NSW residents hoping to head south this Christmas and spend time in Melbourne may be able to do so, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian predicting the border between both states could be open within a month.
Speaking to media, Ms Berejiklian said she hoped the border would open sooner rather than later, but that Victoria had a big test to pass before she’d hit the button.
“We are very keen to see what happens in Victoria once further restrictions are eased because that’s the real test,” the NSW Premier said on Monday.
“And if Victoria demonstrates that they’ve … upped their contact tracing capacity, that they’re able to demonstrate they’re not going to have uncontrolled outbreaks while they’re easing restrictions, well that will give us confidence to open the borders.”
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The border between NSW and Victoria may open by Christmas. Picture: Simon Dallinger.Source:News Corp Australia
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On Sunday, Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews announced Melburnians were allowed to travel 25km from their homes, up from 5km, and exercise for an unlimited time.
Along with the reopening of schools, hairdressers have also reopened, and also dropped prospective dates for retailers and restaurants to welcome back customers.
Ms Berejiklian said the new 25km bubble for Melbourne residents will be a good test for the state, and whether it is safe to open the border.
“Once you increase that to 25km as they’ve done, once you’ve raised other restrictions, you can then tell whether they are on top of their contact tracing,” she said, noting her government will be carefully monitoring Victoria for least two weeks.
Currently, the NSW/Victoria border bubble is at a 50km radius, meaning any resident living within the bubble will be able to obtain a border resident permit into NSW.
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NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she will be monitoring the border with Victoria and may open within the month. Picture: Steven Saphore/NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews said he hopes NSW and South Australia will open to regional Victoria in the next week or so. Picture: Ian Currie/NCA NewsWireSource:News Corp Australia
Her comments come as Mr Andrews hinted at a border reopening with NSW and South Australia to residents from regional Victoria as soon as this week, pointing to a meeting before National Cabinet on Friday. Regional Victoria has just seven active coronavirus cases in two local government areas, including in Shepparton.
A spokesperson for South Australia’s Premier Steven Marshall, however, shut down any foreseeable plans.
“A border opening with Victoria is currently not imminent,” a spokesperson told The Sydney Morning Herald.
Tasmania’s Premier Peter Gutwein announced on Monday that his state would reopen to NSW on November 2, however anyone from Victoria would likely have to wait until at least December to enter.
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