South Australia’s border restrictions with New South Wales ended overnight, meaning that its travel restrictions now only apply to Victoria.
Steven Marshall, the Premier of South Australia confirmed the anticipated decision on Wednesday afternoon and confessed his pleasure at being able take another step towards a level of travel normality.
“They have gone 14 days without community transmission and that means from midnight tonight we will be lifting the border restrictions,” the Premier said.
Impediment to business and families
“It has been an enormous impediment on business, on families, family reunification and that is going to be gone.”
He added: “This has been based on health advice, but of course very strong economic benefits [result] from opening the border with NSW.”
Speaking to 9 News, Marshall warned: “We do need to be careful. SA’s done particularly well with a very low infection rate. Our number one priority is to keep people safe here in SA.”
Border will close if infections rise again
The Premier emphasised, though, that the border could only remain open for as long as it was safe to do so and there was no reappearance of community infections within New South Wales.
There had been good information flow between the two states regarding their respective coronavirus situations and it was vital that this continue so that the border could remain open, he noted.
Regarding the Victorian border, there is however no immediate likelihood of it reopening. But the Premier did agree in his 9 News interview with earlier comments by SA Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens, that residents of regional Victoria could be welcomed before those from greater Melbourne.
Victoria border remains closed for now
“Whether it be that we deal with regional Victoria differently to the greater Melbourne area, or we treat them all as one, it may be the first step will be that they go through what NSW has been through with a 14-day home quarantine arrangement,” Stevens said.
Marshall added: “We don’t want to keep those borders in place for one day longer than they need to, but at the moment the health advice is very strongly that we should keep the border arrangement in place.”
South Australia closed its border in early July to Victoria and then to NSW when travellers from interstate were found to have spread the virus into the SA community.