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Sydney cluster prompts border restrictions

Border Closure News

Queensland and Western Australia have toughened interstate travel restrictions in response to the latest NSW coronavirus cluster, and other states may follow.

The NSW northern beaches cluster has grown to 17 cases with more cases to be announced on Friday, prompting states to tighten their border controls just before Christmas.

From midnight, all NSW arrivals into Western Australia will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.

The Queensland government has also announced anyone arriving from Sydney, who has been to the northern beaches since December 11, must get tested and isolate for 14 days.

Those measures will toughen further from 1am Saturday, when travellers from Sydney who have been to the region will be forced into hotel quarantine.

Queensland has also banned anyone who has been in the northern beaches region since December 11 from visiting aged care homes, hospitals or prisons in Queensland.

Tasmania, Victoria and the Northern Territory have also imposed restrictions on people from Sydney's northern beaches.

The federal government is urging the states and territories to exercise some restraint in relation to border closures.

"Let's recognise that NSW has shown an exemplary capacity to get on top of these clusters," Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Friday.

His mid-year economic update is predicated on borders staying open.

Meanwhile, people in NSW are being urged not to travel to the northern beaches if they don't have to.

Northern beaches residents have been told to keep to their household groups, and work from home if they can.

They have also been told to avoid unnecessary travel outside the region, and not to visit high-risk venues including clubs, restaurants, places of worship and gyms.

The northern beaches cluster includes a residential aged care worker and a man who recently performed in a band at three RSL clubs, including in Avalon.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is keen to have traffic flowing between the states despite the new virus cases in NSW.

Federal frontbencher David Littleproud backed Queensland's hotspot declaration for the Sydney virus outbreak, and called on WA to do the same.

"You might be from Griffith and you want to see your family in Perth, you have no connection to this at all, and you are going to be locked out," he told the Nine Network.

"We have to take a deep breath and just say to the WA government please follow the rest of the country here."

© AAP 2020

Tags: coronavirus