- Victoria reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, and one death.
- The news comes as the state eases its reopening effort due to the continued growth in cases.
- While New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has ruled out a hard border closure with Victoria, South Australia is implementing a pre-approval process for people wishing to enter the state.
- Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.
Victoria has backtracked on some of the restrictions it had eased after a surge of coronavirus cases in the state.
There were 20 new coronavirus cases recorded in Victoria overnight, and one death. The 80-year-old who died took Victoria’s overall coronavirus toll to 20. It’s the first coronavirus death to happen in Australia in over a month.
Wednesday June 24 marked the eighth straight day of Victoria experiencing double-digit growth in coronavirus cases.
The rise of coronavirus cases also led Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this week to reign in restrictions it had been easing.
On June 22, the state government reduced the number of visitors Victorian residents were allowed to have in their homes down to five. Outdoor gatherings were cut back to 10 people.
Restaurants and pubs were gearing up to have a maximum of 50 customers dining inside, however the state government will keep them at a 20-person limit until July 21. The 20-person limit also applies to places like libraries, museums, places of worship, cinemas, gyms and theatres.
“This move is important to keeping our community safe and to ensure COVID-19 does not get away from us,” Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton said in a statement. “We do not want Victoria to suffer like many major cities around the world who have been devastated by the severe impacts of COVID-19.”
On Sunday, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), issued a warning against travel to and from a handful of local government areas in Victoria which were the “focus of current outbreaks of concern.”
These included the Hume, Casey and Brimbank, Moreland, Cardinia and Darebin areas, with the AHPPC warning against travelling to them until community transmission was controlled.
How other states have responded
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian warned residents against travelling to Melbourne, “unless they have to”, according to an ABC report.
While NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro considered the idea of a restriction on the NSW-Victoria border, Berejiklian ditched the idea of a complete border closure as it would affect border towns like Albury-Wodonga, Nine News reported.
“It is a huge imposition on a community like that when you have a hard border closure which is why NSW and Victoria have kept borders open,” she said in the report.
South Australia, on the other hand, is beefing up its police presence at its border with Victoria.
“We will maintain our very strong border policy, in particular with relation to the border with Victoria,” SA Premier Steven Marshall said at a press conference. “The police will be putting additional resources down onto that border.”
As of next week, South Australia is also bringing in a pre-approval process for entering the state. This will mean essential travellers will have to go online, submit an application and get approval before they enter South Australia, the ABC reported.
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