‘We don’t want to increase risk unnecessarily’: SA Premier says border rules may be in place past Christmas
South Australia may not completely open its borders once it reaches 80 per cent of full vaccination, the Premier has warned.
Steven Marshall on Wednesday said he hoped the state would move away from entire state lockdowns by Christmas but explained that didn’t necessarily mean SA would fully open its borders to jurisdictions with high infection rates.
He said it was “quite possible” that the current exemptions process would remain for those areas.
As part of that process, people in locked out jurisdictions, like NSW and Victoria, must apply for an exemption to return to SA and can only cross the border once it has been approved by SA Health.
They must also comply with testing and quarantine requirements.
“If people are in (local government areas) with high levels of infection or exposure sites, they won't be allowed in,” the Premier said.
“There may also be some proviso put in place around people who are double vaccinated or have no vaccination status whatsoever.”
Mr Marshall said the aim was to stop implementing strict level six restrictions where all people are barred from entering from a certain jurisdiction and only a select few are granted permission, like those who come to see dying relatives under compassionate grounds.
“We want to be able to reduce those restrictions so people can come into our state but we don’t want to increase the risk unnecessarily.”
The Premier has previously stated he was committed to the national plan of reopening borders after 80 per cent of the eligible population are double vaccinated.
It was predicted that would be the case in November.
Under the federal plan, the first stage is to achieve 70 per cent of full vaccination as a nation, then aims to reach 80 per cent.
But, Mr Marshall said he believed there would be nuances between jurisdictions.
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan previously said he wanted his state to reach 90 per cent of vaccination before they open their borders — something Mr Marshall said would be “problematic” for South Australians because the west would probably close off to the state.
“Each state can make their own decision but what we’ve done since day one is follow the health advice that's kept our state safe so far.”
SA recorded no new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday and currently has seven active cases all in quarantine hotels.
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