Sydney isolated as coronavirus cluster grows

Australia's most populous city Sydney became further isolated from the rest of the country on Sunday (December 20) with every one of the country's states and territories imposing travel restrictions on Sydney residents.

That's after an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the New South Wales capital broke a two-week run of zero community transmission.

Thirty new cases were reported on Sunday - bringing the cluster of infections to around 70.

Around a quarter of a million people in Sydney's northern beach suburbs, where the outbreak occurred, have been put into a strict lockdown until Christmas Eve.

At a time of year when many will be planning to travel, the Australian Capital Territory sent a stern "do not come to us" message to Sydney and warned that residents would be quarantined for 14 days if they arrived.

And this was the message from Victoria's Premier Daniel Andrews.

"I'm not going to wait around while they add to their rules. We are going to protect what we have built and that is why the border will be closed from midnight tonight."

Both Victoria and Queensland have banned people from Sydney arriving as of Monday (December 21) - prompting some to rush to Sydney's airports.

[Unidentified traveler saying:] "Umming and ahing should I go today, should I go in a couple of days. And yeah I just made the last-minute decision to come today."

South Australia state imposed a 14-day quarantine for Sydney arrivals on Sunday and banned travelers from affected suburbs.

Tasmania took a similar step on Saturday (December 19), while Western Australia state imposed a hard border closure.

Video Transcript

REPORTER: Australia's most populous city, Sydney, became further isolated from the rest of the country on Sunday, with every one of the country's states and territories imposing travel restrictions on Sydney residents. That's after an outbreak of coronavirus cases in the New South Wales capital broke a two-week run of zero community transmission.

30 new cases were reported on Sunday, bringing the cluster infections to around 70. Around a quarter of a million people in Sydney's northern beach suburbs, where the outbreak occurred, have been put into a strict lockdown until Christmas Eve.

At a time when many people will be planning to travel, the Australian Capital Territory sent a stern "do not come to us" message to Sydney and warned that residents would be quarantined for 14 days if they arrived. And this was the message from Victoria's Premier, Daniel Andrews.

DANIEL ANDREWS: I'm not going to wait around while they add to their rules. We are going to protect what we have built. And that is why the border will be closed from midnight tonight. There's an extra 24 hours for returning Victorians. But they will have to go into quarantine regardless. It'll simply be at home rather than in a hotel.

Both Victoria and Queensland have banned people from Sydney arriving as of Monday, prompting some to rush to Sydney's airports.

WOMAN: Umming and ahhing, should I go today? Should I go in a couple of days? And yeah, I just made the last minute decision to come today.

REPORTER: South Australia's state imposed a 14-day quarantine for Sydney arrivals on Sunday and banned travelers from affected suburbs. Tasmania took a similar step on Saturday, while Western Australia state imposed a hard border closure.