THE NSW Deputy Premier suspects Victoria could have more restrictions in the border bubble, after shrinking it with little notice.
John Barilaro's concerns were aired on Thursday ahead of Benalla and Edward River councils being excluded from the zone from Friday.
"I am worried," he said.
"They're almost doubling their cases every three to four days which is of concern and that would mean the government may do more in restrictions and especially on the border."
Both Mr Barilaro and NSW Finance and Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope said the bubble change may result in more aid needing to be given to enterprises, with the Deputy Premier noting it added another "level of stress".
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"I anticipate that as a result of this announcement there will be more impacted businesses in the border regions who will be seeking assistance from the government," Mr Tudehope said.
He said on Thursday a new hardship panel would assess on a case-by-case basis those businesses that do not qualify for COVID-19 grants.
Victoria cited rising COVID cases in NSW for its bubble rejig, but Euroa MP Steph Ryan was unimpressed given Benalla has no cases.
"There's an argument Shepparton's inclusion in the border bubble should be suspended until such time their COVID situation is under control, but there's no logical reason to removing Benalla," Ms Ryan said.
"It's this kind of decision that just makes life so difficult for people trying to run businesses and access medical services."
The Victorian government failed to reply on Thursday to a question from The Border Mail about whether Benalla patients would still be allowed to travel for treatment at Albury's cancer centre.
The change may see those from Edward River requiring a COVID test 72 hours before coming to the cancer centre.
Ms Ryan said it was apparent state bureaucrats had little idea of the reality of their decisions, given her efforts to assist Victorian students struck at Yanco Agricultural High School near Leeton.
"The department didn't know where Yanco was, so they're making decisions with no understanding of the geography of the regions and the way the community interacts," she said.
Member for Murray Helen Dalton also blasted the Victorian government for ousting Edward River.
"I've been told people with urgent medical appointments can still go to Victoria without a permit, provided they carry proof of the appointment, but everyone else need to apply for a permit, even to see their child or continue their essential work," she said.
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