Destinations

NSW and Victoria border to close

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

The NSW and Victorian border will close at midnight on Tuesday, according to reports, as Melbourne continues to battle a second surge in coronavirus cases.

Multiple outlets, including The Sydney Morning Herald, SBS News and ABC News, have reported that the border between both states will closed at 11:59pm on Tuesday.

It marks the first time the NSW and Victoria border has been closed between the states since the coronavirus pandemic began.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced the decision on Monday morning, SBS News reported, saying the state had recorded another coronavirus death, a man in his 90s, and 127 new cases.

This came after the state recorded 108 new cases on Saturday – the second-highest daily total recorded in Victoria since the virus came to the state.

The Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) said the decision to close the NSW and Victorian border was disappointing but necessary.

“AFTA will continue to work collaboratively with government at a federal, state and territory level to constructively navigate these incredibly confronting times,” chief executive Darren Rudd said.

“We acknowledge that the primary focus of government and health authorities is protecting lives and containing the spread, whilst also re-booting the economy in a sensible way.”

Image source: iStock.com/dreamtimestudio

It comes as Queensland police said they fear Victorian travellers will be smuggled into the Sunshine State to avoid detection, as it begins enforcing new COVID-19 restrictions.

New Queensland rules, which came into effect on Friday, now require travellers arriving from Victoria to quarantine in a hotel for 14 days, at their own cost of around $3,000.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told ABC News she had received an operational briefing from police concerned about people-smuggling in the back of trucks and cars crossing the border.

“Yes, they do have some concerns that that practice could be in place,” she told the national broadcaster.

“So what we say to everyone out there is, if you are thinking about doing it, don’t do it.”

Premier Palaszczuk said trucks along with other vehicles crossing the Queensland border would be stopped and checked for undeclared passengers.

“If you are thinking about doing it, you will be hit with a fine,” she told ABC News.

“Trucks will also be randomly stopped and if you are a truck driver participating in this you will also get fined as well.”

Queensland’s borders are expected to open to all interstate travellers – except those from Victoria – from 10 July, but visitors will need to apply for border passes stating they have not visited a COVID hot spot.

However, border restrictions impacting travellers arriving from Victoria will remain in effect for the foreseeable future to prevent COVID-19 transmission from Melbourne’s hot spots.

Anyone caught flouting the new restrictions faces a $4,000 fine.

AMA calls for states, territories to pause easing of COVID-19 restrictions

The news comes after a Melbourne man, believed to have originated from a coronavirus hotspot, was intercepted by authorities at Sydney’s Central Station.

New public health orders now ban anyone from a Victorian hotspot from entering NSW.

Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged states and territories to temporarily pause the easing of COVID-19 restrictions until there are “clear signs and evidence” that the spikes in new coronavirus cases in Melbourne hotspots are under control.

The call came after 108 new COVID-19 cases were recorded on Saturday, leading to stay-at-home orders for two additional postcodes and thousands of people, and a ‘hard lockdown’ for nine public housing towers – affecting around 3,000 people.

This is on top of 10 postcodes affecting 300,000 plus residents already announced, the AMA said.

“These new outbreaks send a strong signal that the other states should rethink the pace of easing of their COVID-19 restrictions until community transmission in Melbourne is under control to avoid the risk of a similar situation playing out in their own communities,” AMA president Tony Bartone said.

“Before rushing back to the pub, the footy crowds, or the big weddings and parties, Australia should pause and play it safe until the Melbourne hotspots are back under control.”

[PLEASE NOTE: This story has been updated since it was first published to include commentary from AFTA.]


Featured image source: iStock/AusVideo


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Aviation

Ukrainian airline scraps heels and tight skirts for comfy suits and sneakers

SkyUp Airlines has given its cabin crew uniform a modern update that ditches tight fit, restrictive clothing and high heels for something a bit more suited to the job.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid snares majority stake in New Zealand’s Haka Tours and ANZ Nature Tours

The global travel B Corp has kicked off its future growth plans with a 60 per cent slice of not one, but two touring brands.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Clive Palmer offloads Qantas shares in protest of airline’s staff vaccination policy

by Ali Coulton

Looks like the mining magnate has taken a break from tweeting his famous Tim Tam poems to shake his fist at the flying kangaroo’s vax policy.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Guests forced to hide as heritage-listed hotel break-in causes $30,000 in damage

A group of people have broken down the door of a historic Kalgoorlie hotel, terrorising guests and forcing one woman to hide in a wardrobe.

Share

CommentComments

Events

Get excited, because the European Showcase is coming to a screen near you!

With international borders on the verge of reopening and hype around overseas travel at an all-time high, this event couldn’t have come at a better time!

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“We can’t live here in hermit kingdom”: NSW to ditch quarantine for international arrivals from 1 November

The big policy shift means that NSW is the only Aussie state to announce quarantine-free international travel.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean axes Ovation of the Seas’ Aussie sailings until end of March 2022

With no clear pathway toward a resumption of cruising in sight for Australia, the cruise giant has canned its domestic sailings once again.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas to add new routes from Darwin to Far North Queensland

Qantas seems to have a penchant for the Top End at the moment. This time, the flying kanga is boosting connectivity across northern Australia with a couple of new routes.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

“Bugger Byron Bay”: Cowra Tourism invites Chris Hemsworth for a visit in delightful new campaign

In this brilliant video, Cowra pulls out all the stops in an attempt to lure the A-lister to stop by, have a “chin wag” and “get on the sauce”. The town even wants to build a four-story statue in his likeness.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Princess Cruises welcomes aboard new president

Princess Cruises has a new president. One could even say the Carnival-owned line has found its prince.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“We have a front-row seat to the climate disaster”: Intrepid CEO urges ScoMo to “go all in” at COP26

The adventure travel company is calling on the PM to commit to at least halving emissions by 2030 and an immediate end to new coal power development. Let’s just hope Prince Charles can convince him to attend.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Air New Zealand to transform Boeing 787 into vaccination clinic for special ‘Jabaseat’ flight

A handful of lucky Kiwis will get their COVID-19 jab in a business-class cabin on Saturday as part of a national push to boost the country’s vaccination numbers.

Share

CommentComments