South Australia has today taken its first major step since COVID-19 restrictions began to welcome visitors from the rest of the country, with plans to open borders to Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Tasmania as of midnight.
This lifting of restrictions means travellers coming from these origins will not be required to spend 14 days in self-isolation.
A relaxation of the border with Queensland also could be imminent.
"It's important for me to point out this doesn't mean that those jurisdictions have lifted their borders for South Australians going into their jurisdictions," SA Premier Steven Marshall told a press conference this afternoon, signalling airlines to reopen flight routes into Adelaide.
"What we are effectively doing is removing the border on our side, and what that means is we should see more people travelling into South Australia."
The Premier clarified the travel must be direct. For example, someone cannot avoid the self-isolation requirements if they travel from WA to SA via Sydney.
As of midnight, people who have entered SA from WA, NT and TAS and are currently in self-isolation will no longer be required to complete the duration of their quarantine.
"I would say that we are also considering Queensland. We didn't make a decision on Queensland today, but it's likely that we will again meet later this week or early next week and again consider whether or not we can remove that state border with Queensland," the Premier added.
The State Government also made two other decisions today:
- As of Friday, public assemblies of up to 300 people will be permitted; and
- Indoor classes such as fitness, dance and yoga that have previously had a 10-person limit will have that number lifted to 20, so long as seven square meters per person can be provided.
As announced last Friday, South Australia plans to open all state borders as of 20 July.
"What we've seen in recent weeks is a massive improvement in virtually every jurisdiction around the country - last week I think only 42 new cases across the entire country; two thirds of those came from people travelling back from overseas," the Premier reiterated this afternoon.
"All jurisdictions are doing well, and we look forward to a time when the entire country can be open to all interstate travel."
Updated at 2:34pm AEST on 16 June 2020.
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