Residents, workers can now apply for Victoria-NSW border closure exemptions
Residents and workers eligible for coronavirus closure exemptions can now apply for a permit to cross the Victoria and New South Wales border ahead of its planned shut down.
From midnight tonight, no one can enter NSW from Victoria unless they meet the exemption criteria, which includes for work, healthcare or a case-by-case exemption on compassionate grounds.
MORE:Melbourne locked down from midnight Wednesday for six weeks
Exemption applicants will need to lodge with the Service NSW website or mobile app, with border town residents expected to be granted an instant permit, while others will be assessed by NSW Health.
NSW Police said fines will apply to people who try to break the border closure order, or who give false information in their exemption applications.
"They'll have to answer a couple of questions about where they've been in Victoria. If it's to a hot spot, it'll be a pretty fast 'no'," NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said.
READ MORE:Victoria-NSW border closure: How it will work
Residents of NSW can enter Victoria freely, but will need a permit to return if they're coming from Victoria and must isolate at home for a fortnight.
NSW Police officers will also be door-knocking homes across NSW, in particular in Sydney, to make sure those isolation orders are adhered to.
It comes as authorities today announced a large-scale police operation put in place to monitor border crossings, however the state border was left unpatrolled despite residents from Greater Melbourne being banned from entering as of 12.01am today.
Video earlier showed cars and trucks streaming into NSW freely from Victoria at the Albury-Wodonga border this morning, with no border enforcement or police in sight.
Police told 9News this morning there were no plans to set up checkpoints until later this evening, before the hard border closure comes into effect for all Victorians from midnight tonight (July 8).
NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard last night confirmed the NSW Hotspot Order was extended to residents from Greater Melbourne once the clock ticked over to midnight today (July 7).
"This means they will only be able to enter NSW for very limited reasons, such as obtaining medical care, or fulfilling a legal obligation," he said in a statement.
"The requirement for NSW residents returning from Melbourne hotspots to self-isolate for 14 days will then be extended to anyone returning from Victoria. Heavy penalties and fines apply.
"Provisions will be in place for residents of border regions, such as Albury-Wodonga."
Queues of residents living on the border were this morning seen flooding Service NSW in a last-minute scramble to change their licence to avoid being locked out of NSW.
"It's been a while since I have changed my licence, I work in Wodonga and I live in NSW so I thought I better do it," resident Tammy Sinclair said.
"I tried to come here yesterday, and the queue was very long and then the system went down so we had to come back and try it all over again."
A Department of Defence spokesperson said the ADF was "working closely" with the NSW Government to finalise arrangements for the deployment of between 350 and 500 Australian Defence Force personnel, to support NSW police with border control checkpoints.
"The first of these personnel are expected to deploy to the border to achieve the NSW Government directed border closure timings, pending finalising the agreement with NSW authorities," the spokesperson said.
"ADF personnel are not authorised as law enforcement officers, this remains the responsibility of state police."
The ADF was also in discussion with Victorian authorities on the deployment of five additional defence personnel to provide planning support to the COVID-19 restrictions across lockdown postcodes.