Millions of Australians will soon be set free, well, free to travel, as two states open up their borders to New South Wales.
South Australia and Queensland will reopen their borders to NSW.
Victorians will look on in envy a little longer, after a bump in coronavirus cases today.
NSW confirmed just two more coronavirus infections on Tuesday, both traced back to returned travellers who are now in hotel quarantine, reported The New Daily.
NSW has had no new cases of community transmission of the coronavirus since 8 July.
So, as of Wednesday, South Australia will no longer require NSW residents to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine on entry.
“Subject to no community transmission occurring in NSW between now and midnight tonight, we will open the border from midnight tomorrow,” said SA premier Steven Marshall.
“That means people from NSW wanting to come into South Australia from Thursday onwards will be able to do that without doing the 14 days of self-isolation.
“This will be a massive, massive relief to people who have been isolated from friends, from family, from business opportunities.”
Queensland will also soften its tough border rules, making it easier for northern NSW residents to cross.
From 1am on 1 October, the Queensland border zone will extend into Byron Bay, Ballina, Lismore, Richmond Valley and Glen Innes.
Residents will be able to apply for a Queensland border permit and travel throughout the Sunshine State.
“These areas have a lot in common with Queensland, they do a lot of their business in Queensland, so we believe this is the right measure to take,” said Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Borders in both states remain closed to Victorians, where 28 new COVID cases were confirmed on Tuesday, up from 14 and 11 on Sunday and Monday.
While Victorian COVID cases jumped, it is still the state’s 12th consecutive day with fewer than 50 new virus cases, taking the 14-day case average to 32.8 – well below the target of 50 required to ease coronavirus measures from 28 September.
Premier Daniel Andrews said Tuesday’s number may be attributed to the 11,000 tests undertaken on Tuesday, up by 4000 tests reported on Monday.
“Extra positive cases because of a higher testing rate will not hold us back from taking safe and steady next steps,” said Mr Andrews.
“What could hold us back is if we don’t have enough people coming forward and getting tested and we don’t think that test results are an accurate picture of how much virus is out there.
“The national cabinet has made a decision that instead of allowing this virus to spread throughout the entire Australian community, much like it is in Europe, killing many tens of thousands of people, we would fix the health problem first, and then we would all, in a unified way, set about repairing the economic damage this pandemic has done.
“You can do very little for livelihoods until you prioritise saving lives and defeating this virus. That’s the path we’re on.”
It seems Victorians are happy with Mr Andrews’ work as leader, according to a Newspoll survey that showed 62 per cent of Victorian voters rate the premier’s strategy to stymie the virus as “about right”.
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