Australia Border closures to Victoria 'absolute last resort', NSW Premier says
Calls for police to return to Melbourne as COVID response triggers station closures
Victorian police union secretary Wayne Gatt said police could be better used fighting crime now that cases of coronavirus had plummeted. The strain on police resources was amplified in recent days with more than 1600 police officers remaining split between border checkpoints and hotel quarantine, and about another 800 deployed to Invasion Day rallies on Tuesday.Counters at police stations in Richmond, Fitzroy and Collingwood were all shuttered over the weekend due to a lack of staff, Mr Gatt said, with officers taken out of crime, homicide and highway units and dispatched to the state's border checkpoints.
New South Wales will remain open to Victoria and will only close its borders as an "absolute last resort", Premier Gladys Berejiklian has told Today.
Ms Berejkilian has confirmed there would be no changes to the current travel arrangements between the two states despite aon Wednesday evening.
"The last time and the only time we closed the border to Victoria was when they had in excess of 150 cases a day," she said.
Queensland ends hard border lockout with NSW
All residents of NSW will be allowed to travel to Queensland from Monday as Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announces an end to the hard lockout.
"At this stage while yes it's always concerning when the virus gets out of the quarantine system … we are yet to see any data the virus circulating in the community and NSW always likes to see the facts and the scene and get expert advice.
Video: The Federal Government has secured and additional 10 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine. (ABC NEWS)
"Now that could change … but I've not received any advice that there is confirmed cases outside the ones that have already been identified in both Victoria and WA."
So far, 15 of the close contacts linked to the Victorian quarantine case have tested negative to the virus, with more test results expected today.
Nearly 600 Australian Open players and support staff at the Grand Hyatt Hotel remain in isolation awaiting test results but the tournament is set to go ahead as planned.
South Australiawith any interstate arrivals now required to self-quarantine for 14 days and undergo a test on day 11.
NSW has recorded 18 days of zero locally acquired cases of COVID-19 with restrictions set to ease next week pending a continuation of low case numbers.
Vics in NSW ordered to stay at home too .
Patron limits and rules around mask-wearing have been relaxed in Sydney but Victorian visitors to NSW will be obliged to stick to "stay at home" orders.Premier Gladys Berejiklian, meanwhile, says a growing COVID-19 outbreak in Melbourne - which has sparked a snap five-day Victorian lockdown - is not severe enough to consider closing the border.