Australia’s states and territories will remain closed off from one another in the coming days, state and federal leaders said, as authorities continue to try to stop the latest wave of coronavirus cases in the country.
The state of Victoria, where Melbourne is located, has been dealing with a major upswing in cases in recent weeks. Authorities in Victoria identified 321 new Covid-19 cases Monday and 19 deaths.
New South Wales detected 22 new cases on Monday -- the highest in a single day since April.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that “it's unlikely that we were able to move back to a restriction-free society” by Christmas.
“I doubt that is going to happen. I doubt the medical position will enable that. And so you've just got to follow the medical evidence on all of these, whether it's borders or whether it's the restrictions on trade or of local businesses or whatever it happens to be," Morrison said.
Here are some of the regional policies:
Victoria remains closed to all of Australia’s states and territories.
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner said Tuesday that he plans for an 18-month border closure between his region and anywhere considered a hotspot -- including Australia's two largest cities, Melbourne and Sydney.
“Cancel your Christmas holiday plans, stay here in the Northern Territory," Gunner said in an interview with public broadcaster ABC on Tuesday. “We’re working towards an 18-month-window from today, towards the end of next year, is how we’re starting to resource our borders. We’re recruiting extra police. We’re making sure we keep those hard border controls in place.”
Western Australia and Tasmania remain closed to people from all other states.
Queensland and South Australia are closed to residents of Victoria and are quarantining anyone traveling in from New South Wales.
The Australian Capital Territory requires anyone traveling to the capital from Sydney or the state of Victoria to undergo a quarantine upon arrival.