South Australia opens its borders to Queensland but SNUBS Victoria and New South Wales by keeping them out of travel bubble
- Visitors from Western Australia, the NT and Tasmania can visit SA from midnight
- The move will give hope to ailing tourism businesses desperate for visitors
- Border controls requiring 14-day quarantine will remain in place for other states
South Australia will let in visitors from Queensland from midnight on Friday.
The move will mean these travellers will not have to quarantine for the mandatory 14 day period.
However, the borders to New South Wales and Victoria will remain shut as the state keeps them out of the travel bubble.
South Australia will let in visitors from Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania without quarantine from midnight. Pictured: South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula
Border controls requiring 14-day quarantine will remain in place for visitors from the other states and the ACT. Pictured: Stokes Bay on the north coast of Kangaroo Island
‘Effective midnight tonight, there will be no requirement for people coming in from Queensland to do 14 days of self-isolation,’ SA Premier Steven Marshall said.
‘This doesn’t mean necessarily that South Australians can go into Queensland but we are lifting our state borders and so people from Queensland, whether they be Queensland citizens or whether they are South Australians returning, they will not be required to do that 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.’
Normally the Australian constitution does not allow unequal treatment of citizens based on their state or origin.
But the South Australian government believes it can justify the remaining border controls on public health grounds because the eastern states have had more coronavirus cases.
SA Premier Steven Marshall said today he does not expect the border relaxation to be reciprocal.
‘I’m not optimistic that other jurisdictions will immediately lift with us,’ he said.
‘It is likely to be a messy situation, but we are committed as a national Cabinet to move into allowing interstate travel in July.’
On Friday, Mr Marshall said the state’s border controls for visitors from all jurisdictions will come down on 20 July but today he said that date could be brought forward.
‘We have shown to date that we have been very flexible,’ he said.
‘Where possible, we have eased restrictions earlier than we anticipated.
‘Australia is doing extraordinarily well. Every jurisdiction is doing much better.’
The move will give hope to ailing tourism businesses desperate for visitors after months of lockdown. Pictured: West Bay on Kangaroo Island
It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison piled pressure on premiers to set a date when they would open their borders.
This afternoon Mr Morrison tweeted: ‘A welcome move forward on the path to a COVIDSafe reopening across Australia. Looking forward to returning to SA to enjoy a locally brewed Coopers.’
Queensland will open up on July 10 but Tasmania and WA have not set a date.
Mr Marshall said: ‘I don’t think we should have the borders closed for one day longer than we need to.
‘It has a detrimental effect on our economy and our employment, but also a social perspective with alienating families. We’re very keen to see it lifted.’
Mr Marshall also announced that up to 300 people can gather outside in SA from Friday.
Indoor gym classes are now allowed 20 people, up from 10, as long as each person has four square metres of space.
South Australia is preparing to open its borders for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Pictured: Adelaide