Border rules change: NSW eases travel restrictions on Canberrans, calls on ACT to follow suit | Canberra Times

Coronavirus, borders, lockdown, NSW health, coronavirus, work ban

With the lockdown ending in the ACT, NSW health authorities have moved to ease COVID-19 restrictions on people entering NSW from the territory, making Canberrans “subject to the same rules as people living in NSW”. There has been confusion and frustration over the border bubble’s inconsistencies between the two jurisdictions. The move was met late at night by calls for the ACT government to follow suit and ease restrictions on Canberrans wishing to travel freely outside the metropolitan area. NSW Health advised that as of midnight Thursday, the same moment the lockdown ends, the ACT will not be considered an area of ​​COVID-19 concern or an affected area. This means that people entering from the ACT will no longer need to complete a declaration form upon entry into NSW or follow the stay-at-home rules on arrival. NSW Health says the change is in line with the ACT government’s decision to lift stay-at-home restrictions. This means that from Friday, residents of Canberra will be subject to the same rules as people living in New South Wales. Fully vaccinated people can now travel anywhere in regional NSW except Greater Sydney, where people can only enter or leave with a reasonable excuse. NSW Health says holidays and outdoor recreation are not reasonable excuses. Changes in border rules in recent days mean that NSW residents from an expanding list of towns – including Braidwood, Goulburn, Cooma and Gundagai – now have permanent exemption for travel to the ACT for a range of reasons including work, study, school and essential shopping. But Canberrans are restricted to travel in the Capital Region and other parts of New South Wales. They can only travel across the border if it is to work in NSW, take care of children or school, take care of animals or attend weddings or funerals. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Andrew Barr said the “two questions asked were ‘When can I go to the coast?'” ‘ and ‘When can I go to Sydney?’ I don’t think either of those things are likely in the short term, in the next week or so, but they seem very likely in November.” More COVID-19 news: A policy shift in NSW is increasing pressure on the ACT to act more quickly now on border restrictions. ACT Liberal Senator Zedd Cecilga has welcomed the NSW change, and wants a similar move from the ACT. “This reasonable decision by the NSW government will be welcomed by many people in Canberra and our region,” he told the Canberra Times. “I hope the ACT government will now follow suit and ensure that Canberrans are able to reunite their loved ones and resume cross-border travel.” The shift in NSW policy comes after Victoria lowered its alert score for travelers from the ACT to “orange”, and scrapped the mandatory 14-day quarantine requirement from Friday. 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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