People have rushed over the border from South Australia to avoid the nation’s strictest COVID-19 lockdown before the Victorian border shut at midnight on Thursday night.

The hard border with SA comes into effect after fragments of the coronavirus were found in wastewater in regional towns Portland and Benalla.

Residents of those towns, along with anyone who visited them between 15-17 November and are now experiencing symptoms, are being urged to get tested and isolate while awaiting their results.

Victoria’s hard border closure with SA is set to last 48 hours before a permit system is introduced on the weekend.

While details of the permit system are yet to be confirmed, it is understood that essential and emergency services workers, agricultural workers, those seeking medical care or supplies, those travelling for compassionate reasons and people shopping for essential supplies will be permitted to enter Victoria.

However, Premier Daniel Andrews has flagged that restrictions could end when SA ends its hard lockdown.

Over the border, the full list of restrictions is set to be eased on Tuesday.

Advertisement
Advertisement

On Thursday, SA health authorities confirmed that there had been zero new cases discovered overnight.