ACT Premier Andrew Barr said Canberance likely won’t be able to travel until the end of winter | Canberra Times

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ACT Premier Andrew Barr said Canberance likely won’t be able to travel until the end of winter | Canberra Times

News, law politics, Covid-19, ACT restrictions, coronavirus, Canberra, travel restrictions

The ACT premier has warned Canberrans from other states will likely be closed through the end of winter. Andrew Barr said the travel restrictions, which currently prohibit ACT residents from traveling freely to Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia, will likely remain in place for at least the next month. “I need to be clear with Canberance that the situation is likely to continue throughout the winter. It is unlikely that the Sydney outbreak will be brought under control in the very near future,” Barr said. Mr. Barr has repeatedly expressed his frustration with states for closing their borders to the Capital Territory, given that there has been no community transmission in the Territory for one year. “We are clearly frustrated and disappointed with the various travel restrictions that have been imposed on this jurisdiction,” he said. “However, we understand the fact that many Australian states have zero risk tolerance and do not care about travelers, even those very far from the Sydney outbreak entering their jurisdiction.” Victoria was the latest state to actually close its border with Canberra, with ACT and NSW residents denied entry without a permit after 11.59pm on Sunday. There are fears that Queensland could be next, but Prime Minister Anastasia Palaschuk stopped short of closing the border on Monday. Ms Palaszczuk said the situation in NSW was being monitored but it was not clear if the state would include the ACT in any border closures. Despite the border closures, Barr said the Labor Act would not move to tighten its borders with NSW. He said a complete shutdown of the area from NSW would affect supply lines and would be a huge burden on surrounding towns such as Queanbeyan. “Obviously, except for closing the bubble where no one gets in or out, that would be the only thing that satisfies the other jurisdictions,” Barr said. “The idea that the ACT could have a solid barrier with NSW is not feasible. There are over 60 road crossings.” ACT residents who have already been in Greater Sydney are subject to a two-week home quarantine, which went into effect over the weekend. Non-ACT residents who have been in Greater Sydney are not allowed to enter the Territory without an exemption, which is granted only in extenuating circumstances. Read more COVID-19 news: Similar restrictions were placed on travelers in Sydney during the outbreak of northern beaches in December and January. During that time, the ACT had a strong police presence on the federal highway border and states did not close their borders to the territory. But Barr said this approach would not be as effective for the more infectious delta variant. “We can do that, but that won’t change travel authorizations for other jurisdictions because of the nature of the delta variable and because of the nature of the outbreak,” he said. Our journalists work hard to bring up-to-date local news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:



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