Border closure to still allow residents to work interstate

CLOSED: Member for MacKillop Nick McBride stated that most South East residents will still be able to continue their "daily lives" after South Australia closed its border to stop the spread of COVID-19.
CLOSED: Member for MacKillop Nick McBride stated that most South East residents will still be able to continue their "daily lives" after South Australia closed its border to stop the spread of COVID-19.

South Australia will temporarily close its borders to potential visitors in the hopes of slowing the spread of COVID-19.

With Bordertown and other South East towns being located close to the South Australia/Victoria border, some residents' jobs require them to cross the border.

On Tuesday at 4pm, the border will be supported by border control officers.

While many people are unsure of the affects the closure will have on them, Member for MacKillop Nick McBride stated residents will be able to continue their jobs at this stage.

Mr McBride sought further clarification from Premier Steven Marshall about the newly enforced closure, and whether local workers would be one of the few exceptions from the shutdown.

People who live or work near or across the border and wish to seek an exemption will need to email and include as much information as possible in the email.

Any travellers entering the state have been told to isolate themselves for 14-days from their arrival, to lower the potential of someone bringing the virus back to South Australia.

Mr McBride said he is unsure of how travellers will be monitored at the border, but suggested that cars with Victorian number plates, without any real justification, will be unable to enter South Australia.

He also stated work is currently being done to establish a "border-zone", which will allow certain residents to continue to work interstate.

"We are currently pursuing a border-zone into Victoria so people can go about their business," Mr McBride said.

In the South East, countless residents need to travel into Victoria for work, and the State Government is working hard to allow that to keep happening in the safest possible way.

"There are workers in the South East who need to travel to places like Kaniva, Apsley and Dartmoor for work," Mr McBride said.

"People in Kaniva use services in Bordertown on a daily basis."

Even though people will be able to continue work as normal, there is no certainty it will remain that way.

Mr McBride admitted that tougher restrictions may be enforced if people from Victorian towns, such as Kaniva, potentially contract the virus in the future.

He stated that people who cross the border will be checked upon regularly to make sure they are self-isolating for the 14-day period that is being recommended.

As of March 23, Victoria currently has the second-most cases of COVID-19, with 355 total confirmed cases, and zero deaths.

With only 134 confirmed cases in South Australia, Mr McBride stated the State Government's decision to close the borders will potentially stop Victorians spreading the virus throughout South Australia.

"The premier's fear is Melbourne's spread is more rampant that South Australia - the State Government doesn't want people to enter the state without proper justification," Mr McBride said.

During one of the toughest periods in living memory, Mr McBride stated closing the borders will give regional communities the opportunity to continue on with their normal lives.

"We are trying to maintain as many daily lives as possible - that includes people working as farmers and other professions," Mr McBride said.

"Heavy transport will not be affected by the closures - freight can continue as normal at this stage."

The state's criteria for testing for COVID-19 was also been expanded on Sunday to include anyone who has travelled from interstate in the last seven days and have new respiratory symptoms.

Residents are also being urged to visit the Health SA website to stay up-to-date with all of the newest information regarding the virus.

SAPOL is experiencing high call volumes to 131 444 and 'Triple Zero' from people seeking information about border controls.

They ask the public to instead monitor South Australia Police on social media or go to the website for updates and information.