Northern Territory, Queensland and South Australia step up restrictions on NSW travellers

The welcome to the the Northern Territory sign is seen on the Stuart Highway on the border between South Australia and the Northern territory in outback Australia

The Northern Territory has declared 30 council areas in metro and greater Sydney as coronavirus hotspots after a cluster of cases emerged in south-west Sydney.

The decision means that from Friday 17 July, when the territory’s borders reopen, anyone travelling to the NT from Sydney will be ordered to undertake two weeks of supervised quarantine, at their own cost.

It comes after a cluster of at least 34 cases connected to the Crossroads Hotel in Casula emerged, putting NSW on high alert. The outbreak is now linked back to a man travelling from Melbourne to Sydney at the end of June, according to NSW Health contact tracer Jennie Musto.

According to The Guardian, Musto said the man works in the freight industry.

Victoria in its entirety has also been declared a coronavirus hotspot by the NT government, with the state battling a second wave of cases.

Overnight, Victoria recorded 238 new coronavirus cases and one more death, according to Premier Daniel Andrews. Of the new cases, 209 are still under investigation, with the total number of cases in the state at 4,448 – 1,931 of which are active cases.

The move to bar Sydney travellers by the NT government follows calls from the Australian Medical Association’s NT branch president Dr Robert Parker for “the whole of NSW” to be declared a COVID-19 hotspot.

In other news, Queensland Health has declared coronavirus hotspots in multiple areas across NSW, in connection with the Crossroads Hotel cluster.

Any non-Queensland residents who have visited, or visit, the Campbelltown and Liverpool city areas are no longer allowed to enter Queensland without going into hotel quarantine when re-entering the state, at their own cost.

The whole state of Victoria also remains a declared COVID-19 hotspot for Queensland.

Health Minister Steven Miles told the press yesterday 18 Queenslanders had been tested after visiting the hotel in the last 14 days, but their test results were still unknown.

“This outbreak is incredibly concerning and we are taking it very seriously,” Miles said.

“Any Queenslanders who have been to the Crossroads Hotel from July 3 to July 10 inclusive should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible and then immediately self-isolate.”

According to Queensland Police, everyone entering the state must complete a Queensland Border Declaration Pass online before travelling to Queensland.

Providing false information on the declaration or entering Queensland unlawfully could result in a $4,003 fine.

Meanwhile, Premier Steven Marshall revealed South Australia’s border restrictions for visitors from New South Wales and the ACT would remain in place until further notice.

Marshall cited the committee’s concerns about what he described as the “super spreader event” in NSW, and the growing unease of rising COVID-19 cases interstate.

Lake Bonney, Barmera, South Australia (image source: iStock/MookMook)

Marshall also confirmed the state’s Transition Committee on Tuesday had decided that border restrictions with both states would not be lifted on Monday 20 July, as originally planned.

“We don’t want to go backwards. We are being cautious. We don’t want to have to put additional restrictions in place,” he said.

“We know that this is going to be very inconvenient for people who perhaps have already made plans, but our primary responsibility is for the health, safety and welfare of all South Australians.”

South Australia has been one of the least affected states and territories in the country, with its last coronavirus case registered on 29 June. The last reported case before that was 26 May.

The move comes after the ACT introduced border restrictions for Victorians, with arrivals to the territory from the state now denied entry unless they receive an exemption from either the NSW government or the ACT government.

The news followed the announcement of the temporary closure of the border between NSW and Victoria off the back of significant community transmission of the coronavirus in Melbourne.


Featured image source: iStock/Kolbz

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