Tasmania and Queensland have further restricted entry through their borders, allowing Australians in only if their travel is essential.
Tasmania stated it would actively turn people away rather than simply asking citizens from other states and territories to self-isolate for 14 days.
Queensland followed just hours later, with Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk saying it doesn’t have the resources to simply enforce a 14-day quarantine.
Before the twin announcements, both the Virgin and Qantas groups hinted they would be making further cuts to domestic services based on recent restrictions announced in the last few days, while Rex cut back yesterday.
Tasmania will allow entry for reasons such as work, compassionate reasons or to provide an essential service for the state.
Premier Peter Gutwein said, “As from today, if you are travelling to Tasmania and it’s non-essential travel, do not come. Do not get on the TT line. What we will do is turn you around and ask you to go back.”
There are now 28 cases of coronavirus in Tasmania.
Premier Palaszczuk said hours later, “All non-essential travel should be cancelled or postponed immediately. Our messaging is around is clear – don’t come to Queensland unless you have an essential purpose.”
Victoria has maintained its state will remain open. Premier Daniel Andrews said on Monday, “I’m not interested in closing our borders, I don’t think that makes a lot of sense for us. I have no advice to close our borders and I think it might well be a drain on precious resources, because you can’t have a rule and then not enforce it.”
NSW has made a similar commitment.
Meanwhile, WA and SA have already effectively closed their borders to non-residents by asking those arriving to self-isolate.
Over the weekend, Prime Minister Scott Morrison advised all Australians to avoid “non-essential” interstate and longer-distance travel and then announced the national closure of social venues such as pubs, clubs, restaurants and cinemas. He indicated this would continue for six months.
After the statement, the Qantas Group said it would “continue to adjust … services as needed in light of the latest advice and restriction”. Virgin similarly said it was considering its “options and next steps”.