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Calls for WA, Tas to open border to SA

1 month ago 20

The South Australian premier is calling for Tasmania and Western Australia to open their borders to the state, saying SA residents posed no threat.

Following Friday’s national cabinet meeting, Steven Marshall said he was unsure why those jurisdictions did not open their borders to the state.

“We would not pose a threat with the current level of infection in SA,” he said.

“I know it's enormously frustrating for businesses but importantly for families who are dislocated due to these arrangements.”

Under the current restrictions, South Australians can return from Queensland, Tasmania, Western Australia and the Northern Territory without self-quarantining for 14 days.

However, it is not reciprocated with WA and the ACT where those travellers or returning residents must isolate in those jurisdictions.

“I would love to see that restriction lifted,” Mr Marshall said.

“Tasmania has indicated they’re looking to do that in December. I’d love for it to be much sooner.”

It comes after SA recorded zero new infections on Friday, with the state’s total number of cases remaining at 462.

There are six active cases — four of whom are repatriated Australians in supervised hotel quarantine.

Mr Marshall said while the situation in Victoria had massively improved, he made no apologies for the restrictions that were keeping South Australians safe.

Victoria recorded 179 new cases and nine deaths today — the lowest number in more than a fortnight.

“It’s not just the numbers (we’re looking at). It’s if we know the origin of the infection,” Mr Marshall said.

“We’ve seen the numbers come down … but they still have more than 5000 active case and level 4 restrictions.

“We don’t want it coming here so we make no apologies for putting place the type of restriction that are going to keep our state safe but as soon as we can remove those and get back to a COVID-normal, we will do it.”

He said the state’s border arrangements with NSW and the ACT were continuously looked at.

“The trajectory in NSW has been extraordinarily good,” he said.

“We’re focused on community transmission and when that number gets down to an acceptable level and SA can feel confident, we’ll lift that restrictions. At the moment, the evidence suggests it should remain in place.”

SA Police released new figures on Friday that showed a total of 16,149 people travelled into SA between the week of August 14 and August 20.

Of that total, 7297 came from Victoria with the majority — some 4493 — entering for commercial transport and freight services, while 2454 were cross border community members.

During the period, 53 fines or cautions were issued.

The most common group of people that entered were approved non-essential travellers, with 6655 people, followed by those in the transport or freight industry, with 5188 people.

A total of 226 people from all jurisdictions came on compassionate grounds.

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