South Australia to Lift Borders to New South Wales

South Australia to Lift Borders to New South Wales
Australian police stop vehicles at a checkpoint set up at border on March 26, 2020. (Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

South Australia (SA) is lifting its COVID-19 border restrictions with New South Wales (NSW) from midnight on Sept 23.

SA Premier Steven Marshall announced that arrivals into the state would no longer be required to isolate for 14 days.

"This is going to be a relief that will be felt across our state, from an economic perspective and from a family perspective," Marshall said.

Initial considerations of opening borders were reevaluated after a confirmed positive COVID-19 test from a Sydney taxi driver.

Health officials have since examined the case and were satisfied that the risk could be managed.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the decision to ease the border measures came after 14 days of no community transmission in NSW involving cases with an unknown origin.

"I know people will be concerned about the taxi driver. But I'm very confident that person is not representative of community transmission," Spurrier said.

"He did spend some time in the community while infectious. But many people have been asked to quarantine because of those exposures."

NSW Health is urgently attempting to contact customers of the Silver Service taxi driver who tested positive on Sept 19 and worked in western and southwestern Sydney.

Customers who caught a Silver Service taxi in western and southwestern regions of the city between Sept. 8 and 18 have been directed to monitor for symptoms, isolate for 14 days, and get tested for COVID-19.

Officials have used credit card transactions, trip data, and booking information to identify a large number of people who rode with the driver. Names of nine passengers are still unknown and officials believe it is likely they hailed the cab on the street.

Spurrier has urged those considering travel from SA to NSW to pay attention to latest COVID-19 updates from Sydney and to wear masks on planes.

"But we can't just wrap ourselves in cotton wool forever," she said.