'Not welcome here': Harsh punishment for residents of coronavirus hotspots

·News Reporter
·2-min read

The NSW Health Minister hasn’t minced his words when talking about visitors from Victoria amid a coronavirus outbreak.

Victoria announced a further 73 coronavirus cases amid its ongoing outbreak on Wednesday as dozens of Melbourne suburbs prepare to be locked down for four weeks from tonight.

Just over 20,000 people were tested for the virus on Tuesday, with three of the new cases in hotel quarantine.

On Tuesday, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews moved to shutdown 10 Victorian postcodes which contain virus hotspots from 11.59pm Wednesday.

New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard speaks as Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant looks on. Source: Getty Images
New South Wales Health Minister Brad Hazzard warns Victorians from COVID-19 hotspots to stay away. Source: Getty

Melbourne residents of COVID-19 hotspots who seek to enter NSW could from Thursday face six months' imprisonment or a fine of $11,000.

NSW residents who return from Melbourne hotspot areas, meanwhile, will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard told reporters on Wednesday, “the virus is quite capable of circulating, particularly in younger people”.

"Normally we love having Victorians and Queenslanders and everybody else coming to visit us but Victorians right now, from those hotspots, are not welcome in NSW,” he said.

“We're sorry. It's not something we want to do but we must do for our own safety."

Members of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) gather information and conduct temperature checks at a drive-in Covid-19 testing site set up at the Melbourne Show Grounds in Melbourne.
Victorians in COVID-19 hotposts will be locked down from midnight tonight. Source: Getty Images

Mr Hazzard’s comments come as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk moves to open up the sunshine state’s borders to every Australian state and territory except Victoria from July 10.

Anyone travelling from Victoria to Queensland will be placed in hotel quarantine for 14 days at their own expense from Friday at 12pm.

Mr Hazzard has also urged NSW residents not to be complacent.

“Certainly the Victorian situation should be taken very, very seriously by NSW residents,” he said.

“It's a reminder to us all that this virus is amongst us and we can have an outbreak at any stage.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday also warned against complacency on social distancing and hygiene measures, suggesting NSW residents were becoming lax.

"I have noticed in and around my movements that people are starting to relax a little bit too much for my liking," Ms Berejiklian said.

A man places as swab in his nose as he is tested at a pop-up testing facility, during a COVID-19 testing blitz in the suburb of Broadmeadows in Melbourne, Australia.
People who feel sick are urged to get tested for the coronavirus. Source: Getty Images

with AAP

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