South Australia has announced residents from the ACT will be able to visit quarantine-free from midnight, but those in NSW will have to wait a little longer.
On Tuesday, SA Premier Steven Marshall met with the Transition Committee, who made the decision the border would reopen to the ACT from midnight.
But the state’s Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said there’s a catch. Residents will have to fly directly from the ACT to South Australia, and anyone driving through NSW to get to the airport will still be required to undergo quarantine for the “foreseeable future”.
Despite indicating on Monday that the state will likely open to NSW, given the state’s numbers were “looking good”, Mr Marshall said he was not in a position to nominate a re-open date just yet.
Currently there are no active COVID-19 cases in the ACT.
Earlier this month, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said that while he will eliminate Sydney as a hotspot to allow for travel from October 9, he will not hesitate in shutting the Top End if cases start to increase again.
On Monday, it was announced the Territory had eradicated coronavirus for the second time with the last confirmed case now recovered.
No new cases have been detected in the territory for 28 days, but NT Health Minister Natasha Fyles said coronavirus will make its way back as more hotspot areas are lifted and travellers from interstate visit the Top End.
“We have already seen Qantas schedule direct flights from Sydney to Darwin and return so this is an important step forward but the health of Territorians comes first,” she said.
The NT’s decision, and SA’s consideration to follow suit, puts growing pressure on Queensland to reopen its borders to NSW.
On Monday, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stood firm on her border closure decision, saying she’d be prepared to lose the October election rather than bow to pressure.
“If it means losing the election, I will risk all that if it means keeping Queenslanders safe,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“I’m putting myself out there; I’m putting myself on the line.”