"If you are from greater Sydney, don't try and come to Melbourne or any part of Victoria..."
That was the warning from our Premier, Daniel Andrews. Pretty blunt.
Four months ago, it would have been impossible to imagine that Victoria is closing its borders to NSW.
Then again, if someone told you India would be bowled out for 36 in a test match, you'd probably think the former is more likely.
From midnight today, if you travel from NSW to Victoria, you must undergo testing and a 14-day quarantine. Not precisely how people planned on spending Christmas, but there are worse ways to pass the time.
The state government have introduced red and green zones, and unfortunately, it has nothing to do with Christmas. Returning Victorians from the red zones but must get tested within 24 hours; however, they can go into home quarantine. Permits are available for visitors from green areas of the state but expect delays as crossing checks are ramped up.
Meanwhile, Western Australia has reimposed a "hard" border. Yep, they still exist. Weirdly, most of New Zealand is closer to the Wimmera than Perth.
A month ago, we'd be excused for thinking we're on the home straight when it came to COVID-19. No masks, backyard barbecues, and you could invite more people to a wedding than you probably knew.
I know I was eying off a trip to Coonawarra and Gol Gol during my week off, but both of those ideas are now on ice.
2020 was a rough year to date, and the trend looks to continue into 2021. It's our annus horribilis.
Nevertheless, we've been through worse periods, and no doubt we'll face an equally worse period again in the future. Sure, we may not be able to spend time with all of our family. My mum is in SA, and right now I'm not sure I will risk darting across the border for COVID or a fine. It just means when I finally do get there, I'll cherish the time we do spend together.
That's my solace.
Ben Fraser, Editor
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.