Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia have cancelled some flights to and from Melbourne after New South Wales shut its border with Victoria for the first time since 1919. It comes as Melbourne is placed into lockdown from midnight tonight due to a spike in coronavirus cases.
The ACT and Northern Territory are also now closing their borders to Victorians, meaning Victoria will be essentially cut off from the rest of the country.
It’s a further devastating blow to Australia’s airlines, which have been resuming flights over recent weeks as travel restrictions began to be eased.
The closure of the border between NSW and Victoria will also particularly affect residents living in border towns such as Albury and Wodonga. Those needing to enter NSW, including residents of border towns, can apply online for a permit. But the website to apply for a permit only launched late last night and quickly crashed. There were also reports this morning of lengthy delays in crossing the border due to the extra police checks in place.
From yesterday, travellers arriving in NSW or the ACT from Victoria were required to self-isolate for 14 days. But the ABC is reporting that passengers arriving in Sydney from Melbourne on yesterday’s Jetstar flight JQ520 were not screened. The matter is now under investigation.
From tomorrow, Tasmania will also bolster restrictions on travellers from Victoria arriving in the island state, as will South Australia. At the time of writing, Queensland still plans to open its border with NSW (but not Victoria) on Friday.
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