As Victoria reverses some of its recently relaxed coronavirus rules, the South Australian government has announced stricter border controls to stop Covid-19 coming into the state from the east.
“We will maintain our very strong border policy, in particular with relation to the border with Victoria,” South Australian Premier Steven Marshall said in a press conference on Tuesday.
“The police will be putting additional resources down onto that border and I’m very pleased to announce that as of next week we will move to a pre-approval arrangement with all people coming across that border.”
South Australia had previously planned to open its borders to all states by July 20 but is now reconsidering its timeline for Victoria.
Essential travellers from Victoria will also need to apply for an exemption online to cross the border from next week.
"At the moment, the current requirement is that a person self-assesses whether they meet the essential traveller status … this will change as of Wednesday next week," South Australia Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said.
"A person seeking to travel to South Australia as an essential traveller must obtain a prior approval.”
With the number of coronavirus cases in Victoria at its highest in two months, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews slowed plans for reopening businesses and reimposed a limit of five visitors per household from 11.59pm on Sunday June 21.
Victoria’s chief medical officer, Professor Brett Sutton, has advised people against visiting six local hotspots – Moreland, Brimbank, Hume, Darebin, Casey and Cardinia – where there’s been widespread community transmission.
South Australia will move to stage-three of eased restrictions on June 29, and has already waived the mandatory two-week quarantine for travellers from Western Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory.
“We’ve been clear from day one that we want to reopen up our borders,” Marshall said. “I think keeping the borders in place for too long will have a punishing effect on many sectors of our economy and it also hits families who are dislocated due to the borders.”
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