WA and VIC join SA in slamming borders shut to Brisbane

WA and VIC join SA in slamming borders shut to Brisbane

Update: Since this article was originally published, authorities in the Northern Territory and Tasmania have also announced various restrictions and requirements for anyone intending to travel from Queensland or the Byron Bay area. 

In response to a growing outbreak of COVID-19 in Brisbane, Western Australia and Victoria will introduced new hard-border measures aimed at containing the virus within Queensland.

The moves come after South Australia announced it will be implementing a hard border to Greater Brisbane from 4pm today, with only returning residents, essential workers, and those relocating able to enter the state.

WA has reclassified QLD as 'medium risk', meaning travel from the entire state into WA will no longer be permitted from 12.01am Tuesday 30 March, while VIC is only blocking out those who have been in Greater Brisbane from 6.00pm tonight.

The list of those exempt from WA's new restrictions is short and only includes essential travellers and Western Australians that may have travelled to QLD recently and need to return home.

Exempt travellers arriving after midnight tomorrow night will need to self-quarantine for two weeks, present for COVID-19 testing at Perth Airport and further testing on day 11 after arrival.

Further, anyone who has arrived from Queensland since 12.01am on Saturday 27 March is required to self-quarantine for 14 days and present for a COVID-19 test on day 11 after arrival in WA.

"The reintroduction of a hard border with Queensland is based on the latest health advice.

"We've been monitoring the situation closely and have scaled up our border controls as required, to keep our community safe.

"The hard border measure is necessary and is our best defence in keeping the virus out."

In contrast to WA, VIC's measures are directed only at the Greater Brisbane area, with the state government upgrading its classification of the region to a 'red zone'.

This means non-Victorian residents are not allowed to enter VIC without an exception.

Victorian residents in Greater Brisbane can apply for a 'red zone' permit to return, however on arrival they must go straight home and self-quarantine for 14 days.

More details regarding VIC's border closure will come later today.

As it stands, New South Wales is taking a self-quarantine approach based on venues of concern - those being locations visited by COVID-19 positive cases.

The Northern Territory has announced it will require visitors to enter a 72-hour self-isolation and get tested if they have been in Brisbane or the Moreton Bay region since 20 March, and the same requirements will apply to those who have been in Ipswich, Redlands, Logan or Gladstone since 25 March. 

Anyone who has been in the Byron Shire before entering the NT after 27 March will need to be tested. 

This afternoon the Tasmanian government announced anyone who has been in Greater Brisbane within 14 days of their travel to the state would not be allowed to enter, unless they are approved as an essential traveller.

Anyone travelling to Tasmania who has been in Queensland within 14 days of their arrival will have their Tas e-Travel registration, and they will need to reapply to identify if they have been in any high-risk areas.

"If approved you will be required to quarantine at a suitable premises on arrival for 14 days. If you don't have a suitable premises you will be required to quarantine in Government-designated accommodation (fees can apply)," Tasmanian authorities said in an update.

"If you are currently in Tasmania and have been in any of the five identified Local Government Areas since Saturday March 20 or NSW high-risk premises on the dates and time specified, you must self-isolate immediately and contact the Public Health Hotline to arrange a test even if you are not experiencing symptoms."

Tasmanian Public Health has also declared a number of premises in Byron Bay as high-risk.

Originally published at 3.58pm AEDT on 29 March 2021, updated at 5:45pm AEDT.

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