All borders to reopen by Christmas, under National Cabinet agreement

Every state and territory, except Western Australia, has now accepted the federal government’s plan to reopen the state borders by Christmas.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the news following the National Cabinet meeting today.

He’s also said that under the agreement, once the borders are open, they will stay that way.


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“It also a plan that importantly embeds public health metrics, in ensuring that when Australia opens safely that it remains open safely.

“And that’s incredibly important,” Mr Morrison said.

But he admits that the exact decision on when certain borders can reopen stays with the Premiers, siting the ongoing conflict between NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Qld Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

“I have an agreement with both of them that we’ll be open by Christmas, that’s what the National Cabinet has brought them to.

“The timing of that has always been up to the individual premiers within their jurisdictions, the federation is still the federation, that hasn’t changed.

“The constitution is still the constitution,” Mr Morrison said.

Following the announcement, South Australia announced they will reopen their borders to Victoria on December 1. While we already knew that NSW will reopen to Victoria on November 23.

Queensland officials say the situation in Victoria is looking very good, but Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk admits there may be some exceptions to the borders fully reopening.

“In relation to Victoria, we’re very encouraged with what’s happening down there. We’ll be looking very closely at the end of the month at Victoria and also New South Wales.

“There may be some hot spots, Doctor Young will assess this at the end of the month,” the Premier said.

The Chief Health Officer Doctor Jeanette Young admits a December 1 reopening date is looking likely for Victoria, but couldn’t say the same for Sydney.

“Victoria has had their last unlinked case on the 29th of October, and they’ve now gone 14 days with no community acquired cases.

“So they are looking really good to be able to open on the first of December.

“But we’ve got to wait, there’s a reason there’s why its 28 days before making that decision. Although they’re looking really good – we’ll have to decide at the end of the month.

“Similarly, New South Wales, their last linked case was on the fifth of November and they’ve now had six days of absolutely no cases acquired in the community.

“So that’s starting to look encouraging,” Doctor Young said.

It comes as Queensland announces a raft of new eased restrictions, including stadium capacity going from 75 percent to 100 percent.

Related article: BREAKING | Qld announces huge easing of virus restrictions

 

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