Vic/NSW border to open in three weeks

Tiffanie Turnbull
·2-min read

The border between NSW and Victoria will open in three weeks, Gladys Berejiklian has announced, as Victoria records its fifth consecutive day of zero coronavirus cases.

"Come a minute past midnight on November 23, there will be free movement between NSW and Victoria," the NSW premier said on Wednesday.

"Very proudly I say NSW will be the only jurisdiction in Australia that will be welcoming residents of all states, of all jurisdictions," she told reporters.

Ms Berejiklian also announced QR codes will become mandatory for hospitality venues from November 23, as NSW Health is still identifying non-compliance seven months after the pandemic began.

NSW recorded three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and six in returned travellers in hotel quarantine from more than 17,000 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.

All three were close contacts of known cases who were already isolating.

Two of the cases - a child and an adult - attended Flip Out Prestons Indoor Trampoline Park and are household contacts of a previously reported case.

The other new case is a child who attended Bambinos Kindergarten in Horningsea Park at the same time as a previously reported case.

The move to make QR codes mandatory was prompted in part by the failure of a southwest Sydney restaurant, which was visited by a positive case, to provide NSW Health with staffing and patronage records.

Jasmins Lebanese restaurant in Liverpool has been directed to close until NSW Health no longer considers it a public health risk.

The only local case announced on Tuesday was also linked to the restaurant. The staff member worked three shifts while potentially infectious, defying NSW Health advice.

Investigations revealed the restaurant did not have a COVID Safety Plan and did not keep contact details of patrons as required by the Public Health Order, NSW Health said on Tuesday.

NSW Health will continue to work with community organisations such as places of worship on the collection on contact details, but compulsory QR codes are not on the table for them yet, Ms Berejiklian said.

The border announcement comes as the NSW leader continues to pile pressure on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over her "nonsensical" decision to bar Sydneysiders from the Sunshine State.

Ms Berejiklian admits her relationship with her northern counterpart remains frosty, revealing her text sent on Sunday congratulating the Queensland premier on her election victory remains unacknowledged.

"I just congratulated her, I said 'especially during a pandemic congratulations on your win and I would love to talk borders with you'," Ms Berejiklian told Sydney radio Nova on Wednesday.

"I haven't heard back yet ... (but) I've had bigger disappointments in my life," she said.

"But our Blues will reply tonight when we win against the Maroons," she added, in reference to the State of Origin match.