Following the hard border closure between NSW and Victoria, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says no one should be leaving or visiting border towns “unless they absolutely have to”.

After shutting down the border between both states at 12.01am on Wednesday morning, Ms Berejiklian said the possibility of contagion within her state given what is happening in Victoria is “very high”, sending a warning that the NSW government will need to be tougher on the border communities.

“Do not travel to other parts of NSW unless you absolutely have to,” she said. “(If) you are an Albury resident, we do not recommend you travelling to other parts of NSW.

“If we feel in the next few days or as early as tomorrow that we need to further protect the community, we will consider what we do north of Albury.

“My strong warning to people in NSW is do not travel to those border communities unless you absolutely have to.”

Ms Berejiklian’s comments come less than 12 hours after Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the Melbourne Metro and Mitchell region would be placed in a six-week lockdown to flatten the spike in COVID-19 cases the state has experienced since mid-June.

Ms Berejiklian said the mixing of communities from one side of the border with the other – such as Albury-Wodonga – came with an “enormous risk” and was being carefully monitored.

“The government is considering what further action we take to make sure the bubble as we call it on those border communities is maintained,” she said.

“NSW residents who live in those border communities … do not move out of your community unless it’s absolutely necessary otherwise we will need to take further action which could further compromise your ability to move freely.”

More to come