“I want to stress that what’s occurred in Victoria is a wake-up call for all of us about how contagious the virus is, how it doesn’t take very long for things to escalate quickly and how it doesn’t take very long for that rate of community transmission to increase,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian said she would not be tightening restrictions “at this stage”, after flagging in a press conference on Wednesday that a possible change in the rules around gathering would be announced on Thursday.
The Premier said she would not know for a fortnight if the virus had seeded in any NSW communities.
“We won’t know for sure for a couple of weeks, so we are monitoring the situation daily,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian said more than 125,000 permits had been issued since the NSW-Victorian border closed at midnight on Tuesday.
The Premier thanked Service NSW staff for a “Herculean” effort in getting the permit system off the ground at such short notice.
“But in particular can I send the deepest and strongest message of gratitude to those border communities who are facing those disruptions and those difficult periods,” Ms Berejiklian said, adding that she was “so grateful for everybody’s co-operation”.
The Premier also clarified her comments on Wednesday, in which she flagged the prospect of charging NSW residents returning from Victoria for mandatory hotel quarantine.
She said the government’s initial focus would be on charging overseas travellers first, before domestic travellers.
“Can I say quite stridently, we will be charging overseas returning visitors before we charge our own residents,” Ms Berejiklian said.
However, she added this was still under consideration, and no decision had been made yet.
More to come
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Lisa Visentin is a state political reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.
Mary Ward is a reporter at The Sydney Morning Herald.