Anger is brewing as talks with NSW to bring territory residents stranded at the Victorian border home stall.
Canberrans stuck in Victoria have been warned the situation may take days to resolve.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says he pitched a plan to get carloads of Canberrans at the Victoria-NSW border escorted home by ACT police.
But as of 7pm Monday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had not approved the proposal, which was sent to the NSW government on the weekend.
It has left dozens of Canberrans in limbo at Victorian border towns.
Canberrans who had gained permission to return to the territory via the NSW and Victorian borders were caught off guard last week when the NSW government suddenly changed the rules and their exemptions were cancelled.
They were advised by NSW Health to drive to Melbourne, fly to Sydney, then spend 14 days in hotel quarantine there.
A spokesman for Ms Berejiklian did not respond to questions about the reason for not yet approving the ACT's proposal.
Ross and Helen Muir are among about 100 Canberrans waiting to get home.
Mr Muir said he was disappointed by the NSW government's lack of communication and consultation with the ACT.
He said there seemed to be little logic in the NSW government's plan - requiring them to quarantine in Sydney after passing through the Melbourne, the epicentre of the country's coronavirus crisis
"NSW have really been dragging their feet," he said.
"Surely the best thing would be to get us to the ACT via the quickest route and then the problem belongs to the ACT?"
Mr Muir was attempting to return to Canberra after being in Melbourne due to the death of his father.
They received no warning from NSW their exemption would no longer be valid when they tried to cross the border into Albury on Friday morning.
With a car full of belongings, flying to Sydney or Canberra is not an option.
Mr Barr said the plan submitted to NSW would require ACT residents to drive straight to Canberra, with a police escort, without stopping at any NSW towns or for fuel.
He said the territory had repeatedly used every avenue of diplomacy possible over the past 48 hours.
"I think it's regrettable that we're at the point where, on a Saturday night, I'm having to ring the NSW Premier," he said.
While Mr Barr on Monday morning said he hoped the situation would be resolved "within hours", he later said it would likely take days to find a solution.
"We have been working towards a resolution with the NSW government for days now, unfortunately they are not yet able to amend their public health directions to allow transit through NSW for ACT residents," he said.
"We are advising Canberrans at the border of this reality now.
"Regrettably, it may still take a few days to be resolved, and we suggest that Canberrans in Wodonga, or the region, find accommodation for the coming few days.
"We understand that the continued uncertainty is causing some distress and have asked anyone changing their plans to instead travel to the ACT by air, to let us know."
NSW police have turned around more than 500 people on the border since changes to the permit system came on Friday.
Politicians and mayors in NSW-Victoria border towns are also angry about the lack of communication from the NSW government.
Member for Albury Justin Clancy said he had been blindsided by the changes.
"For me the biggest concern to come out of the last public health orders is the fact it was released with no time for the community to have awareness to be prepared," he said on Monday.
"That is a clear issue with the process ... that there's no visibility prior to the public health order.
"The media weren't given any any briefing on Friday morning.
"For that matter, as the local member, I received no briefing either."
The last-minute changes on Thursday night made by the NSW government meant all NSW residents could only return home via Sydney Airport, and had to go straight into hotel quarantine at their own expense.
ACT residents who had been granted permission to travel to Canberra via road were no longer allowed to.