New South Wales will become the first state to open up to all Australian jurisdictions and New Zealand when it reopens its hard border with Victoria for the first time in four months.
The border will open a fortnight after Victoria eases restrictions on Nov. 8 lifting travel restrictions and the border between Greater Melbourne and regional state.
Berejiklian posted the announcement on Twitter following a press conference on Nov. 4.
“We need to keep moving forward as we live with COVID-19. I have confidence that everyone will continue to work hard to keep everyone safe,”
In the last week, both NSW and Victoria have registered low cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Victoria recorded zero cases for the last six days straight, while NSW had single digits consistently with two cases on Thursday. In the same period, two deaths linked to the CCP virus have occurred in the whole of Australia.
Berejiklian urged all jurisdictions to learn to live with the virus. We can’t keep shutting down our economies, she said in an interview on Nine network’s Today Show on Nov. 5.
“But as governments, we can show a bit of courage as well in how to take our communities forward,” Berejiklian said.
Opening borders will allow not only stimulate jobs and economic growth but will also bring families back together she noted.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has condemned future use of lockdowns. He said border closures and lockdowns, demonstrate outbreaks have got out of control.
NSW closed borders to Victoria July 2, amidst escalating CCP virus cases after an outbreak in the southern state’s hotel quarantine program.
During a press conference announcing the changes to the border restrictions Berejiklian said, “We believe it is a cautious risk, a calculated risk and we’re confident our health system and the processes we have in place in NSW will allow that to happen.”
Morrison and federal Health Minister Greg Hunt have often lauded the NSW contact tracing system for CCP virus management, calling it the “gold standard.”
When the borders open on Nov. 23, it will also be mandatory for all hospitality venues to use NSW’s QR code check-in system—a digital way of contact tracing. Patrons use their mobile phones to scan a displayed code registering their attendance at a given venue.
Victoria is currently developing a similar system in partnership with the American technology giant, Salesforce.
Though she did not clearly state she has confidence in Victoria’s health system but noted the “very very harsh lockdown” in Melbourne which started to ease on Oct. 26 has pretty much eliminated the virus from the community said Berejiklian.
Following Labor’s win in the Queensland state elections last week, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk partially opened borders to NSW. People living in regional NSW are now welcome to visit Queensland, leaving around 4.1 million Sydney residents or 63 percent of the state excluded from venturing north.