Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, who last week lampooned South Australia as a tourist destination, looks like a fool this morning as COVID cases in Melbourne spike causing other states to issue a travel warnings to the city.
Andrews had taken offense at South Australia’s decision not to admit Victorians (in addition to travellers from NSW and the ACT) without a 14-day quarantine as an insult.
“I don’t want to be offensive to South Australian but why would you want to go there?”
The comment made headlines but now the question many are asking now is why would you want to go to Victoria, where COVID cases are rising after appearing to be under control, or welcome visitors from the state?
NSW and QLD issued travel warnings and other states and territories will likely follow.
Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos yesterday extended the state of emergency until July 19 and social gathering restrictions were tightened.
Meanwhile the Victorian spike has the Queensland Government reconsidering its decision to reopen borders on July 10.
“The last thing we want to do is lift the borders, have lots of people come here for school holidays, spread coronavirus in our state, and then force us to go backwards on restrictions,” QLD Health Steven Miles said.
“Clearly what’s happening in Victoria will be a matter we will need to take into account in those considerations.”
NSW Health has made similar noises while Premier Gladys Berejiklian advised against all non essential to travel to its southern neighbour..
Meanwhile, a report from the Grattan Institute has backed the border closures of several Australian states and territories as the right approach.
There’s been intense debate along regional lines about the negative economic impact of border closures, especially from the tourism industry, the Federal Govt, NSW and Victoria (which have kept borders open throughout the crisis).
Here is quick list of current border restrictions:
- Northern Territory: Closed to out of state visitors, reopening July 17.
- Queensland: Closed to out of state visitors, reopening July 10.
- NSW: Open.
- Victoria: Open.
- South Australia: Open to travellers from Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania. Aiming for full access by July 20.
- Tasmania: Reopening July 24.
- ACT: Open.