Albury school teacher Cassandra Jones has experienced first hand growing concerns from the NSW Government around border residents travelling to another part of the state.
Surgery she had been hoping to undergo since March couldn't be performed with the decision being relayed less than an hour from booking into Wagga's Riverina Day Surgery on Thursday.
Following the snap decision to shut the border to Victoria at midnight Tuesday, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian doubled down with an edict for people living in border communities not to travel to another regional centre amid fears Melbourne's coronavirus second wave would spread north.
"Because we left so early we hadn't turned the tv on or anything and caught up with the latest situation," Mrs Jones said..
"I wasn't even aware the premier had said if you are from Albury don't travel.
"It all happened so quickly, we were on the way, and an hour beforehand it's all off."
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Mrs Jones and her husband Evan had reached Cookardinia when they were told her surgery had been canned.
The move blindsided them after being contacted late the previous day about standard pre-surgery arrangements including fasting and bringing documentation relating to her case.
"For me personally it was (essential travel), but according to the bigger picture it is not," she said.
"It wasn't like we could change their minds so we turned around and came home.
"I understand why the call was made and don't blame Riverina Day Surgery in any way, but we had only had two cases here in Albury at that stage."
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said on Thursday travelling to a place like Wagga for "urgent medical reasons" was allowed on the condition a permit was sourced for the trip.
"You need to be reasonable, we are treating people with respect, with dignity," he said.
"We are trusting these border communities, but if that is breached there are consequences to that and I think the premier has been really strong on that."
Mrs Jones was booked in for surgery on her legs on March 10, but elective surgery was among the first casualties of the COVID-19 outbreak.
She was contacted in mid-June to say elective surgery was recommencing and secured a spot during the school holidays.
"Surgeries were still going ahead, but not for me because I was from Albury," she said.
"I still need to have it done, but I'm thinking I'm at looking at September or October at least.
"It's an unprecedented situation."