South Australia to ease COVID-19 border restrictions as hardest-hit state reports 28 new cases

Medical workers treat a COVID-19 patient at the coronavirus unit in Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center, Bnei Brak, April 13, 2020. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
(Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The government of Australian state of South Australia (SA) announced on Tuesday that it would open its borders to New South Wales (NSW) subject to no community transmission occurring there.

Premier of South Australia state Steven Marshall said travelers from NSW to SA will no longer be subjected to a mandatory 14-day quarantine period from Thursday.

He said the “significant announcement” would relieve a “massive burden” on families and businesses, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

“Subject to no community transmission occurring in NSW between now and midnight tonight we will open the border from midnight tomorrow,” Marshall said.

“This will be a massive, massive relief to people who have been isolated from friends, from family, from business opportunities.”

The announcement came as NSW, Australia’s most populous state, reported no locally acquired cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday for the first time since July, with two new cases both recently returned travelers in hotel quarantine.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there had been 26,942 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Australia, and the number of new cases in the last 24 hours is 33.

Victoria, the hardest-hit state by the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, confirmed 28 new cases.

The national death toll has grown from 851 on Monday to 854 with all three new deaths linked to aged care facilities in Victoria.

The 14-day average for new cases in metropolitan Melbourne, the capital city of Victoria, has fallen to 32.8, paving the way for strict restrictions in the city to be eased from Sunday.

“Within Victoria, 24 of the new cases are linked to outbreaks or complex cases and four are under investigation,” said a statement from the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, with all cases linked to outbreaks relate to aged care facilities.

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