NSW residents returning from Victoria won’t have to pay for their hotel quarantine up until Thursday, 11 September.
The state’s Health Minister, Brad Hazzard, said “fairness issues” drove the government’s decision to U-turn and instead introduce a “grace period” for residents coming home.
The decision will also be backdated for anyone who began their hotel stay since the scheme’s introduction on Friday, 7 August.
“They certainly will have to do the quarantine because that is a major preventer in terms of the spread of the virus,” said Minister Hazzard.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said at the time the decision was taken jointly after a call between himself, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.
The news followed Melbourne temporarily cancelling international flights into the city.
Premier Berejiklian has previously been strongly against border closures and was involved in a high-profile spat with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk over the issue. Queensland is currently shut off to all of NSW and the ACT.
“We are not an island, we are a state within a nation with geographic proximity to, unfortunately, other states,” Premier Berejiklian said previously. “We love our Victorian fellow citizens, but their rates of infection are incredibly high at the moment and not going down.”
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has previously called for a national framework to guide the opening and closing of state borders.
“What we’d like to see is real certainty over what’s going to happen with borders and different approaches being taken by different states,” Joyce said. “The principle we all agree on is that health has to be the top priority but the medical experts have said it’s not elimination we’re after, it’s suppression.”
Australian Aviation has rounded up all border closures in one regularly updated feature, which you can read here.