South Australia has taken a swipe at NSW and Victoria in the ongoing dispute over borders, opening itself up to yet another state for travellers.
It’s now added Queensland to its list of states allowing travellers through its borders without a mandatory 14 day quarantine period. On Tuesday, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall announced border restrictions would be lifted for Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania for the first time in three months. Today, Queenslanders were also added to the list.
Now that Queensland has been added to the “travel bubble”, only NSW and Victoria remain excluded.
Today the SA Premier Mr Marshall announced that from midnight on Friday, travellers from Queensland will also be able to travel into SA without having to quarantine for 14 days.
SA residents travelling in the other direction, across the borders to Queensland, may still have to self-isolate for 14 days, with the decision in the hands of the Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, Mr Marshall stressed in his update today.
Earlier this week, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews lashed out at the South Australian government’s plan to exclude Victorians from their travel bubble, asking, “I don’t want to be offensive to South Australians but why would you want to go there?”
SA’s Premier responded with a tweet spruiking SA’s tourist attractions.
Mr Marshall later appeared on an Adelaide radio program, saying he’d “build a wall” between the two states.
The NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian criticised the travel bubble between WA, the NT and Tasmania as “crazy”. The bubble, which excludes NSW and Victoria “didn’t make sense”, according to the Premier.
“There could be unexpected spikes and that’s the nature of a pandemic. I don’t begrudge the Victorians that – it’s not a reason to close borders with them,” she said.
“It’s ridiculous in this day and age, given how we’ve handled the virus across the nation, that state borders continue to be there – they’re artificial, thwarting economic activity, thwarting businesses reaching their potential and thwarting what Australia could be doing in terms of our supply chains, our manufacturing industry, our tourism.
“If you have confidence in your health system, if you have confidence in your people doing the right thing, then you shouldn’t have your borders up.”
– with AAP