The announcement of updated border restrictions, a map with a new "border bubble" and the need to reapply for permits have left people very confused about what they are allowed to do and how to follow the rules.
How do I apply for a new permit?
The short answer is that as of this morning, you can't. The Service NSW website still has not been updated to allow people to apply for the new permits. If you do apply, you will receive a version of the old permit, which expires at midnight - effectively making it useless past today.
After initially saying applications would be open from Monday 2pm, that has now changed to 4pm Tuesday.
"If you're eligible, you can apply for a new permit containing a QR code, from 4pm, 21 July. Permits issued up until this time, will expire at 11:59 pm on 21 July, except those issued under compassionate grounds, which will remain valid until the expiry date," the Service NSW website states.
IN OTHER NEWS:
How do I know if I am eligible for a cross-border resident permit?
Service NSW released a new map on Monday, showing eligible regions within a blue area. On the Victorian side, that includes Wodonga, Bandiana, Baranduda, Barnawartha, Wahgunyah and Rutherglen, among other areas.
The NSW locations include the Albury local government area, Jindera, Howlong and Corowa.
The full map can be downloaded here.
The map says my town is included, but the search function on the Service NSW website says I am ineligible. Why?
Confusingly, the website has not been updated to reflect the changes. That search function is still related to the previous permit system. We hope it will change at 4pm Tuesday.
If I live in these areas, can I still cross into NSW for daily life, like my current permit says?
No, you can't. Getting a coffee, going shopping, catching up with friends or visiting your mum are no longer valid reasons for Victorians to cross into NSW. You can now only go for work, education or health reasons.
"From midnight Tuesday 21 July, border zone residents with a permit will only be able to cross into the other side of the NSW-Victorian border zone to go to work or attend an education institution if they can't work or learn from home, or to obtain medical care, supplies or health services," NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
Can I cross the border into NSW to go to work?
You can if you live within the new Border community zone.
If you work in what the NSW government has deemed a "critical service", then you can obtain a permit to continue your job as normal outside of this zone.
These only apply if you are a Member of Parliament or staff member; consular official; carer for someone entering NSW; or in the fields of freight, transport or logistics; maintenance and repair of critical infrastructure; medical or hospital care; mining, agriculture, construction, energy or manufacturing; and Commonwealth defence and security services.
]If you live in NSW and have to travel further into Victoria outside the newly defined border bubble as part of your duties, you will have to self-isolate when you get back home for 14 days.
Can I leave the border bubble to visit family if they are sick or I need to care for my children?
If you live on the Victorian side, you can still move around regional Victoria as you wish - without going into the separate Melbourne lockdown.
In NSW, you can get a permit to cross the border for child access and care arrangements, or apply on compassionate grounds such as visiting a terminally ill person. In that case, you will need to apply to NSW Health for a compassionate permit exemption code before applying for your border entry permit.
Am I allowed to cross from Victoria to NSW for a medical appointment?
Only if there is no other option. The new rules say you can only cross the border for medical or hospital services where those services are not available in Victoria or cannot be accessed remotely.
I attend school in NSW, can I still cross the border?
The official rules say that only boarding school/university students or staff, or parents/guardians accompanying a student, are allowed from Victoria into NSW.
But that is changing. Trinity Anglican College revealed on Tuesday morning that all students and teachers will be able to cross the border to attend school, after a successful bid to amend the public health order.