian border will be downgraded at the same time from orange to green.
"What that will mean, not so much for local residents because they're already in a bubble, but for visitors to those communities if you travel into NSW you will need a permit to come back but you will not have to isolate and get a negative test.
"That's a consequence of having seen no cases there for a sufficient period of time.
"All in all this is a very good day when you look at 50 per cent of office workers in the private sector and 20 per cent in the public sector going back to work today, reverting to the mask rules that we had in place in Christmas time as opposed to New Year," he said, adding there had now been 12 days with zero cases and strong testing numbers.
Updated at 2pm AEDT on 18 January 2021.
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