border likely to close to Greater Melbourne


South Australia says it is likely to close its border with greater Melbourne at midnight, but authorities are waiting on more information before making a final decision.

Under the “intended” changes, travellers from greater Melbourne will no longer be allowed to enter SA unless they are a returning resident, are genuinely relocating or are essential travellers.

Police commissioner Grant Stevens said authorities were closely monitoring the situation.

“We’re looking for the indicators that those from other jurisdictions are getting on top of,” he said.

“Whatever issues they have and that their contact tracing and quarantining processes are effective, and community testing for COVID-19 is also at the level we believe is satisfactory to identify any community transmission.

“Our steps in South Australia are taken with an abundance of caution to make sure that we are minimising the risk.”

Mr Stevens — who is also the state co-ordinator — said the midnight deadline was to ensure travellers intending to return home or come to the state had time to do so in case the border changes were finalised.

Those who enter before midnight are still required to be tested on days one, five and 12.

Travellers from regional Victoria will still be permitted to enter SA.

SA chief public health officer Nicola Spurrier said it was likely new Victorian cases were the UK variant but genomic testing results had not yet returned with confirmation.

She said there were different pieces of information — which included the number of contacts and testing rates — her team needed to receive before deciding.

“We would like to flag our intention at this point that it is likely that we will have some border restrictions in place,” Professor Spurrier said.

“I am being extra cautious and there’s some reasons behind that, one being that this particular variant of concern is more transmissible.

“I am very concerned. We’ve had a number of cases associated with the hotel (and) we know what happened when we had the Parafield Cluster here in SA.”

It comes as Victoria recorded two new cases of COVID-19 linked to the Holiday Inn Melbourne Airport on Wednesday.

The positive cases were recorded in a worker and a previous resident who left the facility on Sunday.

The new infections brings the number of cases connected to the cluster to eight.

SA recorded two new infections but are returned travellers in hotel quarantine.



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