ACT lifts travel restrictions for Wollongong residents

Travel back on the cards: Wollongong residents - as well as most from across Sydney - are able to cross into the ACT after restrictions were lifted. Picture: Elesa Kurtz.
Travel back on the cards: Wollongong residents - as well as most from across Sydney - are able to cross into the ACT after restrictions were lifted. Picture: Elesa Kurtz.

NSW residents can once again travel to the ACT, after travel restrictions for greater Sydney, Wollongong, Blue Mountains and Central Coast were lifted at 3pm on Tuesday.

There are now only 11 Sydney LGAs in western Sydney and northern beaches where travel to and from the ACT requires an exemption.

Announcing the changes, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr said they were a positive step, but were not a sign for people in Canberra to "collectively drop our guard on the virus".

"Restrictions are only in place for the time necessary to reduce the risk to our community and to avoid community transmission and seeding of the virus," Mr Barr said.

"We wish to avoid COVID outbreaks, that's why those measures are put in place and why they will continue to be in place from time to time, affecting any part of Australia, often at short notice."

Mr Barr warned those travelling that outbreaks could pop up at any time and it could and would "result in travel restrictions, border closures and hotspot declarations."

"That is a fact of life in Australia in 2021," he said.

IN OTHER NEWS:

Travel to Victoria remains off limits for Wollongong residents, or those who have spent time in the LGA, as well as people from across Greater Sydney.

On Monday, the southern state announced a new traffic light system which means people in the "orange zone" of regional NSW and the Central Coast can apply for a permit to travel across the border provided they have a coronavirus test within 72 hours of arrival.

This includes Illawarra residents in Shellharbour and Kiama.

But anyone who has been in the "red zone" of Greater Sydney - which includes Sydney, Wollongong and the Blue Mountains - is not allowed to enter Victoria without an exemption.

If they do, they will be fined $4957 and returned on the next flight or, for residents, required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

There are hard state borders in place for NSW residents travelling to Queensland, with border passes required for all travellers, as well as Western Australia.

This story ACT lifts travel restrictions for greater Sydney residents first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.