The NSW premier has made no apologies for barring home-bound ACT residents in Victoria from passing through her state, saying the risk of coronavirus transmission remains large.
After travel rules changed late last week, Canberrans are unable to drive home through NSW from Victoria and must fly to Canberra Airport.
NSW authorities are concerned Canberra residents would stop at the border town of Albury on their way home via car.
ACT chief minister Andrew Barr has put forward proposed solutions including travel escorts.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said her first priority was to halt the spread of coronavirus in her state, while protecting residents in southern NSW.
"I don't think anyone would begrudge us being cautious when people from a highly-infectious area, state, are trying to make their way through NSW," Ms Berejiklian told reporters on Tuesday.
"I do understand health and police and other authorities are getting to a place where that issue can be resolved but I can't apologise for putting safety first in NSW.
"People have to stop along the way (to Canberra). It's not just about the escort, it's about making sure wherever they stop, it's done in a way that's safe."
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged authorities to work through the travel restrictions, saying they had already been achieved for Victorian politicians travelling through NSW to Canberra.
ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher says the situation is outrageous.
"We have a group of Canberrans with permits ready to come across the border and they were stopped with some sort of administrative stuff-up from NSW that they've now dug themselves in a hole over," she told reporters.
"If it's good enough for the politicians travelling through, why isn't it good enough for 100 Canberrans with a police escort? It doesn't make any sense."
The ACT has not recorded a COVID-19 case for more than a month. ACT Health says all territory residents seeking to return from Victoria must first notify the department.
Australian Associated Press