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SA Premier hopes to open NSW border this week

written by Adam Thorn | September 21, 2020
A freshly painted VH-YQT parked up at Adelaide Airport in her new decals.
A freshly painted VH-YQT parked up at Adelaide Airport in her new decals (Aidan Pullino)

South Australia’s Premier, Steven Marshall, has said he’s hoping to open his border to NSW as early as this week.

A decision could even be made as soon as Tuesday when the state’s ‘coronavirus transition committee’ meets to discuss the issue.

“It’s not necessarily about the numbers but the type of infection, so we’re more concerned obviously about [NSW] community transmission,” Premier Marshall told ABC Radio Adelaide on Monday.

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The news comes after SA finally allowed residents from the ACT to enter the state without quarantine last week.

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

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

However, Premier Marshall was optimistic they would allow NSW residents to enter without quarantine.

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“We’re hoping that we can get the border open with NSW this week,” he said.

“If there are a large number in hotel quarantine, well that’s not so much of an issue, or if they’re linked to a known case, again that’s not community transmission.

“Again, we just need to look at the cases that have occurred and [been] reported on Friday, Saturday and yesterday.”

Currently, SA is open to all states bar NSW, where residents can enter if they self-isolate for two weeks, or Victoria, where only essential workers can enter.

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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