Coronavirus: Australian states agree to 'travel bubble' - but who's been left out?

Australian Associated Press
·2-min read

Tasmania will open its borders to South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory in two weeks but Victorians are firmly not welcome.

Premier Peter Gutwein announced his intention to set up a travel bubble with the three jurisdictions by August 7.

Mr Gutwein says borders with the other mainland states and territories would stay closed because of their higher COVID-19 case numbers.

An Australian Defence Force member conducts a COVID test on a member of the public at a facility in Melbourne. Source: AAP
An Australian Defence Force member conducts a COVID test on a member of the public at a facility in Melbourne. Source: AAP

"Our state, without a doubt, is one of the safest places in the world right now," he said on Friday.

"In public health's view, so are South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia."

But West Australian Premier Mark McGowan firmly rejected the proposed travel bubble.

"We're not doing that," he said.

"We are not going to compromise our borders."

Tasmania has just one active case of coronavirus, a young woman who returned from Victoria about a week ago and tested positive in hotel quarantine.

The state has gone more than 60 days without recording a fresh case.

People arriving as part of the travel bubble will be subject to mandatory health checks and anyone with virus symptoms will be forced to take a test.

If they refuse, they will be ordered into hotel quarantine for 14 days or sent home.

Passengers in an usually quiet baggage arrivals area at Sydney Domestic Airport. Source: AAP
You cannot enter Western Australia unless you are an exempt traveller and must undergo a COVID test at the airport. Source: AAP

Mr Gutwein said he couldn't see the border reopening with Victoria anytime in the near future.

"Victoria is without doubt in the fight of its life at the moment," he said.

Mr Gutwein said Tasmania would not reopen with Queensland, NSW or the ACT before August 14 but added more information would be provided on August 7.

The Northern Territory lifted quarantine measures for some regions last week, but they remain in place for anyone coming from Victoria or the greater Sydney region where COVID-19 cases are on the rise.

From midnight on Tuesday, South Australia’s hard border closure with Victoria will be extended to also prevent any South Australian residents returning home.

Quarantine arrangements for people coming from NSW and the ACT will remain in place as concerns remain over clusters.

You cannot enter Western Australia unless you are an exempt traveller.

No one from NSW or Victoria are allowed into the state unless they have permission. They must also undergo a COVID test at the airport and self-isolate for 14 days upon entry.

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