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People's Daily Online

Australia's COVID-safe states urged to open domestic borders

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 14:50, August 21, 2020

CANBERRA, Aug. 21 (Xinhua) -- The premier of South Australia (SA) has urged the nation's COVID-safe states to open their borders and reunite families.

Premier of SA Steven Marshall said it was wrong that states with no community transmission of COVID-19 such as Western Australia (WA) and Tasmania were keeping their borders closed to SA, describing the closures as an impediment to economic growth and detrimental to mental health.

"We have opened up to Queensland, the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania," said Marshall, according to the report form News Corp Australia on Friday.

"We are disappointed that Western Australians and Tasmanians can come into South Australia but, to date, we have not been able to go into their states. Many South Australians are dislocated from their families due to those states' border restrictions. It would be great to see those borders lifted for SA."

"Many people could live with it for weeks or months but now some states are saying they're not going to be open to South Australians until December and that is a body blow for many South Australians and I really feel for them at this time."

South Australia has had 462 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, which is fewer than every state except Tasmania which has had 230.

Its borders remain closed to Victoria and New South Wales (NSW) -- both of which have ongoing community transmission of the virus -- and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) because of the territory sitting within NSW.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham has repeatedly called for travel between states and territories to restart. He recently urged states and territories to consider adopting a similar approach in SA where there has been a willingness to open up to other states who have had similar success in suppressing the spread of COVID-19.

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