South Australia has closed its border with Victoria as tougher measures take effect amid Melbourne’s surging coronavirus cases.

From Thursday, only people returning home and essential travellers will be allowed to cross into SA.

However, a backlog of around 24,000 applications has meant that police have been forced to let some people enter SA without first being fully assessed.

As the closure neared, police reported a spike in people wanting to make the trip and advised of some delays in processing applications.

The new restrictions will apply to everyone arriving by road or air while people living in cross-border communities will be restricted to a 50km radius inside SA.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said maps were being produced to clearly show the entry limits and anyone from Victoria found breaching the rules could face a $1000 fine or further action.

People living near the border and needing to enter SA to conduct daily activities, like attending school or work, must have a pre-approved essential traveller exemption.

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Mr Stevens said additional resources would be deployed to border crossing points, with some smaller roads to be blocked.

SA police are also in discussions on the possible use of Australian Defence Force personnel to assist with the border lockdown.

South Australia reported no new virus cases on Wednesday and has only two active infections, while there were 134 new cases across the border in Victoria as stage 3 lockdowns come into effect once again for parts of the state.

With AAP

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