- NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced she will fully reopen the states’ border to Victoria on November 23
- But Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews is urging caution — asking Melbourne residents to avoid travelling over the Christmas period
- Victoria only recently came out of strict lockdown conditions after reducing its number of second-wave COVID-19 infections
- Almost all Australian states and territories have reopened or planned to reopen, their interstate borders amid a drop in coronavirus cases
- Australia’s international border remains shut, though more citizens are slowly being allowed to return home
The NSW-Victorian border will reopen later this month, after months of being closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NSW Premier announced today that all Victorian residents will be allowed entry into the state from November 23.
Gladys Berejiklian has described the NSW Government’s decision to remove border restrictions as a “calculated risk”.
“We need to keep moving forward as we live with COVID-19,” The Premier explained in a press conference this morning.
“I have confidence that everyone will continue to work hard to keep everyone safe,” she added.
Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has welcomed the news of the border reopening — but urged caution.
“The Premier of NSW wouldn’t be opening her border if she didn’t have confidence Victorians could maintain the low numbers,” he said.
“A day of zero, or even five days of zero is not the same as having a vaccine. We all have to remain vigilant, we all have to play our part,” he added.
Melbourne only recently came out of lockdown, after four months of strict, rolling restrictions which saw thousands of businesses and schools shut.
Premier Andrews warned if residents became complacent about their newfound freedom, numbers could begin to rise again.
“Don’t go to Sydney for Christmas for summer holidays. We have lots of places here you can visit,” he said.
His comments were echoed by the NSW Premier, who said although the borders were open — COVID-19 restrictions would still be in place come December 25.
“Please don’t have high expectations around the Christmas period because when people are gathering more and having these events more, risk goes through the roof,” Gladys said.
The news of Victoria-NSW’s border reopening is another step towards resuming normal travel across Australia, with WA also announcing last month it’ll reopen soon.
Residents from most areas of Australia will be allowed to travel over the Christmas period, though some restrictions around quarantining remain in place.
From an international standpoint, travel in and out of Australia is still severely restricted at this stage — with no end in sight just yet as the U.S. and U.K. COVID-19 numbers continue to surge.
Australians citizens are still allowed to return home though, after the Prime Minister announced increased capacity for arrivals.