Just days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced plans to reopen domestic borders by Christmas, several states have closed their borders to South Australia after 17 cases of coronavirus were identified. Of the cases, 15 are understood to be linked to one family.
Addressing media on Monday, the Northern Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner declared South Australia a hotspot.
“We are declaring South Australia a hotspot for the purposes of travel to the Northern Territory, effective immediately,” he said. “That means that people who arrive here from South Australia this morning will be directed to supervised quarantine or given the option of returning to South Australia.
“People who intend to travel here later today in South Australia will need to make a decision now — to stay there, or if they come here, to enter supervised quarantine.”
Gunner said that because of the late notice, those who enter the Northern Territory today or tomorrow from South Australia will not need to pay the $2,500.
Meanwhile, Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein announced his state would also be reintroducing quarantine for travellers from South Australia, urging anyone who had entered since November 9 to self-isolate at their home residence or hotel room.
“With the outbreak escalating in Adelaide, we are taking immediate precautionary action this morning,” he said. “So, firstly, to anyone who has arrived in Tasmania from South Australia since last Monday 9th November, we would like you today to immediately self-isolate. If you are in a home residence to isolate there. If you are staying in accommodation, to go back to your hotel room and isolated there as well.”
Queensland will be following suit, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announcing mandatory hotel quarantine will begin from midnight tonight.
Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young said: “[It has been] recommended that all of the Adelaide, the City of Adelaide and the local government areas be made a hotspot.
“As of 11:59 pm tonight, anyone who comes into Queensland who has been in that part of South Australia since Monday of last week will need to go into hotel quarantine for 14 days.
“I am also asking that anyone who has arrived in Queensland who has been in Adelaide since Monday of last week to immediately come forward and get themselves tested and go into quarantine wherever they are… until it’s been 14 days since they left Adelaide.”
However, New South Wales Premier Glady Berejiklian has confirmed the NSW border will remain open, saying: “We need to learn to live with Covid. You can’t shut down the border and disrupt lives every time there is an outbreak and disrupt businesses.”
And while Victoria has declared South Australia a hotspot, the state will not be closing its borders. Instead travellers will be interviewed and may be required to be tested.
Meanwhile, it comes after Western Australia implemented new border measures overnight. Anyone arriving in Western Australia from South Australia will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks.
“These are initial steps the State Government is taking to protect all Western Australians, and will be reviewed regularly,” the WA State Government said in a statement.
“We will monitor the position in South Australia very closely and will strengthen measures if required. We understand these changes will cause frustration for many people, but these steps are being taken on the best health advice to protect everyone.”
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