While the prime minister has promised to reopen Australian borders – apart from Western Australia – by Christmas, NSW could keep its border closed until after December 25th.
But now that lockdowns in Melbourne and the rest of the Garden State have subsided, all eyes are on when Ms. Berejiklian will reopen her state’s border with Victoria.
On Wednesday, 9News reported that NSW authorities were nervous about the prospect of a third wave in Melbourne and would wait to make a decision at the border until all systems in Victoria were properly tested.
According to the report, the “tests” would include setting up a QR code in pubs and restaurants, reopening Melbourne International Airport and implementing a functioning hotel quarantine system.
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While Ms. Berejiklian has been an advocate of the plan to open the country by Christmas and urged Queensland to open its border with NSW, the Prime Minister has been reluctant to see the border with Victoria lifted.
“We want to open this border (with Victoria) as soon as possible, but what is really important to us is to see what happens when the government relaxes the restrictions down there. That is the real test, ”Ms. Berejiklian said this week.
“I knew the real test for NSW wasn’t locking. It’s easy not to spread the virus when there are people with reduced mobility. However, if you relax the restrictions and people get moving and starting to work again, that is the real test, and I think NSW residents would expect me and my government to be responsible for how we deal with it.
“So we’re going to dismantle the border as soon as possible, but we’ll have to wait and see what effect the easing of restrictions in Melbourne and Victoria will have before deciding exactly when this will be.”
Victoria Prime Minister Daniel Andrews spoke to the media on Thursday, saying he understands why NSW would like to see how the easing of lockdown restrictions would affect his state.
“I haven’t had a conversation with Gladys [but] she’s made it abundantly clear, both
Gladys and her government that they want to see how things develop in the near future, ”he said.
“I don’t think that’s an unreasonable thing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that. I’ll probably have a chat with her for the next few days to see how we think things are going.
“I get on very well with Gladys and we have a very important partnership and we will open the border when it is safe.”
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However, when asked about Ms. Gladys’ comments on the low number of cases during the lockdown as “easy”, Mr. Andrews replied that his state’s situation was not “easy”.
“She had a punch on Victoria who said it was easy not to have cases when there was such a large lockdown,” a reporter told Andrews.
“With the greatest respect for Gladys, Lockdown and what the Victorians have been through is not easy,” replied Andrews.
“I’m not interested in having a debate with her or anyone else from this party, to be honest. “I am grateful for NSW’s support, regardless of whether it is a bush fire or a pandemic. We are always in top form when we work together. ”
On Thursday, Victoria recorded three new cases of COVID-19 and no other deaths overnight.
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