SA confirms it will open to NSW on Thursday

written by Adam Thorn | September 22, 2020
Virgin Australia grounded due to COVID-19 (VH-YIT) Aidan Pullino
A grounded Virgin Australia 737-8FE, VH-YIT, in Adelaide (Aidan Pullino)

South Australia will finally allow NSW residents to enter the state without quarantine on Thursday.

The move was dependent on NSW recording no instances of so-called community transmission on Wednesday, which was confirmed at an 11am press conference.

“We know this has been a massive burden on the business community, families and individuals but we did this to keep people safe,” said SA Premier Steven Marshall.

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The news, hinted at yesterday, comes after the state opened to the ACT last week, and means SA is now fully open to all states and territories bar Victoria, where only essential workers can enter.

The decision was made after the state’s ‘coronavirus transition committee’ met on Tuesday morning to discuss the issue.

Unlike other states, Premier Marshall has delegated responsibility for border openings to the panel that he doesn’t sit on.

The ‘coronavirus transition committee’ currently consists of members including the South Australia Police Commissioner, Grant Stevens, and chief public health officer Professor Nicola Spurrier.

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“This will be massive relief for people dislocated from family, friends and business opportunities,” said Premier Marshall.

South Australia had planned to open to both NSW and the ACT on 20 July, but those proposals were put on hold because of persisting COVID-19 cases in NSW.

Last week, Australian Aviation revealed that a Qantas petition urging states to open had amassed 40,000 signatures.

It came alongside the airline sending targeted letters to MPs in states it said did not agree to a road map out of “hard border regimes” during the last national cabinet meeting.

One passage of the correspondence read, “Arbitrary border restrictions are having a profound economic and social cost to communities, businesses, supply chains and jobs in Queensland.

“I ask that you closely consider these implications for the welfare and economic wellbeing of your community and join the call for a rational, harmonised approach to border management guided by the best medical advice.”

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