The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is calling for more collaboration, consultation and clarity between the government and the business community, as COVID-19 continues to plague the industry.
With the Victorian government announcing a six-week lockdown for metropolitan Melbourne on Tuesday and the Victoria-New South Wales border closing, AFTA reinforced the need for business and federal, state and territory governments to continue to work closely and constructively together.
“The decision to shut the Victorian-New South Wales border and the reintroduction of lock-down measures in Melbourne are not taken lightly,” said AFTA’s new CEO Darren Rudd.
“The travel sector as one of the hardest-hit sectors acknowledges the very real tension between getting the balance right between keeping people safe and protecting jobs and businesses.
“We are committed to continuing to work closely and constructively with federal, state and territory governments to meet this growing challenge, given the important role of travel agents in eventually restarting Australia’s core tourism sector.”
ABC News has reported that police were forced to turn back at least five people who were attempting to cross the border into NSW from hot zones in the Melbourne metropolitan area.
Main roads between the states were blocked at midnight last night with some drivers reporting a 50-minute wait to cross between Albury and Wodonga.
Those wishing to cross the border will now need to apply for an exemption online, however, it is being reported the system crashed only 45 minutes after going live as 44,000 people rushed to apply.
Featured image source: iStock/Darwel