Sydneysiders hoping to head south in to Victoria are being warned to expect a lengthy wait as parts of NSW continue to battle with a growing number of locally acquired COVID-19 cases.

While Victoria has not given a definitive answer as to when the borders between the two states would reopen, it is expected a full 14-day cycle of no community transmission will need to pass before lifting restrictions.

NSW closed its border with Victoria on July 8, 2020 when the state recorded consecutive days of COVID-19 cases above 100. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian reopened the border with Victoria on November 23 after the state achieved 14 days of no community transmission.

Victoria Emergency Services Minister Lisa Neville said the decision on the reopening of the Victorian border to Greater Sydney is a “day-by-day” assessment.

“This is very much going to be a day-by-day situation and assessment about what the numbers are in NSW and where the spread is,” she said.

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Ms Berejiklian warned that the “rumblings” of the virus were still in the Sydney community, and asked residents to remain vigilant.

“We know that there is still mopping up to do,” Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

“The remnants of the disease are still there and we can’t allow any of those remnants to lead to another super-spreading event which takes us back to square one.”

On Tuesday, Ms Berejiklian reported there were five coronavirus cases detected in NSW in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday. Four of the new cases were not linked to a known cluster.

Earlier this week, Ms Berejiklian hit out at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews over his decision to close the state border with NSW.

In a message to the other states, Ms Berejiklian said: “Talk to us in NSW before you close the border because we can explain to you the situation that’s going on.”

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But Mr Andrews disputed his NSW counterpart’s suggestions that the state did not inform NSW before the border decision was made.

Victoria Health Minister Martin Foley said on Sunday that in addition to telling the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee at noon on December 31 of the impending border decision, a meeting which was attended by NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant, Mr Foley said there were also phone conversations every day in the lead-up.

“It did not come as a shock to my NSW colleagues that after some two weeks of community transmission across NSW … Victoria was prepared to make the hard decision to keep Victorians safe,” Mr Foley said on the weekend.

Western Australia, which has also closed the border to NSW, will not reopen unless NSW can record 28 days without a case.

Queensland, however, has not provided a benchmark Greater Sydney will need to reach for the border to reopen.

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