Border crossing chaos sparks long delays, confusion and anger

Victorians rushing to get back across the New South Wales border to beat a snap government deadline were met with mammoth several-hour delays.

The deadline, announced yesterday amid a rise in coronavirus cases in Melbourne – an outbreak spread from Sydney – caused lengthy traffic jams and confusion, turning highways into car parks.

Speaking to the Herald Sun, holiday maker Ben Sommers said the delays emerged immediately after the government’s announcement yesterday.

“Everyone is so confused here,” he said. “There’s a fair bit of panic.”

A second Victorian holidaying in New South Wales said it took them two hours to travel a kilometre.

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This is a massive policy stuff up that the Vic Govt must explain. Families stranded on New Year’s Eve who have followed the green zone rules rushing to a avoid yet another lockdown. #COVID19Vic

I crossed the border at about 10pm, i mentioned to police inspecting permits my confusion when trying to understand the new restrictions. They said that without phone or internet reception at their checkpoint they were caught out completely, and also struggled to know new rules.

A second Victorian holidaying in New South Wales said it took them two hours to travel a kilometre.

Photos and stories shared on Twitter show blocked roads, with many complaining about slow-moving traffic.

“My family’s latest. They have moved 7 kms in four hours. With 22 kms to go to cross the border. Governments. All care. No responsibility,” tweeted ABC commentator Barrie Cassidy.

Others were also annoyed at the inconsistency of permit checks by authorities.

Victorians returning from the Blue Mountains City Council and Wollongong City Council local government areas had until 11.59 last night to apply for a permit prior to their arrival.

There have been long lines at the NSW-Victoria border.Source:Supplied

Journalist Erin Delahunty, however, is one of many who complained that these checks were not being performed.

“With an endless trail of cars waiting, I understand Victoria Police opened the NSW/Vic border — NOT checking any permits/licenses — at the stroke of midnight last night at Barmah crossing,” she tweeted.

Extra police have been put on border check points due to extreme traffic. Picture: Simon DallingerSource:News Corp Australia

In new rules introduced yesterday, anyone entering into Victoria from New South Wales is required to get tested and isolate for 14 days.

Victorians arriving from New South Wales after the 11.59pm deadline tonight will be required to enter hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Previous to this, residents were asked to get tested and isolate until they received a negative result.

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