NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has reiterated her plan to wait for freedom of movement in Victoria to reopen the border, indicating it will be in place for at least most of November.
Ms Berejiklian called the point Victoria was at now, the easing of restrictions in Melbourne, "the real test" for COVID-19 management.
"I knew the real test for NSW wasn't lockdown, because it is easy not to spread the virus when everyone is confined to their home or has limited mobility, but once you ease restrictions and people start moving around again and start working, that's the real test and I think the residents of NSW would expect me and my government to be responsible in how we deal with that," she said.
"So we will take the border [closure] down as soon as we can but we do need to wait and see what impact easing of restrictions in Melbourne and Victoria has before we decide exactly when that will be."
The earliest that Victorians will be able to travel between regional areas and the city is November 8, and Premier Daniel Andrews softened his messaging about that commitment on Tuesday.
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He had told media at Monday's announcement that "barring a series of days where we have very high case numbers" the checkpoints would be removed.
"After the 25 kilometre [travel limit] is lifted, then there will obviously be greater freedom to move and there will also be the opportunity, we do hope, to move into regional Victoria as well," he said on Tuesday.
Mr Andrews did not say he would be pushing to open the border when he speaks with Ms Berejiklian this week, but did indicate he would expect it to go after November 8.
"I think it will just be a discussion of where they're at, do they have all the data they need, are they comfortable we're giving them everything possible so they've got a real sense of what's going on?" he said.
"I think as soon as we can get it open and it can be agreed on that, we will.
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"And I think it's logical it will be regional Victorians into NSW and SA first, before metropolitan Melbourne, just given the different positions regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne are in.
"Those will come into alignment at some point, just as on the 8th of November we've been pretty clear we want to get rid of the 25km [limit] and we want to get rid of that ring of steel as well.
"So if all of Victoria can be united, then I don't see why we wouldn't be able to be united with NSW, to the extent that people felt the need to go there.
Mr Andrews said Ms Berejiklian hadn't indicated to him that the effect of eased restrictions would determine the border reopening, or not.
"No, but I don't think that's a startling comment in any way, I think we're all going to look very closely at what happens in the next few weeks," he said.
Ms Berejiklian was asked by media in Port Macquarie about the likelihood of the Queensland border reopening to NSW on November 1.
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"I just wish we'd take the games out of this because it is affecting people's lives, especially in mid and northern NSW," she said.
"Yesterday I heard some horrible stories. One great-grandmother told me her great-granddaughter lived within kilometres on the other side of the border, and five months old, and she hadn't been able to meet her, so that is just one small example.
"Another is people who haven't been able to run their businesses or not been able to be reunited with family and friends.
"It's a very difficult time for people in this region with that border closure, especially when the [Queensland] border closure is completely unnecessary."
Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton said the lockdown was "absolutely" necessary and the border wouldn't have eased if not for it.
"If we had not gotten to the point we've gotten to today ... then there's no opening with South Australia, there's no opening with NSW - the border communities can't have that connection with their neighbouring towns and their neighbouring regions, which has been so important for their work and their life," he said.
On closing the Victorian border if other states had an outbreak, Mr Sutton said: "It's for first Ministers to make that call".
Mr Sutton said he hoped Victoria was in a position where the state would not have to go into lockdown again.
"I think our case contact and outbreak management is the best in Australia at the moment," he said.