But Ms Berejiklian pleaded with fellow leaders to take a proportionate response.
I ask you to consider the fact that large parts of NSW are completely unaffected and we want to reduce the stress as much as possible on our citizens. Many people, after months of absolute torture … have been separated from loved ones, she said.
WA goes hardest
Western Australia is threatening to reinstate its hard border to NSW and has gone further by forcing all people from NSW even those who live hundreds of kilometres away from Sydney into mandatory hotel quarantine.
Victorians, scarred by Melbournes lengthy lockdown, are being told not to travel to Sydney.
Travel companies led a broad sharemarket fall; Qantas was down 3.5 per cent, Flight Centre 2.7 per cent, Webjet 1.8 per cent and Sydney Aiport plunged 2.9 per cent.
The outbreak in Australias biggest city comes a day after the Morrison governments mid-year budget update showed the economy bouncing strongly out of recession, unemployment falling faster and the economy actually now forecast to grow this financial year.
The mid-year economic and fiscal outlook updated assumptions that no states would close borders next year. In the October budget, it had been expected WA would remain closed until April.
Mr Morrison said he was not concerned the new cases could seriously disrupt the fledgling economic recovery.
We will take all these things in our stride as we always have, and Im quite certain that as we move into next year … well see the comeback continue, he said.
A patchwork of changes
With the exception of WA, the other states have declared the northern beaches home to about 273,000 people a coronavirus hotspot and imposed restrictions on people who lived or travelled there recently.
But they have applied a patchwork of arrangements, and most states now required NSW residents to fill out travel permits stating where they have been.
Victoria and Tasmania will not allow travellers who have been on the northern beaches since last Friday to enter their states, while Queensland and the Northern Territory will require them to undertake 14 days hotel quarantine.
South Australia will require people to self-isolate for 14 days since their most recent day on the northern beaches, although those who have been to the two licensed clubs at Avalon where the virus spread will be barred entry.
No Christmas lunch is worth risking everything weve worked so hard for. As difficult as it is, there will be other times to see loved ones. But we dont get a second chance to get this right, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said.
WA Premier Mark McGowan was unapologetic over his hardline approach. I understand these changes will cause frustration and uncertainty for some people, and be very upsetting for many families looking to reunite and spend Christmas together, he said.
While the federal government had previously criticised border closures, Mr Morrison said the premiers were responsible and accountable for the decisions in their jurisdictions.
A national standard on hotspots is not something that Premiers and Chief Ministers have agreed to, he said.
The Commonwealth has no authority to impose any such national definition on states and territories. That is not a power the Commonwealth government has. That would have to be done by agreement with states and territories, and that is not something states and territories have agreed to put in place.
They have their own rules that they are putting in place and theyre seeking to protect the health and safety of people in their own jurisdictions.
Companies swamped with refund claims
Despite the outbreak, Mr Morrison said Australia would not rush the roll-out of the coronavirus vaccine, which is scheduled in March.
The vaccine is critically important to the country and we will be making sure that when it finally receives approval from the Therapeutic Goods Administration by Professor [John] Skerritt, itll be done in accordance with all the requirements that he and his group require, he said.
That way I can say to Australians that if he gives it the tick you can get the jab, and that is incredibly important.
As airlines and accommodation providers were swamped with requests for refunds and changes, Council of Small Business Organisations of Australia boss Peter Strong said business operators around the country were closely watching the spike in cases and the hit to consumer confidence around the country.
I think most businesses will see this as a big message to be prepared, always be prepared for this to happen, he said.
It will send a frightener to the business community, theres no doubt.
KPMG Australia chief economist Brendan Rynne said growing business and consumer confidence was at risk from the spike in cases in Sydney, with summer holiday spending set to be lost and the tourism industry contracting if state borders were closed.
What weve been trying to do as a nation is replace international tourism with domestic tourism, and in summer were wanting to encourage the free flow of people and the free flowing of interstate services trade, Dr Rynne said.
Youve seen things oscillate: starting to get better before Victoria shut down and then getting worse again. The same thing will happen in NSW and unfortunately that will have a ripple effect through to other sectors in the other jurisdictions, because you lock out the largest state in Australia and its population.

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