Cross-border commuters trying to get home were forced to take a 30 kilometre detour via Bungendore, with residents and regional councils left in the dark about road closures and border checks.
ACT Policing wrongfully turned away some residents trying to use Sutton Road to get to Wamboin and Bywong on Tuesday.
The Queanbeyan-Palerang Council was left in the dark about the ACT's decision to bring in border checks and close Sutton Road, a popular thoroughfare to Queanbeyan and an alternate route to get to Canberra.
The ACT government has implemented border spot checks to prevent people from Greater Sydney, the Central Coast or Wollongong entering Canberra.
But the delays on the Federal Highway and Sutton Road have affected daily commuters who travel to Canberra for work, medical appointments or to visit family.
Wamboin and Bywong residents were told to go to Bungendore or use the Majura Parkway and Federal Highway to get home rather than Sutton Road, turning a 20 kilometre trek into an almost 50 kilometre journey.
Coronavirus border check confusion continued on the fourth day of the Canberra's travelling restrictions,
ACT Policing said the detour was an error. "ACT Policing can confirm local traffic, including residents of Wamboin and Bywong, is allowed through the Sutton Road COVID check point," a spokesman said.
"Some motorists were turned away this morning due to miscommunication however this has now been corrected."
Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro says the ACT may have to consider a border permit system for towns surrounding the capital to avoid more confusion in the future.
"Is it necessary? I don't believe borders should be switched on and off like a light switch. But in saying that, we know the spread of the coronavirus has significant impacts and all borders are invisible to the pandemic," he said.
Residents of the broader region can still enter the ACT as long as they have not been in a coronavirus hotspot in the past 14 days, but have been warned to expect delays in crossing the border.
However when the Sutton road block is in effect, a section of Sutton Road will be shut to all but local traffic in order to protect the officers working there.
The road, while passing through the ACT, is used by residents in rural villages east of Canberra to get to Queanbeyan. Confused residents began inundating the council with phone calls on Monday.
It is understood Queanbeyan-Palerang Council learnt of the roadblocks via the media.
"QPRC understands the importance of restricting the spread of COVID-19 to ensure the health and safety of all," a council spokesperson said.
"We will liaise with appropriate agencies to stay as informed as possible about current arrangements and endeavour to ensure any impacts to access for local residents are minimised.
"In particular we will aim to reduce impacts on local residents who have not visited any hotspots or been identified as close or casual contacts and need to access the ACT for work, healthcare and important appointments.
"We understand that checkpoints into the ACT will remain in place for at least the next week and ask our residents to be patient and expect some delays when entering the ACT.
"Residents of areas such as Wingecarribee, Shoalhaven, Goulburn Mulwaree, Eurobodalla and Yass Valley who are not currently included on the list of affected areas should also pay close attention to relevant websites to avoid being turned around if they intend passing through Queanbeyan-Palerang into the ACT.
Yass Valley Council had also received no direct communication from the ACT government as of Tuesday morning.
ACT Policing have been tight-lipped about where and when the road blocks will occur, in order to prevent drivers from circumventing the checks.
Police are also expected to ramp up enforcement inside the ACT's border, with a breath-testing style operation to target NSW number plates on main roads such as Adelaide Avenue, Northbourne Avenue and Canberra Avenue, as well as targeting tourists visiting the national institutions.
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