Meanwhile, Victorians have been rushing to return home before the state’s border closes to NSW, with motorists spending hours in traffic jams that reportedly stretched as long as 40km from border checkpoints.

At about 3.30pm on Thursday, the Victorian government announced the border would close to all Victorians, irrespective of where they had been in NSW, from 11.59pm on New Year’s Day.

NSW Police Minister David Elliott said Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and others states have over-reacted to the situation in NSW.

“I’m actually quite personally disappointed [with the decision],” he told Sky News.

“We only closed the border with Victoria when [they] were in the hundreds [of cases], and we went from 18 to 10 yesterday.

“I think the other premiers are being a little bit premature when it comes to closures.

“They’re not taking into consideration the population and the percentage of people … that are being diagnosed with COVID-19 so I’d like to see them opened as soon as possible.

“We need to make sure that we put it all into proportion. We are a nation, we’re not a collection of nation-states.”

More to come.

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