The federal government’s draft definition for metropolitan areas is a rolling three-day average of 10 locally acquired cases per day equating to more than 30 cases in three consecutive days.

For regional areas, a hotspot would be a rolling three-day average of three locally acquired cases per day, equating to nine cases over three consecutive days.

While the cabinet is yet to reach a final definition of a hotspot, Ms Berejiklian said she was confident that no region in her state, which recorded eight new COVID-19 cases, would fall into that category.

“I’m pretty confident the way NSW is going that there shouldn’t be an excuse for any state to have a border that isn’t open with NSW,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I think what is constructive is that all of us agreed that having a consistent definition of a hotspot would ensure that states have no excuse to keep their borders up.”

An emotional Ms Palaszczuk earlier in the day indicated she had no intention of softening her border stance in the short-term, adding that the sustained pressure from state and federal governments was intimidating.

However, all states, with the exception of Western Australia, agreed to consider lifting hard borders by December at Friday’s national cabinet meeting, prompting Prime Minister Scott Morrison to warn national decisions could soon be made without 100 per cent consensus.

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet told the Herald that Ms Palaszczuk needed to do what was right, not what was “politically expedient”.

Ms Berejiklian believes no state border restrictions should exist by Christmas if current trends continue and Victoria does not suffer another spike.


“It’s really Queensland and WA that have really strong views on these issues, every other state and territory seem to be quite amenable,” she said.

Meanwhile, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and the Commonwealth also agreed to allow greater movement of agricultural workers through their borders.

Ms Berejiklian said she was disappointed other states, particularly Queensland, were yet to agree to the framework.

Aside from the movement of agricultural workers, Ms Berejiklian said she held fears the current border situation would impact on infrastructure projects and the construction and tourism industries.

The state’s health department doubled-down on its advice against families visiting aged care facilities this Father’s Day weekend over concerns they risk infecting their elderly loved ones with COVID-19.

Ms Berejiklian said while she was disappointed with the renewed advice, she could not overturn it.

“I feel horrible about that, but it would be inappropriate for me to overrule the health advice especially, heaven forbid, the disease got into one of our aged care facilities,” she said on Friday.

However, Ms Berejiklian said she had confidence that year 12 formals in term 4 would be able to go ahead if they adhered to COVID-precautions.

Of NSW’s new cases, seven are locally-acquired and linked to known cases or clusters.

Three cases are contacts of cases linked to the August CBD cluster, two are linked to the St Pauls Catholic College cluster in Greystanes, and two are household contacts of previously reported cases linked to Liverpool Hospital.

Victoria recorded 81 new cases. The state’s death toll rose by 59, including 50 deaths in aged care residents between July and August, which pushed the national toll to 737.

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Tom Rabe is Transport Reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.

Kate Aubusson is Health Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.


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