Closing the Border Between the Australian States Led to Traffic Disruptions
Closing the border between the Australian states of Victoria and New South Wales led to traffic disruptions on Wednesday.
Motorists sometimes had to wait up to two hours at the checkpoint between the border towns of Wodonga and Albury, reports The Age newspaper. There, the police checked all drivers.
The authorities have closed the border to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The city of Melbourne will also go into lockdown for six weeks in Victoria.
Dozens of roads are closed, and checkpoints have been placed in other places. Residents of border municipalities, people with essential professions and some other persons, are still allowed to drive if they have applied for a special permit.
The Australian 9News reports that some 40,000 of those permits were applied for in the first 12 hours. Many people in border municipalities work on the other side of the border or have family there.
A woman from Wodonga told The Age that she usually spends 11 minutes at work in a cafe in Albury. She needed about 2 hours this time. “It was hellish,” she sighs.
The authorities have warned that people risk imprisonment or a fine if they cross the border illegally. An initial arrest is said to have already been made. It is a 34-year-old man from Victoria who tried to cross the border with his wife and three children.