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Border closures re-imposed around Australia as more coronavirus cases reported



Welcome!

#Australia has brought in the new year with rising concerns over coronavirus cases in two states, new border restrictions and nationwide warnings for people to stay safe to prevent celebrations becoming superspreader events.

NSW reported 10 cases of community transmission on #Thursday as #Sydney’s inner west cluster continued to grow from a mystery source.

#Victoria closes border with NSW over new COVID-19 cluster

#Five of those cases were linked to #Sydney’s northern beaches, taking the so-called #Avalon cluster to 144 infections.

#Another three locally acquired coronavirus cases were identified in #Victoria, on top of three women whose positive tests ended a two-month streak without infections.

#It’s believed all six cases are tied to outbreaks of the virus in #Sydney.

The increase in cases in #New #South #Wales and #Victoria has prompted states to re-impose border restrictions.

#Western #Australia

The government has revised #Victoria’s status to one of medium risk, effectively barring travel to WA.

#Only people granted exemptions will be allowed to enter, while #West #Australians returning home will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

#Any #Victorians who arrived in WA on or after #December 21 will also need to self- isolate for 14 days from when they first entered the state.

#That will apply to about 16,000 people, although some may already have left after #Christmas celebrations.

#Those still in WA will have to take a coronavirus test on day 11 or at any time if they develop symptoms.

The same rules are already in place in regard to NSW.

#Acting #Premier and #Health #Minister #Roger #Cook said the new measures were based on the latest health advice.

“#We’re acting with an abundance of caution, and we are acting with the sole intent of keeping #West #Australians safe.”

WA reported two new COVID-19 cases but both were returned travellers in quarantine.

They bring the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 861.

#South #Australia

SA has also closed its border to NSW but is still monitoring the situation in #Victoria.

#Police #Commissioner #Chris #Burgess said the government was aware the changed rules would have a significant impact on people currently on flights or about to board flights to WA.

#He said they would be greeted by police and directed to isolate for 14 days, or would have the option of returning immediately to #Victoria.

“#We appreciate that many of those travellers will be surprised that the rules have changed while they’re in the air,” #Mr #Burgess said.

“#But that is the very nature of this quick changing virus, this pandemic.”

#In SA, #Chief #Public #Health #Officer #Nicola #Spurrier said revellers should still celebrate, but called on everyone to avoid kissing strangers, or the so-called “pash and dash”.

“#If you simply can’t resist the kiss, make sure you get their name and phone number in case my team needs to follow up with them for contact tracing or on the off chance you want to see them again,” she said.

#Northern #Territory

#Greater #Sydney has been declared a COVID-19 hotspot by the #Northern #Territory, where authorities say they might crack down further on travellers from elsewhere in NSW and #Victoria.

#Anyone arriving in the NT from #Sydney after midnight #Thursday will be subject to a fortnight of mandatory quarantine.

“#Further to this, we are watching very closely NSW and particularly #Metropolitan #Melbourne … and we won’t hesitate to declare further hot spot regions,” NT #Health #Minister #Natasha #Fyles said on #Thursday.

#Ms #Fyles urged #Territorians to reconsider any travel plans they have for the coming weeks.

#Victoria

#Victoria’s border closure with the whole of NSW comes into effect from 11.59pm 1 #January, 2021.

#Anyone who arrives back in #Victoria from anywhere in NSW after that time will have to go into isolation for 14 days.

#Acting #Victorian #Premier #Jacinta #Allan said tens of thousands may be impacted by #Victoria’s decision to close its border to all of NSW.

28 #December: NSW #Premier hits out at partygoers flouting rules

“#It does cause disruption to peoples’ travel plans, holiday plans and that is going to be difficult for those families, working through that.

“#But it is a decision based on the public health advice, based on the case numbers coming out of #New #South #Wales, also [it is also] based on wanting to make sure we lock in the precious gains and sacrifices #Victorians have made over 2020.”

#In #Victoria, authorities responded to the latest outbreak with new restrictions for new year celebrations, including a limit of 15 visitors to households and the mandatory use of masks at all indoor venues.

ACT

The ACT and #Canberra is considered a green zone, meaning residents there will need to apply for a permit to travel to #Victoria.

SA #Premier #Steven #Marshall said while the border closure and associated travel restrictions were harsh, they came in response to the latest health advice.

“The reality is they are needed and we’ve acted promptly to put them in place,” he said.

“#Every time you put a restriction in place, that’s going to have an adverse effect on our economy.

“#But a larger spread of coronavirus would be devastating.”‘

#Queensland said it was monitoring the NSW outbreak “very closely”.

#Situation in NSW remains ‘volatile’

NSW #Premier #Gladys #Berejiklian said it was pleasing the number of new cases on #Thursday had fallen, but the situation remained “volatile” as more suburbs and venues were added to sites of concern.

The ongoing outbreak also prompted NSW #Chief #Health #Officer #Kerry #Chant to issue a grim warning that “we are never going back to normal”.

“#We might get a little bit more normalcy once we have all the population vaccinated, but COVID potentially will change our lives at all times.

“#For, literally, years to come, years.”

#Household gatherings across #Greater #Sydney – which includes #Wollongong, the #Central #Coast, #Nepean and the #Blue #Mountains – are limited to five people indoors, down from 10, and 30 outdoors, down from 50.

#People in #Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. #Please check the relevant guidelines for your state or territory: NSW, #Victoria, #Queensland, #Western #Australia, #South #Australia, #Northern #Territory, ACT, #Tasmania.

#If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the #Coronavirus #Health #Information #Hotline on 1800 020 080. #News and information is available in 63 languages at sbs.com.au/coronavirus.



[ source link ]
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/border-closures-re-imposed-around-australia-as-more-coronavirus-cases-reported

##Border #closures #reimposed ##Australia #coronavirus #cases #reported

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