Hunter leaders have welcomed the "tough" decision to close the border between NSW and Victoria - the first time the states have been shut off in more than 100 years.
NSW had been the last state to allow an open border with Victoria, which on Monday recorded 127 new cases of coronavirus.
"What is currently happening in Victoria is the last thing we want so I'm glad the Premier has listened to our calls to close the border, despite her having criticised other state governments for similar decisions," Newcastle Labor MP Tim Crakanthorp said.
"Keeping the spread of COVID-19 under control in NSW has been a team effort but the high numbers of cases across the border demonstrate how quickly it can all go downhill, and I don't think anyone wants to see our good work compromised or new restrictions here as a result of a spike in cases.
"Considering the high number of new Victorian cases and the speed at which COVID-19 can spread, we definitely need to be playing it safe. The border closure is not ideal for a tourism industry trying to get back on its feet, but right now the risk is too great."
IN OTHER NEWS:
Destination Port Stephens chair Andrew Macdonald said while he was in "two minds" about the border closure it was "probably a sensible idea".
He didn't anticipate a major fallout for the Hunter region and urged Sydney-siders to look at their own backyard with Victoria now off-limits.
"At the moment in Port Stephens we're going really, really well, our properties are full and the place is bustling, it's probably busier in the July holidays than it is in April," he said.
"It may hurt some Sydney hotels but I think for Sydney-siders, they'll be looking at NSW, and Port Stephens, as a safe place.
"We want our visitors to be safe and comfortable.
"There's no doubt we'll have a few cancellations from Victorians but overall, I think we'll be okay."
HOW THE BORDER CLOSURE WILL WORK
The border will close from 11.59pm Tuesday night to all Victorians.
Police and health officials are already on the border stopping people.
No timeframe for how long the closure will last 55 border crossings will be affected - including 33 bridges and two waterway crossings.
First 72 hours will be difficult but not impossible to make the crossing.
Border will be enforced from the NSW side by police, Australian Defence Force personnel and emergency services.
Drones and aerial surveillance will be used.
Permit system will be used for people with unavoidable travel to NSW.
Permits can be applied for online via Services NSW, but it may take three days to get the system in place.
People living in border towns will be able to travel for work and essential health services.
Permits and exemptions will be available for hardship cases NSW residents should not go to Victoria in the next 24-48 hours.