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NSW becoming too virus-lax: Berejiklian

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The NSW premier says the state’s residents are “starting to relax a little too much” for her liking amid the COVID-19 pandemic but has reiterated her government will not shut the NSW-Victoria border.

NSW reported five new COVID-19 cases – all in hotel quarantine – in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday from just under 13,000 tests.

It comes as hundreds of federal workers head to Victoria to help the state’s coronavirus fight after it recorded its highest case numbers in months. Victoria recorded 75 new virus COVID-19 on Monday.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is not currently contemplating a closure of the NSW-Victoria border.


But she warns NSW residents they are becoming lax on social distancing measures, with the threat of outbreak still elevated.

“Things can change very quickly in terms of the rate of community transmission…. I have noticed in and around my movements that people are starting to relax a little bit too much for my liking. Don’t relax,” Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

“Assume everybody in and around you has the disease.”

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, meanwhile, said the Victorian government should look to local lockdowns in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

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“We’ve made it clear to Victoria that we’d be much happier if the hotspot suburbs, they’ve obviously got some challenges, were put into lockdown effectively,” Mr Hazzard told 2GB radio.

The NSW government has repeatedly warned residents of greater Melbourne to steer clear of NSW until community transmission was reduced and has announced it will turn away football fans from its southern neighbour.

Sport spectators trying to enter NSW stadiums from Wednesday are likely to be required to show their driver’s licence to prove they’re not from Victoria.

“They might sound like tough things to ask people to do but that’s what will keep us safe in NSW and we certainly want to continue on the path we’re on … we have done extremely well,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday also encouraged her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk to announce a plan to open the state’s borders next month.

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