Dozens have been refused entry into Queensland after it was closed to residents of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory on Saturday.
Queenslanders who miss the 1:00am deadline on Saturday will not be allowed to drive into the state through a declared COVID-19 hotspot under tough new border restrictions.
They will need to fly, and then quarantine in Queensland Government arranged accommodation for 14 days at their own expense.
Motorists will still be able to enter via the Northern Territory border.
Where are the declared hotspots?
All of Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT have been declared COVID-19 hotspots.
Who will be exempt?
Exemptions will be very limited and will only apply to those deemed “absolutely essential for the functioning of Queensland”.
These may include freight and transport workers, people in the construction, manufacturing and mining industries, elected government representatives on official duties, emergency service workers and air or maritime crew.
It does not include healthcare workers, except in exceptional circumstances.
FIFO workers who live in a hotspot will only be permitted to enter Queensland for work if they fit the criteria of a specialist worker.
They will be required to quarantine for 14 days at the worksite or employer provided accommodation in Queensland and leave quarantine only to carry out duties.
Freight workers going into hot spots will be allowed to cross without going into quarantine, but will need to be tested every seven days.
They will not have to isolate while waiting for results, unless they are unwell.
What about people who live near the border?
Those living within a prescribed border zone postcode will be able to cross into Queensland for any reason, but will need to apply for a new border pass. Proof of residence will also be required.
Can border residents visit areas outside the zones?
Queensland border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in NSW and NSW border zone residents cannot travel outside the border zone in either Queensland or NSW.
The zone stretches from the Ormeau on the northern end of the Gold Coast to Brunswick Heads in NSW.
It’s a similar story running all the way along the Queensland-NSW border with residents in declared postcodes able to move freely if they have a border pass.
How do you apply for a border pass?
Applications can be processed at the border, however there may be delays.
Identification, such as a driver’s license or Medicare card will be required.
A border declaration pass is valid for seven days from the date of completion.
A new border declaration pass will have to be renewed every seven days, or more regularly if your circumstances have changed.
Does everyone flying into Queensland from a hotspot have to enter quarantine?
- It’s to perform an “essential” activity.
- Arrive into Queensland by air and transfer directly to another flight to leave Queensland or quarantine until boarding the flight out of Queensland.
- Were in a COVID-19 hotspot for the sole purpose of transiting through an airport, excluding Melbourne Tullamarine airport.
- Can provide evidence that mandatory hotel quarantine was completed in a COVID-19 hotspot and immediately transited to Queensland, unless flying out of Melbourne Tullamarine airport.
- Are a border zone resident and have not been in a hotspot in the last 14 days.
Can people enter Queensland on compassionate grounds?
Yes, but only in exceptional circumstances, and if an exemption is granted by the Chief Health Officer.
If an exemption is granted to visit a dying relative, 14 days quarantine would be required, however, the visitor would be able to leave quarantine to visit the sick relative.
An exemption to attend a funeral is only likely to be granted if 14 days of quarantine in government arranged accommodation is completed prior to the funeral.
Parks Australia says a temporary closure of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will be extended after traditional owners expressed concerns that visitors were transiting through coronavirus hotspot zones on their flight from Brisbane into Yulara on Monday.
- Parks Australia says it is in consultation with traditional owners about re-opening Uluru
- The Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community Corporation wants all flights that transit through hotspots banned from landing in Yulara Airport, near Uluru
- Mutitjulu is around 30 kilometres from Yulara
Parks Australia on Monday decided to temporarily close the park until midday today after members of the Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community Corporation (MCAC) blockaded an entry point to the park, sparked by the group’s worry that visitors had transited through coronavirus hotspots.
In a statement, Parks Australia said extending that closure was taking into account the organisation’s “utmost respect” for Uluru-Kata Tjuta’s traditional owners.
“At the request of Mutitjulu Aboriginal Community Corporation (MCAC) and following further discussions with MCAC, Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia, the Central Land Council, Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and the Northern Territory Government, the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park will remain closed while re-opening protocols proposed by MCAC are considered,” Parks Australia said in a statement on social media.
“We have the utmost respect for Uluru-Kata Tjuta’s traditional owners and are continuing to work in good faith with them and all other parties to keep Mutitjulu residents safe,” the statement said.
Mutijulu is an Aboriginal community about 30 kilometres from Yulara Airport.
Traditional Owners from the area, the Anangu, have ownership of the land contained in the National Park, but have leased it to Parks Australia to manage under a joint agreement.
Glenn Irvine from the MCAC said the organisation wanted all future flights to Uluru from any COVID-19 hotspots to be cancelled.
This would mean travellers from NT declared hotspots would not be able to fly into Yulara Airport.
At the moment those hotspots include: Victoria, Greater Sydney, Port Stephens and Eurobodalla Shire in NSW and Brisbane, Ipswich and Logan in Queensland.
As for the tourists who arrived yesterday, they will all be tested for COVID-19.
Mr Irvine said if there were no positive results returned from that cohort, the park would be reopened.
Why was there a blockade yesterday?
Yesterday, the Mutitjulu community blockaded the entry to Uluru after a flight from the declared coronavirus hotspot of Brisbane arrived at the nearby Yulara airport.
The blockade ended in the afternoon after Parks Australia announced it would temporarily close the park.
A press release from MCAC called for all passengers be transported to Alice Springs for quarantine or return to Brisbane immediately.
As it stands, travellers transiting through COVID-19 hotspot areas do not have to quarantine upon arriving in the NT.
MCAC had remained consistent on their position for months in regards to interstate tourists.
A meeting to discuss the corporation’s concerns was held on Friday and involved MCAC, Parks Australia, Chief Minister Michael Gunner, and Voyagers, the company who operate the airport and accommodation facilities at Yulara.
MCAC chief executive Thalia Bohl-Van Dem Boogaard said the meeting left the corporation with the understanding that no flights would arrive in Yulara from declared COVID-19 hotspots.
What about the economy?
The CEO of Voyages, Grant Hunt, said the airport had followed all NT health guidelines to the letter and was the only operator in the country using independent contractors to perform contract screening from departure airports.
Mr Hunt said they had introduced temperature checking upon arrival at Yulara Airport as an additional safety measure.
He said he did not understand the singular focus on this airport, when there were more than 400 drive-in travellers in the area from all over the country.
From an economic perspective, Mr Hunt said if the airport was forced to close again, it would stay shut until international arrivals return, meaning 700 jobs would be lost.
“Let me be clear. Without planes, we don’t have a business,” Mr Hunt said.
Who makes the decision to close the park?
The decision of whether the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park remains open or stays closed will rest with Parks Australia.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park was closed for three months during the coronavirus pandemic and reopened on June 19.
Mr Gunner said his preference was for all interstate flights into the Northern Territory to arrive in Alice Springs or Darwin.
The Chief Minister said transporting people over 440kms from Yulara Airport to Alice Springs for mandatory quarantine was an additional pressure on staff.
“I want all those planes to come into the Northern Territory to land at once of those places like an Alice Springs or a Darwin, that would be what I want, rather than Yulara, it creates a logistical difficulty for us in taking those people from the Yulara airport to Alice Springs. If we have to do it, we will,” Mr Gunner said.
Yulara Airport is privately run by Voyages and regulated by the Federal Government.
Global automotive giant General Motors may have been formulating plans to axe the Holden brand in Australia well before a shock decision was announced in February, a Senate inquiry will be told.
The Australian Automotive Dealer Association says the way Holden’s demise played out raises serious questions of whether dealers were misled.
Other submissions to the Senate investigation, which will hold a public hearing on Monday, have indicated Holden was still taking on new workers on the very day the closure decision was revealed.
The AADA said for some time GM had been adamant, both privately with dealers, and publicly through the media, that it was in Australia for the long haul, despite the end to local car manufacturing.
On the basis of those assurances, and the fact that many agreements still had more than two years to run, Holden dealers had a clear expectation that the brand would remain in Australia with some investing millions of dollars to upgrade their operations.
“This inquiry needs to question whether General Motors Corporation, headquartered in Detroit, made the strategic decisions to exit the right-hand-drive car market globally some years in the past,” the association said.
“Operationally, the announcement of the sale of the plant in Thailand where Australia’s top-selling Holden vehicle, the Colorado ute, was manufactured was announced at the same time as the closure of Holden.
“Common sense dictates that the minute the decision was made to sell the GM Rayong plant in Thailand is the exact moment that serious questions would have emerged about Holden’s future in Australia.
“One would expect that the purchase of a vehicle assembly plant would facilitate a lengthy process of probity and due diligence by the purchaser.
“It is not unreasonable to suggest that the sale process was likely a year in the making, yet Holden dealers were left unaware.”
The demise of Holden brand, to be completed by the end of 2020, was announced on February 17, with company officials adamant all avenues were explored to keep the iconic name alive.
In its own submissions to the Senate inquiry, General Motors Holden said the decision to retire the brand was made only a few days before the public statement.
“Every realistic possibility was carefully examined but none could overcome the challenges of the investments needed for Australia’s highly fragmented and right-hand-drive market, the economics to support growing the brand, and the need for an appropriate return on investment,” the company said.
“Despite hopes of reaching a different outcome, the inescapable conclusion was that GM could not sustain further investment into Holden.
“GM reluctantly made its decision to wind down Holden a few days before the public announcement which was made with great sadness.”
In another submission to the inquiry, a former Holden engineer, who withheld their identity, said the closure came as a complete shock to the company’s remaining employees.
“No warning was given to Holden staff about the potential closure of the business and there was no request from Holden management for staff to make any contribution to avoid the closure,” the engineer said.
“On the day of the closure announcement, eight new engineers commenced employment at Holden.
“Perhaps nothing better illustrates how unprepared we were for this announcement.”
At the time of the closure announcement, Holden had about 185 dealers across the country and still employed about 800 staff.
About 600 of those were expected to be made redundant including more than 200 engineers and more than 250 management and administrative staff.
There are currently about 1.6 million Holdens on the road in Australia.
“It will take years not months” for the arts sector to recover from the effects of Covid 19: that’s according to Maria Balshaw, who’s director of the Britain’s biggest arts complex. The Tate – like many other museums and galleries – will reopen on Monday after five and a half months of closure.
But emerging from lockdown requires huge changes to protect those who visit and work in the arts – as Jon Snow has been finding out.
Three faculties have been closed and cleansing is underway in Sydney’s west right after 4 learners examined beneficial to COVID-19.
NSW Well being on Friday explained two of the college students attended Cerdon College in Merrylands, one particular attended Mary Immaculate Catholic Most important University in Bossley Park and a further is from Freeman Catholic School at Bonnyrigg Heights.
All cases are linked with the Thai Rock cluster, with two also connected to Our Girl of Lebanon church.
The faculties are now closed when get in touch with tracing and cleaning is underway with shut contacts also directed to self-isolate for 14 days.
It comes as new COVID-19 actions have come into outcome for hospitality venues in a bid to suppress the distribute of the virus.
The modifications include things like mandatory signal-ins, geared up COVID-protected plans, a cap of 300
people and highest team bookings of 10.
Caps on personal indoor and outdoor gatherings keep on being at 20, but weddings and company events are now capped at 150, and funerals and spiritual gatherings at 100.
Consumer Assistance Minister Victor Dominello reported about 31,000 corporations had so considerably registered their COVID-risk-free programs with the govt.
Liquor and Gaming NSW has executed 1311 COVID-risk-free inspections to date, ensuing in three fines. Far more inspectors would be on the defeat all over NSW from Friday.
Mr Dominello also inspired associates of the general public to dob in non-complying venues.
“It’s not Dry July for me any longer, it really is Compliance July,” he explained to reporters on
“This virus does not stand nonetheless and nor need to the govt, we need to be capable to adapt.”
7 new circumstances of COVID-19 were being documented in NSW in the 24 hrs to 8pm on Thursday from a history 36,169 checks, with 3 men and women now in intensive care.
Of the 7, 6 are associated with the Thai Rock cafe in southwest Sydney’s Wetherill Park – using the sizing of that cluster to 52.
ADF deployed to contain COVID-19 unfold in Victoria
The other circumstance stays less than investigation.
NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty claimed a formerly-confirmed COVID-19 case experienced frequented Costco grocery store at Marsden Park on July 19. Any Costco buyers on that date have been inspired to seek screening if indications produce.
The Crossroads Lodge cluster in Casula continues to be at 56 persons.
“Essential messages for the group are to stay clear of non-important travel and gatherings. Of individual problem is transmission in venues this kind of as lodges and eating places, the health club and social gatherings,” Dr McAnulty claimed in a assertion on Friday.
The four college students who tested optimistic to COVID-19 were being not provided in Friday’s figures.
An aged care facility in Sydney’s internal west, Ashfield Baptist Residences, has also been closed to readers soon after a staff member related to Thai Rock tested constructive.
In the meantime, the NSW Nurses and Midwives’ Affiliation on Friday welcomed the prerequisite for clinic employees to use masks if they are in 1.5 metres of clients.
The determination was created soon after NSW Well being moved the threat level to amber because of the increase in local community transmission of COVID-19.
Northern Territory Main Minister Michael Gunner, meanwhile, on Thursday declared Port Stephens a coronavirus hotspot, that means any person who has been there in the previous 14 times must undergo two months of supervised quarantine on arrival in the NT.
Tomaree General public University and Significant University, Goodstart childcare centre at Anna Bay, Woolworths supermarket at Salamander Bay Village, and Fingal Bay Cafe and Takeaway have all been through deep cleaning soon after getting exposed to a individual with coronavirus.
Individuals who vacation into Queensland from Fairfield in Sydney’s southwest, together with people from Liverpool, Campbelltown and the state of Victoria, will also be directed to lodge quarantine.
Citizens in metropolitan Melbourne are matter to continue to be-at-home orders and can only leave household for crucial operate, analyze, exercise or treatment duties. It is also required to put on masks in general public.
Men and women in Australia should continue to be at least 1.5 metres absent from many others. Look at your state’s restrictions on gathering limitations.
If you are experiencing chilly or flu signs or symptoms, stay household and arrange a exam by calling your physician or get hold of the Coronavirus Health and fitness Information and facts Hotline on 1800 020 080.
Information and facts is offered in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus
It is the drastic, final measure being weighed up by the bright minds charged with keeping Canberra safe from COVID-19 — should the ACT’s border be closed?
The ACT currently has three active cases of coronavirus — all linked to the Victorian outbreak — and no new case has been reported since July 10.
Though it was once almost unthinkable, as they watch the outbreaks in New South Wales and Victoria closely, those shaping the ACT’s response wonder if, and how, it will happen.
Simply put, it is an extremely complicated and difficult option.
The presence of border-suburbs like Jerrabomberra and Googong complicate matters enormously, as do the thousands of daily commuters to Canberra in towns like Queanbeyan, Yass, Murrumbateman and Bungendore.
The closure of the NSW-Victoria border proves, however, that these issues can be overcome if the circumstances require it.
But it is still the last option, and there are a range of steps the Government would take before it happened.
Here’s what those steps might look like:
The simplest solution first: ask nicely
The first measure that would be taken is an obvious one: ask the residents of Canberra and the surrounding region not to travel out, and ask those planning to visit to stay home.
ACT Health yesterday identified 81 Canberrans who would need to self-isolate due to travel to Batemans Bay.
Several shops in Mogo were also forced to close after a member of the public tested positive to coronavirus after visiting The Middle of Mogo, Courtyard Cafe, Mogo Fudge and Lots of Lollies Mogo on Tuesday July 14 between 1:00-1:30pm.
Prompted by these new cases, Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith suggested Canberrans reconsider unnecessary travel to New South Wales (outside of places like Queanbeyan and Yass) until the current outbreak settles.
“While NSW is doing a great job with their contact tracing, and trying to keep their clusters under control, we don’t want to increase the risk of Canberrans travelling into NSW — and travelling into an area where there may be community transmission that we’re just not aware of at this point.
“And, obviously, that could well be the case in Batemans Bay, given what we’re seeing in relation to this cluster, and bringing cases back to the ACT.”
It is only advice at this point, so there is no firm rule directing ACT residents to stay home.
But Ms Stephen-Smith said, were the situation to worsen, that could change.
What happens when hotspots grow?
Some obvious travel restrictions are already in place for ACT residents — everyone is being strongly warned against travel to Victoria for all but absolutely essential reasons.
And if anyone does travel to Victoria, they must enter 14 days of self-isolation at home upon their return, and notify ACT Health of their arrival.
Victorians are barred from entering the ACT without an exemption (like that provided this week to the Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg).
Were the outbreak in New South Wales to worsen, specific areas could be declared hotspots and similar rules could apply.
Travellers from those areas, which might be broken down to postcodes or local government areas, could be denied entry to the ACT, and ACT residents who visit those areas could be asked to self-isolate upon their return.
Fines could be threatened for people from those areas found within the ACT.
Such a measure could be scaled up and down, too — areas can be added, and taken away, as the situation changes.
Ms Stephen-Smith said the threshold for such a move would be significant local transmission of the virus — where the source of infection is not known.
“It would be really triggered by local, community transmission in particular areas,” she said.
While there is some transmission in places like parts of Sydney and now Batemans Bay, health authorities are clear that it is not anywhere near that serious yet.
Could roadblocks be introduced to routes in and out of Canberra?
Signs are already in place on the main roads into Canberra, urging people entering the ACT to get up to date with the latest restrictions and requirements around COVID-19.
Ms Stephen-Smith said the next step could be to put personnel on the main roads — not necessarily stopping traffic, but just offering advice to those coming and going.
“The scaling up would be, you start to put some people on there, encourage people to pull over and provide some more serious advice in relation to travel,” she said.
But actually blocking roads and checking cars is a very different — and difficult — proposition.
The Federal, Barton and Monaro highways, Canberra Avenue and Pialligo Road may be the main entry points to the ACT, but there are roughly 70 different entry points across the territory.
Many of them are far busier than some of the NSW-Victoria crossings — tens of thousands of people cross the border each day, a huge number of them living in places like Queanbeyan, Jerrabomberra and Googong.
Many residents of towns like Yass, Murrumbateman, Bungendore, Braidwood and even Goulburn consider Canberra their major centre, relying on it for shopping, education, healthcare and employment.
Those complexities mean scenario-planners within the ACT Government have already begun talks with the surrounding local governments, and the NSW Government, about how a “border closure” of sorts would work.
NSW deputy premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro said closing the NSW-ACT border completely would be an “extreme” step.
“We’ve already begun preparation and work toward what a bubble would look like if and when we would need to see a strengthening or a lockdown of that border,” he said.
“But we are talking an extreme decision that is not yet at that point.”
Ms Stephen-Smith said that, rather than closing the ACT border, an option is to effectively stretch the borders — ensuring that the largest population centres near Canberra are allowed free movement in and out of the ACT if restrictions are introduced.
It would be a massive task, and would require active cooperation from the NSW Government and a huge amount of resources to introduce.
The potential benefits are clear — protecting the ACT population from a deadly virus, and also possibly easing the burden of harsher restrictions.
But it remains the last possible option the ACT Government would turn to before closing borders altogether, and would only eventuate if the situation across the border worsened dramatically.
Many members of the mainstream media are remaining unquestioning in excess of Scott Morrison’s undemocratic Parliament closure, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
“…the finest protection versus the virus is to are living with the virus, to live alongside the virus and to open up up your overall economy.”
So it arrives as a surprise to study that on the assistance of healthcare specialists, the prime minister has made the decision to cancel the upcoming sitting down of Federal Parliament owing in the to start with two months of August, owing to the alleged well being risks involved.
Even though it would be cavalier to dismiss the challenges of physical engagement (however, there are strategies of controlling these), the Government’s singular deficiency of interest in setting up an on the web option for Federal Parliament is baffling. In the Uk, for illustration, the Parliament has been making use of a combination of virtual and physical attendance due to the fact April and this arrangement has been prolonged right up until September to make it possible for MPs who qualify to proceed to take part remotely.
Everybody else in actual physical attendance observes social distancing and hygiene needs. The European Parliament carries on to functionality as do the parliaments of all European nations, using the similar hybrid design as the British isles.
“Democracy should not be stopped by a virus. We need the democratic course of action to aid us triumph over this unexpected emergency.”
In fact, it appears that the only Western democracy to have deserted its parliamentary purpose is Australia, under the governance of Scott Morrison.
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann dismissed all risk of a digital assembly, declaring that as “both the Speaker and the Senate President are from Victoria, they would not have been readily available in the Parliament to preside about proceedings”. Effectively, if we’re chatting about a digital assembly they would not have been envisioned to be physically out there, so Cormann’s dismissal of the notion is a tad obscure.
Every other workplace in Australia, without a doubt the earth, has experienced to adapt to the restrictions and problems posed by COVID-19. The Federal Authorities and, most vocally, the key minister have considering that day one particular urged “normality” on firms, educational institutions and notably the states in the issue of border closures, emphasising the need to have to hold the financial state performing inspite of the attainable results on the wellbeing and wellbeing of citizens, as expressed by those who disagree with Morrison’s technique.
However here we are, with Federal Parliament exempting itself from the “normality” prescribed by the Govt for everybody else.
It is simply just not believable that a hybrid parliament these kinds of as individuals at the moment performed in the British isles and Europe can’t be organised for Australia. So, what is going on?
In 2018, House Affairs Minister Peter Dutton declared that he has often found Parliament as a downside for the govt of the day. Without having Parliament, we have no signifies of holding governments to account and becoming held to account is what Dutton and Morrison regard as a disadvantage they favor to stay without having.
Parliament scrutinises govt things to do and supplies a discussion board for debate on national issues. An authoritarian populist authorities these as that overseen by Morrison does not welcome these democratic processes. A pandemic that delivers the option to use health and fitness fears as a justification for the cancellation of Parliament is a blessing for such a federal government.
As other governments discover approaches to keep on irrespective of the virus, Morrison’s has seized on it as an excuse to abandon an arm of our democracy and stay away from scrutiny and accountability.
This is a problem designed all the additional alarming by the unwillingness of some of Australia’s mainstream media to problem this abandonment of democratic approach. For instance, on ABC TV’s Insiders on Sunday early morning, journalists David Crowe, David Speers and Annika Smethurst appeared to unquestioningly settle for the Government’s cancellation of Parliament.
They claimed variously that the international need for the technologies essential to established up virtual sittings is excellent, so ramping it up is challenging for the Morrison Federal government. They also explained that MPs are “super spreaders” of the virus and need to stay at house, dismissing the alternative for hybrid sittings without the need of once explaining why they are a practical solution for other democracies, but not, apparently, this a person.
There will have been nearly no parliamentary scrutiny of the Federal Government for five months and possibly for a longer period. No journalist, whose activity it is to discuss real truth to electrical power, really should justification, minimise and normalise this dysfunctional and undemocratic circumstance.
It is crystal clear that Morrison can and will stay away from Parliament anytime he can. Does he intend to terminate Parliament every time there is a fresh new outbreak of the virus somewhere in the nation? The key minister does not believe that shutting down the nation is an satisfactory response to the virus and however he believes that shutting down the Parliament is.
We urgently need to have the journalist who will confront the key minister with these ambiguities. The virus has offered Morrison the circumstances dreamt of by a probable tyrant masquerading as a democratic chief.
We have fast progressed outside of the stage in our fading democracy in which institutions continue being notionally in spot, while stripped of their electric power and meaning. We now obtain ourselves transferring speedily into a very dark spot in which there is not even the pretence of upholding a single of the main establishments of a liberal democracy: its Parliament and that body’s critical part in keeping governing administration accountable.
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Hundreds of travellers have made a last-minute dash from Victoria into South Australia before a hard border closure came into effect overnight, including Melbourne residents seeking to escape their city’s coronavirus lockdown.
- Hundreds of people crossed the border in the lead-up to the hard closure
- Incoming travellers include residents seeking to avoid the Melbourne lockdown
- Some have expressed relief but others have spoken of confusion about the pre-approval process
A line of about 150 cars was queued at the Bordertown checkpoint in SA’s South East late yesterday, with incoming travellers expressing mixed feelings, including confusion and relief.
“We live in Melbourne now, but we’d like to get back to South Australia so we can avoid the lockdown and feel a bit safer about where we are,” one traveller said as she waited at the checkpoint with her family.
“We’ve got a full car of everything — we’ve left the dog behind sadly, but the rest of us have come back.”
Another South Australian local who had been in Victoria told the ABC she “just thought ‘we’ve got to get out of here’, so we literally just got in the car, packed up and came home”.
SA Police announced the imminent closure of the border with Victoria earlier this week, with the SA Government citing the eastern state’s “clear threat” to public health.
The new restriction came into effect at midnight.
Only residents returning to South Australia or those granted a special exemption will now be allowed to pass through checkpoints along the border.
Anyone returning will still be required to self-isolate for 14 days, while Victorian residents attempting to cross will be turned away, unless they are essential travellers and abide by strict conditions.
While many travellers at the border were relieved to be heading home, others said they were confused by the pre-approval process that delayed their border crossings.
“We didn’t really anticipate it was going to take so long to get through the line,” South Australian resident Christina Rugari said.
“[We had] to go all the way back through the queue and come through again.”
More than 23,000 people living in Victorian border towns have applied for exemptions allowing them to enter South Australia, with a major backlog in processing the applications.
People living in those locations will only be allowed to travel 50 kilometres into South Australia, SA Police has confirmed.
Commissioner Grant Stevens yesterday said the limit was necessary to allow for locals to continue with their daily routines at the same time as keeping communities safe.
“That will enable them to undertake those services or functions that they require as part of their daily lives, but will prevent them from travelling too far into South Australia and provide us with greater security in relation to their movements,” he said.
Police have previously said they would consider calling in the Defence Force to strengthen checkpoints along SA’s eastern border.
When the permit web site crashed soon just after launching, border town citizens experienced no plan how they could get to work, school or health care.
Residents from border cities throughout New South Wales and Victoria sense they have been saved in the darkish about accessing permits needed to function, examine and acquire medical treatment.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced on Monday the border would near at midnight Tuesday — for the to start with time since the Spanish flu epidemic in 1919 — as the state battles its surge of COVID-19 instances.
With far more than 50 land crossings amongst NSW and Victoria, closing the border is a mammoth logistical problem that will be enforced by hundreds of police.