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30 Jun 2020 | 08:34 AM UTC

Australia: New South Wales authorities postpone reopening of state borders June 30 /update 32

New South Wales authorities announce the postponement of state border reopenings on June 30 amid rise in COVID-19 cases; follow government directives

entry/exit
health
transportation
AUS

Event

New South Wales authorities announced on Tuesday, June 30, that the reopening of state borders scheduled to take place on July 20, has been canceled amid the rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the neighboring state Victoria. Earlier this month, Premier Steven Marshall announced that the state would be reopened to all Australians from July 20. No new date has yet been confirmed and an update is scheduled for later this week.

On June 28, Victoria state authorities made testing for COVID-19 compulsory for returning travelers following a spike in infections in recent days in the region. Authorities have stated that those who refuse to be tested will have to quarantine for an extra ten days in addition to the 14-day minimum quarantine period. Victoria's state of emergency has also been extended until July 19 amid the surge in new cases.

All Australian citizens and residents returning from abroad are being quarantined in hotels for 14 days at the government's expense. Only Australian citizens, returning permanent residents, and their immediate family members are permitted to enter Australia until further notice.

As of June 30, health authorities have confirmed 7834 COVID-19 cases and 104 associated deaths in the country. Further spread of the virus is expected in the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly, and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

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