The Victorian government has cleared the way for tourists to travel to border LGAs without having to get tested upon return to Victoria.
Sixteen local government areas in NSW along the Murray River will move from 'orange' to 'green' tonight, along with changes in Sydney.
"Local government areas that run on the NSW side but along the NSW-Victoria border, they will from 6pm tonight move from orange to green," Mr Andrews said.
"And what that will mean is, not so much for local residents because they're already in a bubble, but for visitors to those communities ... you will need a permit to come back, but you will not have to isolate and get a negative test.
"And that's a consequence of having seen no cases there for a sufficient period of time.
"Transmission and cases are pretty much confined to those 10 local government areas.
"25 of the 35 local government areas [in Sydney] will move from red to orange this evening.
"Transmission and cases are pretty much confined to those 10 local government areas [staying red].
"2021 is shaping up to be a vastly different and better year."
The Blue Mountains and Wollongong will also be downgraded from red to orange.
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Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton, on the 12th day of no locally acquired cases in Victoria, said the changes for border NSW LGAs was intended to make life easier on tourists and businesses.
"Clearly it's a good epidemiological situation [on the border] and I hope the green zone designation means people can feel confident to go to those areas for tourist purposes, and it's a bit easier on those residents," he said.
Murray Regional Tourism and businesses have been pushing for the change to 'green', concerned that any Victorians who would otherwise travel to NSW areas would be discouraged by the requirement to be tested.
The downgrading of the status of most Sydney LGAs follows the downgrading of Brisbane on Saturday.
Mr Andrews said he had texted NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian about today's announcement and did not agree there was "friction" between them due to the border closure.
"I indicated to her that I would announce at 10 o'clock, that all but 10 of the LGAs would be going from red to orange - she texted me back and was very pleased to hear that," he said.
"I did indicate in my earlier texts that we will speak, if there's a need to.
"I will just point out though, in case there was any further interest in this, that the Chief Health Officer speaks with his counterpart very frequently. And I don't need to speak to any Premier of any other state to determine what our Chief Health Officer says is the safe and right thing to do."
In a statement the Victorian government has said:
New South Wales border towns with Victoria will move to a green zone from 6:00pm tonight, ensuring easier movement for people on either side of the border.
This includes Albury City, Balranald Shire, Bega Valley Shire, Berrigan Shire, City of Broken Hill, Edward River Council, Federation Council, Greater Hume Shire, Hay Shire, Lockhart Shire, Murray River Council, Murrumbidgee Council, Snowy Monaro Regional Council, Snowy Valleys Council, City of Wagga Wagga and Wentworth Shire.
Cross-border communities do not need to apply for a travel permit, as long as they carry a valid form of ID with their address - like a driver licence - and have not been in a current orange or red zone area in the last 14 days.
Anyone living in a cross-border community who has been in an orange zone in the last 14 days (other than for transit) - such as the Greater Sydney area, must apply for an Orange Zone Permit and agree to the conditions including the requirement to get tested within 72 hours of arrival and remain in self-quarantine until they receive a negative result.
Anyone living in a cross-border community who has been in one of the 10 LGAs currently in the red zone in the last 14 days cannot travel to Victoria without an exemption, exception or essential worker permit.
The LGAS renaming in the 'red' are Blacktown City, Burwood, Canada Bay City, Canterbury-Bankstown, Cumberland, Fairfield City, Inner West, Liverpool City, Parramatta City and Strathfield Municipality.
Anyone from those areas are still not permitted to travel to Victoria without an exemption, exception or essential worker permit.