Current Issue #487

South Australia scraps border reopening timeline as Victorian cases climb

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The target of unrestricted travel between Victoria and South Australia from 20 July has been revised

As Victoria’s COVID-19 numbers continue to grow, South Australia has binned its plan to reopen all domestic borders from 20 July.

Just last week Premier Steven Marshall reaffirmed the state government’s plan to reopen our borders to all Australia states and territories from 20 July, with restrictions to Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Tasmania and Queensland already opened ahead of schedule. That timeline has now been revisited as Victoria experiences a significant uptick in new cases.

Victoria’s COVID-19 caseload has spiked in recent days, with a further 75 new cases reported yesterday bringing the state’s total to 2099. With 14 cases linked to known outbreaks connected to family groups, a hotel, schools and daycare centres, the Victorian government has launched ‘testing blitzes’ across 10 priority suburbs while also returning to heightened restrictions on social gatherings inside and outside of the home. Victoria’s current state of emergency has also been officially extended until 19 July.

In light of the changing situation to our east, the Premier today announced that the state’s transition committee would redraw its own borders timeline. “It has now been decided to completely revise the date that we will lift the state borders,” Marshall said. “The transition committee’s advice is that we should scrap that [20 July] date; we are increasingly concerned about the outbreaks which are occurring in Victoria, so we are not in a position to remove our border on 20 July.”

Despite the worsening situation in Victoria, Marshall left the door open for restrictions to the ACT and New South Wales to be loosened independently of the Victorian border, potentially even earlier than 20 July.

“I know that this is tough, I know that there are many families that are dislocated because of the border arrangements, I know that it’s tough on business, but we’ve got to protect the people of South Australia.”

South Australia recorded three new cases yesterday, all from recent overseas arrivals in quarantine, as the state entered its third stage of eased restrictions.

As of Monday 29 June there have been a total of 443 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in South Australia, with three active cases in the state. Of that tally, 436 people have officially been cleared of the virus, with over 149,000 tests undertaken. Readers are advised to consult SA Health’s website for the latest information.

Read the state government’s COVID-19 recovery plan here

Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh

Digital Editor
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Walter is a writer, editor and broadcaster living on Kaurna Country.

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