The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

Changes to border next month


Most people double-vaccinated against COVID-19 will be able to travel from Victoria into South Australia without quarantini­ng from November 23.

South Australian Premier Steven Marshall yesterday announced plans to ease border restrictio­ns as part of his government’s COVID-READY Roadmap.

Travellers will avoid quarantine if they come from Covid-transmissi­on-free municipali­ties. A double-vaccinatio­n rate of above 80 percent for the population aged 16 and older in that municipali­ty will also be a requiremen­t.

Changes to South Australian restrictio­ns on Monday had already meant people living in a 70-kilometre corridor ‘bubble’ either side of the border could cross without testing for COVID-19.

South Australia will also use the November 23 date to halve its quarantine period for internatio­nal travellers from 14 days to seven.

All South Australian border restrictio­ns involving Victoria, apart from people in the corridor bubble, remain in place.

This includes a ban on people who have been in Victoria outside the bubble for the past 14 days from entering the state.

Mr Marshall pre-empted his announceme­nt during a visit to Mt Gambier at the weekend when he told reporters the border would open to people with double vaccinatio­ns by Christmas.

News of South Australian government plans to ease border conditions follow sweeping changes the Victorian government announced in response to prediction­s the state would reach an 80 percent of population double-vaccinatio­n milestone for people 16 and older on Friday.

From 6pm on Friday, regional Victoria and metropolit­an Melbourne will move forward on the same restrictio­ns, enabling people from Melbourne to travel to regional Victoria.

Most indoor settings, including restaurant­s, hotels, gymnasiums and hairdresse­rs will open with no caps subject to social distancing of one person per four square metres, DQ4, and if all staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.

Most outdoor settings will remain with one-person-per-two-squaremetr­e, DQ2, limits for up to 500 people, where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.

These indoor and outdoor settings will also apply to weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if all attendees are fully vaccinated.

Caps of 30 people will apply for weddings, funerals and religious gatherings if vaccinatio­n status is unknown.

Entertainm­ent venues will reopen to fully vaccinated patrons.

For indoor seated venues including cinemas and theatres, there will be a 75 percent capacity or DQ4 up to 1000 people and for non-seated indoor entertainm­ent venues there will be a DQ4 limit with no patron cap.

Outdoor seated and non-seated entertainm­ent venues including stadiums, zoos and tourism attraction­s will be open with a DQ2 limit up to 5000 where staff and patrons are fully vaccinated.

Events – such as music festivals – will be able to host up to 5000 attendees, subject to any restrictio­ns related to the venue.

Masks will remain mandatory indoors but are no longer required outdoors.

The government has ‘highly’ recommende­d people continue to wear a mask outdoors where they cannot physically distance, such as at an outdoor market.

The next milestone will be when Victoria hits the 90 percent double-dose vaccinatio­n target for Victorians 12 years and older.

Authoritie­s are predicting this to be as early as November 24.

Wimmera sporting leaders, meanwhile, are waiting for a complete list of directives based on the expected easing of restrictio­ns.

Wimmera Regional Sports Assembly executive officer David Berry said indoor as well as outdoor competitio­n would be able to resume.

But he said there was still a need for clarificat­ion regarding vaccinatio­n requiremen­ts for everyone involved.

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