Australia

South Australia scraps plan to lift border restrictions on 20 July amid Victoria coronavirus spike

South Australia has scrapped a plan to lift all its remaining border restrictions next month amid the spike in coronavirus cases in Victoria.

Premier Steven Marshall says the 20 July date to lift quarantine measures for Victoria, NSW and the ACT has been abandoned on the latest health advice.

He says the state may move separately on NSW and the ACT but can’t make any move in relation to Victoria in the current circumstances.

“Our number one priority is the health, welfare and safety of all South Australians. At this stage we cannot lift that border (with Victoria) on the 20th July as we were hoping to do,” the premier told reporters on Tuesday.

‘Don’t relax’

It comes as NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian reiterated her government is not currently contemplating a closure of the NSW-Victoria border.

But she warned NSW residents they are becoming lax on social distancing measures, with the threat of outbreak still elevated.

“Things can change very quickly in terms of the rate of community transmission…. I have noticed in and around my movements that people are starting to relax a little bit too much for my liking. Don’t relax,” Ms Berejiklian said on Tuesday.

“Assume everybody in and around you has the disease.”

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NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard, meanwhile, said the Victorian government should look to local lockdowns in Melbourne’s outer suburbs.

“We’ve made it clear to Victoria that we’d be much happier if the hotspot suburbs, they’ve obviously got some challenges, were put into lockdown effectively,” Mr Hazzard told 2GB radio.

The NSW government has repeatedly warned residents of greater Melbourne to steer clear of NSW until community transmission was reduced and has announced it will turn away football fans from its southern neighbour.

Sport spectators trying to enter NSW stadiums from Wednesday are likely to be required to show their driver’s licence to prove they’re not from Victoria.

“They might sound like tough things to ask people to do but that’s what will keep us safe in NSW and we certainly want to continue on the path we’re on … we have done extremely well,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday also encouraged her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk to announce a plan to open the state’s borders next month.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

Testing for coronavirus is now widely available across Australia. If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080.

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The federal government’s coronavirus tracing app COVIDSafe is available for download from your phone’s app store.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.

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