Breaking News Today

Inter-state travel ‘long way off’ despite economic hit

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Economic damage to the tourism industry should not automatically override the coronavirus death toll when it comes to opening state borders, the Deputy Prime Minister has warned.

Economic damage to the tourism industry should not automatically override the coronavirus death toll when it comes to opening state borders, the Deputy Prime Minister has warned.

Some state and territory borders could be closed into 2022, with Western Australia and Northern Territory recently declaring the nation's most stringent closure plans.

Deputy PM Michael McCormack called the WA and NT announcements a "worst-case scenario" and "unfortunate" for Australia's coronavirus-ravaged tourism industry.

Motorists are stopped at a checkpoint on the Gold Coast Highway at Coolangatta on the Queensland/NSW border, on March 26

But he urged people to look beyond the economics of turning potential travellers away at state and territory borders.

"We keep talking about what this is going to do to the economy but I keep thinking about the families. Families who live in different states. Grandparents who haven't met grandchildren. People with sick or dying relatives they can't get to.

"From a family point of view, I don't understand how you can do this to people."

READ MORE: UK may be close to herd immunity, where next for Australia?

Mr McCormack said states and territories were making determinations for their own people.

"The health virus has to be contained and minimised," he told Today.

A skateboarder passes a closed section of Surfers Paradise Beach on the Gold Coast

WA government has said it may keep its border closed for another 18 months. The NT government is indicating a 12-month closure is possible.

Paul Griffin, director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services, said Australia was "a long way off" opening state borders.

"We need that local transmission to be under control," he said.

"We can't really consider relaxing the restrictions until that's the case."

Contact: msaunoko@nine.com.au

FOLLOW: Mark Saunokonoko on Twitter

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348

For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone sign up to the 9News app and set notifications to on at the App Store or Google Play.

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-state-border-closures-inter-state-travel-long-way-off-despite-economic-hit/ebea03bf-5cfd-4364-8cd0-7b69d7a587a5

READ:  Giant rat wins top hero award for 'lifesaving bravery'

Shares
Share This
Finance Advice 2021