Broken Hill seeks SA border exemption as KI calls for tourism end


Adelaide 5000

Preparations are being made to impose restrictions on the entry of people into South Australia in what the Premier says is an effective closing of borders, while a doctor on bushfire-affected Kangaroo Island is calling for all tourism to stop.

Key points:

  • Anyone entering SA from other states will have to isolate themselves for 14 days
  • Broken Hill wants to know whether it will be exempt from the rules
  • Kangaroo Island mayor expects travel restrictions to further hurt tourism

The Mayor of Broken Hill is calling for her city to be exempted from the rules, despite being in New South Wales.

Anyone who enters South Australia is now required to isolate themselves for two weeks — and from 4:00pm on Tuesday will need to sign a declaration about their health and where they will stay.

It is meant to restrict the movement of non-essential travellers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Premier Steven Marshall said those living in border communities will still be allowed to cross over into SA without the restrictions, provided there are no outbreaks in their town.

“I know these are extraordinary restrictions and we certainly don’t take these decisions lightly — the Cabinet considered it yesterday at 11:00am and in reality the meeting was over by 12:00pm,” Mr Marshall said.

“Everybody was supportive once they saw the data.

“We are in a fortunate position in South Australia that we lag [in cases] somewhat behind the eastern states.”

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There will be exemptions for “essential travel to maintain health, the food supply chain, and the state’s economic needs”, the State Government announced on Sunday.

Twelve border crossings will be established.

Quarantine and heavy vehicle testing stations will be staffed by police as well as officers from other departments.



Photo:

Broken Hill is about 50km from the SA border. (ABC News: Declan Gooch)

Mayor seeks clarification for Broken Hill

There are concern about the border restrictions in Broken Hill, just across the South Australian border in NSW.

The city has traditionally had stronger social ties to Adelaide than to Sydney.

Broken Hill Mayor Darriea Turley said she was seeking immediate clarification about how residents would be affected.

“I’ve reached out as a matter of urgency to the state Member [of Parliament],” she said.

“I consider we are a border town and I believe we should be exempt by this, particularly if you think about how many people access Adelaide for treatment and for care and assessment for health.”



Photo:

Broken Hill Mayor Darriea Turley wants clarification about the city’s status. (ABC News)

Mr Marshall said Broken Hill had not been considered yet for an exemption.

He said it would depend on whether there were any COVID–19 diagnoses in far west NSW and whether restriction in Sydney would drive people to move farther west.

“We’ll take all those things into account,” he said.

There are 100 positive cases in South Australia.

There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in NSW’s far west.

On Saturday, the first case was confirmed in Mildura, in Victoria.

Over the weekend, Victoria’s Wimmera recorded its first cases of the coronavirus — in the Yarriambiack and Gannawarra shires.



Photo:

Katharine Daniels from Murrayville, which is expected to be exempt from the rules. (ABC News: Samantha Dawes)

Katharine Daniels, who lives on a farm at Murrayville, about 500 metres across the Victorian border in the Mallee, said her community understood the strict measures.

The town is expected to be exempt from the rules.

“We very much are one community that if and when it reaches one of the communities it’ll probably affect the other one as well, but I am really hoping it doesn’t come to that for a while anyway and I really do trust that they will look after us cross-border communities,” she said.

The Overland train service will be suspended and V/Line will issue advice in the coming days regarding bus services between Adelaide and Victoria.

The Ghan is also suspended until May 31.



Photo:

A Queensland police officer looks over the border into South Australia. (File: ABC News)

Testing now available for interstate travellers

While there is a shortage of an essential reagent needed for the testing process, the criteria has been broadened to include people who have travelled interstate in the last week.

Chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said anyone who met the new criteria should be tested.

“Anybody that has travelled interstate in the last seven days and has respiratory symptoms, we want to test you,” Dr Spurrier said.

“We had people at the end of last week come to the COVID–19 clinics with that situation and because they didn’t fit the test criteria the clinic didn’t do the test.

“If you are listening and that happened to you, could you please come to the clinic and we would like to have you tested.”

What the experts are saying about coronavirus:

AFL club Port Adelaide has put all of its players, coaches and staff who travelled to the Gold Coast over the weekend into self-isolation for 14 days.

The club said the move was made on the strong recommendation of the South Australian Government and SA Health as part of broader policies to limit the spread of coronavirus.

The AFL has been postponed after the completion of round one, until at least the end of May because of the virus outbreak.

SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said officers would use their power to give directions to people in relation to gatherings and movements “in a measured way”.

“We’ve been checking on people who are required to self-isolate and so far people are complying and doing so willingly,” Mr Stevens said.


Video: Q+A: Coronavirus testing criteria slammed

(ABC News)

Kangaroo Island tourism to suffer

Kangaroo Island’s Mayor said the latest travel advice from the Federal Government is another major hit to the already struggling island.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday called for Australians to end all non-essential domestic travel — on top of international travel.

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The island had hoped for a tourism-led recovery following January’s bushfires.

Mayor Michael Pengilly said he accepted the advice was necessary — but it will compound local problems.

“It is a huge blow to the island on top of what’s happened over the summer with the fires, but it’s one that we have to take on board and we have to keep moving and keep things going for the sake of the island community and Australia,” he said.

Kangaroo Island Medical Clinic posted advice to residents on its Facebook page.

There have been no confirmed coronavirus cases on Kangaroo Island.

“If your family or friends want to visit Kangaroo Island, now is not the time,” Dr Jeremy Wells said.

“Ask them to rebook later this year or in 2021.

“It is with great consideration of all factors that we have arrived at our firm view that tourism must stop today.

“This is vital to enable us as your local health system to manage the potential influx of severely unwell people as well as our usual influx of emergency presentations as safely and as effectively as we can.”

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Source: https://www.abc.net.au/news



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