State border openings set to be delayed

Victoria's spike in coronavirus cases could delay the return of full interstate travel, with other states wary of reopening their borders.

Premier Daniel Andrews was forced to reimpose restrictions within his state after 25 new cases were recorded on Saturday.

Victoria's case numbers are now the highest they've been in more than two months after four days of double-digit growth.

From midnight on Sunday to July 12, Victorians will only be able to have five people at their homes. Outdoor gatherings will be restricted to 10. Cafes, restaurants and pubs had been set to be allowed 50 patrons at one time on Monday, up from 20 currently.

That will also be put on hold until July 12. More than half of the new Victorian cases since the end of April have come from family members spreading it to their relatives.

 

Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan may delay opening the state’s borders. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright
Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan may delay opening the state’s borders. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Wainwright

 

Western Australia's government has maintained its hard line border closure will remain for as long as there is sustained community spread of the virus in the eastern states.

Premier Mark McGowan has refused to put a date on welcoming interstate visitors and is likely to further ease restrictions within WA before opening the border.

South Australia is due to reopen on July 20 but its government is closely monitoring the situation in Victoria and has not ruled out staying closed.

"We will not open our borders to Victoria unless it is safe to do so," Health Minister Stephen Wade said on Saturday.

"Our number one priority is the health of South Australians."

The latest comments come a border war between South Australia and Victoria erupted last week with SA Premier Steve Marshall saying he will build a wall and send his Victorian counterpart the bill.

 

The fight started after Mr Andrews had taken a swipe at South Australia over not including Victoria in an opening up of its borders saying, "I don't want to be offensive to South Australians but why would you want to go there?

In Queensland, the spike in COVID-19 cases in Melbourne has prompted its health department to broaden the number of high-risk areas that force people into mandatory quarantine when returning from Victoria.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young says the hot spots now include all 31 Local Government Areas in Greater Melbourne, as well as bordering areas of Murrindindi, Mitchell, Moorabool, Macedon Ranges and Greater Geelong.

The AFL was forced to postpone Sunday's match between Essendon and Melbourne after Bombers defender Conor McKenna tested positive.

AFL chief Gillon McLachlan said McKenna, who returned from his native Ireland last month, had subsequently tested negative five times while in hotel quarantine, suggesting he was likely to have contracted the virus in Melbourne.

- AAP

Originally published as State border openings could be delayed


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