South Australians have been shut-out of Victoria as the state starts a crushing six-day hard lockdown.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the state’s border with South Australia would close from 11.59pm on Thursday.
He said the hard border closure would be in place for 48 hours until a permit system came into operation at 11.59pm on Saturday.
Mr Andrews said the new measures were taken as an “abundance of caution” and followed public health advice due to ongoing community transmission in South Australia.
He said the decision was also informed by “unexpected and concerning” coronavirus fragments being detected in untreated wastewater along key freight routes in Victoria in Portland and Benalla.
Under the hard border only freight drivers and those with medical or other emergency needs, such as urgent animal welfare, will be able to enter Victoria.
The Premier said the final details of the permit system would be provided as soon as possible but will include emergency and essential services workers, agriculture workers, people seeking medical care or supplies, compassionate reasons and shopping for essential supplies.
Mr Andrews said once South Australia changed their restrictions following the six-day hard lockdown, the Victorian border control measures would also be changed.
“It will be in place no longer than it needs to be, we just all have to be as cautious as possible,” Mr Andrews said.
“Victorians have worked too hard and given too much to allow anything to put at risk our goal of reaching COVID Normal by Christmas. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep Victorians safe.”