There has been widespread confusion among Riverina residents in the final hours before the historic NSW-Victoria border closure.
Wagga MP Joe McGirr said his office had been busy fielding calls from confused locals seeking clarification on crossing the border, which closed at midnight to stem the spread of coronavirus from Victoria.
The Murrumbidgee confirmed two new cases of the virus in Albury ahead of the border shutdown, while Service NSW worked frantically to iron out its planned permit system.
"It's clearly something that's being worked out. I think we've just got to ask people to work with us on this as we get it sorted," Dr McGirr said.
"People are wanting things to get clarified ... and there are people getting caught in different situations."
As of this afternoon, Service NSW had not yet provided information on its website on how to apply for a permit to cross from the Victorian side.
Victoria today recorded its highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in 24 hours with 191 people newly diagnosed with the virus.
In response the border was closed for the first time in 100 years, a massive undertaking which means more than 50 road crossings, train stations and airports need to be patrolled.
The NSW and Victorian premiers have said provisions will be in place for anyone who needs to move between the states, including residents of border towns.
"I think people are very supportive and understanding that it's got to happen," Dr McGirr said.
Dr Mcgirr said "the main issue" his office had been dealing with was families with relatives stuck in Victoria who had been hoping to get home to Wagga.
"There are families that have arrived in Melbourne that are in quarantine that now can't come back to NSW for example," he said.
"We've got other people, I was talking to someone today that works in Wagga but actually lives in Victoria. They will end up having to stay in NSW to continue working."
State member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke said the closure would be "a very challenging time", particularly for border communties such as Albury Wodonga which share facilities and have many residents who live on one side and work or go to school on the other.
"But together, I know that we can work through this," Ms Cooke said.
"It's incumbent upon all of us that we remain patient, and that we all do our bit to keep our communities safe."
Ms Cooke said she had "absolutely" receiving calls from people confused about the closure.
"The permit system is still getting up and running to its full capacity. We are aware that there are people reaching out for permits at this point in time," she said.
"And I can only encourage those people to remain patient, we are working as quickly as we can to get everyone's permits processed so that their lives can continue as close to normal as possible.
"So whilst I do appreciate that people will be frustrated, because of the impact it is having on their lives, at the end of the day this is about keeping everyone safe."
As of this evening the NSW government said it would shortly release more specific details of how the closure would operate for border communities and industries who needed to travel between states.
The border closure will be enforced on the northern side and led by NSW police, with four border crossings part of the Riverina
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