Chief Minister Andrew Barr has come out swinging against NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian following the announcement ACT residents were locked out of Victoria from Sunday.
The Chief Minister has called on health officials in Victoria to backpedal on their decision to ban travelers from the ACT which he says has become "collateral damage" in the escalating COVID-19 situation in NSW.
"The NSW government has wanted to lord over the other states and territories their gold standard response and unfortunately we find ourselves as collateral damage," Mr Barr told ABC radio.
Both ACT and NSW residents were banned from entering Victoria from midnight on Sunday, amid forecasts the outbreak in Sydney was set to worsen.
Mr Barr said while he was sympathetic to Victorians who had already suffered under four lockdowns, from an ACT perspective it was incredibly frustrating.
"We have not spent the last 18 months lecturing the other states and territories about how to respond to Covid or suggesting that we have the best system," Mr Barr said.
"And here we are caught in the collateral - really in the crossfires of the Sydney outbreak."
The criticism of NSW and the Victorian government's decision follows the 12-month anniversary of the last recorded case of community transmission of COVID-19 in the ACT.
Mr Barr said the federal government was responsible for the fact Australian jurisdictions were forced to keep shutting down.
"We are in this position ultimately because we don't have enough vaccines in Australia," Mr Barr said.
"We haven't managed international quarantine with purpose-built facilities."
NSW recorded 77 cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, its worst day since the outbreak.
Mr Barr said the decision was ultimately based on the level of risk the other premiers were prepared to accept, which was very low this far into the pandemic.
ACT residents can still travel to all other states and territories, excluding South Australia. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was expected to make a decision on the closure of the NSW border this week, which may impact ACT residents.
Mr Barr said there were currently no plans for the ACT to close the border to greater NSW.
"If we were to effectively barricade the ACT we would run the risk of a range of essential supplies and services being restricted in the ACT," Mr Barr said.
"Not the least of which is the staff in our health system, the same people who are putting the vaccines in arms and doing the Covid tests."
With Covid case numbers still rising in greater Sydney, the attention has turned to the enforcement of new lockdown laws.
Police have been on the streets in Sydney across the weekend enforcing stay-at-home orders.
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