The reopening of the Victorian border to Wollongong is welcomed as a positive move for the region's tourism industry.
From 6pm Monday, Wollongong is classed as an "orange zone", meaning people who have been in the area for the past 14 days can enter Victoria, subject to certain conditions including a permit and COVID-19 testing.
Destination Wollongong general manager Mark Sleigh said the reopening of borders was a generally positive development for tourism operators.
Mr Sleigh said the coupling of Wollongong with the Greater Sydney area for COVID-19 restrictions had been "very detrimental" for tourism businesses, which had subsequently suffered a high rate of cancellations.
He said the opening of Wollongong to Victoria would allow the area to move forward as a destination, and hoped the NSW government would likewise separate the area from Greater Sydney.
Mr Sleigh said the South Coast had been badly affected by border closures, with Victoria one of its main visitor markets.
The latest development could only be a good thing for visitation, he said, with almost two months of summer and Easter still to come.
Mr Sleigh said open borders were vital to visitor economies, especially with JobKeeper ending in March.
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But Lord Mayor of Wollongong, Gordon Bradbery, urged caution for those thinking about travelling to Victoria.
Cr Bradbery said the opportunity for the virus to escape into the community was still there, especially with the Australian Open taking place.
He recommended residents limited travel to what was necessary.
Under Victorian rules, most of regional NSW is classed as an orange zone, meaning visitors to the state from these areas have to isolate, get tested within 72 hours, and quarantine until they return a negative result.
Wollongong joins this classification from 6pm Monday, along with 25 local government areas in Sydney and the Blue Mountains.
The Victorian government is also moving NSW border communities to a "green zone" classification, to allow for easier movement across the border.
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