WA, NT, SA join Tasmania in restricting travel, closing border to Queensland

Picture: Shutterstock
Picture: Shutterstock

News on Friday that Queensland was imposing a three-day lockdown on Greater Brisbane prompted Australia's other states and territories to change their border and quarantine rules for Queenslanders or those returning from Brisbane.

The Brisbane lockdown comes on the back of a hotel quarantine worker being diagnosed with the more infectious United Kingdom strain of COVID-19.

The worker was in the Greater Brisbane community for five days before being diagnosed.

Here's how the new border rules are playing out as of Friday afternoon, January 8, 2021:

Northern Territory

The NT's Chief Health Officer has declared Greater Brisbane a COVID-19 hotspot, effective immediately.

The hotspot includes the local government areas of Brisbane, Logan, Ipswich, Moreton and Redlands.

Anyone arriving in the NT from these regions must enter mandatory quarantine for 14 days.

Acting NT Chief Minister Nicole Manison said returned NT residents who have been in the hotspot since January 2 should get tested.

Western Australia

WA Premier Mark McGowan has announced that the State's borders will close to Queensland.

As of midnight on Friday, travel from Queensland will no longer be permitted except for exempt travellers.

People who have arrived from Queensland since January 2 must go into self-quarantine until they have completed 14 days in WA.

Recent arrivals will also be required to be tested for COVID-19 by Tuesday, 12 January.

South Australia

Travellers to South Australia from Greater Brisbane will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

The restrictions will take effect from Saturday, while anyone who has arrived since January 2 will be required to be tested three times, but will not need to isolate.

Premier Steven Marshall said SA would not hesitate to impose tighter restrictions on Queensland if necessary, while Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said the latest developments were worrying.

Tasmania

The Tasmanian government has declared the Greater Brisbane area high-risk.

Residents of the area will be required to stay at home and will not be permitted to travel.

"Any traveller arriving in Tasmania from today who has been in the Greater Brisbane area since 2 January will need to immediately quarantine for up to 14 days," Tasmanian Premier Peter Gutwein said.

"If they do not have a suitable premises they will be placed into a government quarantine hotel."

Those who had travelled to Tasmania from the Greater Brisbane area since January 2 are urged to check the list of risk locations on the Queensland government's website and if they visited one of those locations self-isolate and contact the Tasmanian Public Health Hotline on 1800 671 738 to arrange a test.

NSW

Acting Premier John Barilaro said NSW authorities were working with their counterparts in Queensland but the state was not considering a hard border.

"At no point during this pandemic have we ever had a kneejerk reaction or treated the border like a light switch," he said.

But he said anyone already in transit from Greater Brisbane to NSW must abide by Queensland's isolation rules, and act as if they had remained in place.

Victoria

Victorians in areas affected by Queensland's three-day lockdown have been advised to follow the guidance of that state's government.

While Victorians with plans to travel areas in Brisbane City Council, Moreton Bay Regional Council, Redland, Ipswich or Logan City councils have been urged to cancel them.

The Victorian government has urged anyone who has arrived from the affected local government areas in Queensland since January 2 to get tested and remain at home or a place of accommodation until Monday, when it says a further assessment will be made.

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