Cries to uncouple the ACT from NSW have been heard by South Australia today, as the state welcomes Canberra residents to enter without the 14-day quarantine period from tonight.
From midnight tonight, Tuesday 15 September, ACT residents travelling by air will be permitted to travel into South Australia without the mandatory quarantine period established in March.
ACT Labor leader Andrew Barr commended SA Premier Steven Marshall on today’s announcement, hoping it would get the ball rolling to ease restrictions imposed by other Australian states.
“ACT has been prepared for these travel bubbles for some time now and I thank and congratulate SA for being the first to make a move on this,” Mr Barr said.
“I suspect that some of the other states will watch this closely, be encouraged by South Australia’s move and be encouraged by the ACT’s pandemic management to date.
“This is important to get the ball rolling on more of these arrangements.”
The announcement states that NSW residents would still be required to self-isolate when entering South Australia until further notice.
South Australian Police Commissioner Grant Stevens made the announcement during a press conference today, following advice from the state’s Chief Health Executive Officer.
“They will still be required to fill in the pre-approval online as with all other safe community transmission zones, and people will have to declare that they have not been outside of the safe community transmission zone for 14 days prior to travelling to South Australia,” he said.
“You can only come to SA via air because by car you would have to travel through NSW so the 14-day quarantine will apply.”
Commissioner Stevens also added those who are caught breaching these restrictions or lying on pre-approvals will be subject to a fine of up to $1,060 or a criminal prosecution.
Canberra Airport welcomed the announcement on Tuesday as head of aviation Michael Thomson said it had come at a good time ahead of the next ACT school holidays.
‘We welcome the news that SA will open its borders to the ACT. This is a sensible and controlled first step to the reopening of our borders and the restart of aviation in general,” he said.
“We currently have three direct services to Adelaide – on Monday, Thursday and Friday.
“This is welcomed news ahead of the October school holidays. Canberrans need a break, and the Adelaide Hills sounds good to me right now.”
Mr Barr said his office would be working closely with Canberra Airport to establish an increase in flights between Canberra to Adelaide.
“This will mean there will be quite a lot of demand for new flights between Canberra and Adelaide,” he said.
“I will be on the phone to Stephen Byron momentarily to look at what we can do to accelerate the commencement of flights.”