Australia

South Australia reopens to NSW residents as Queensland widens southern border bubble

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and South Australia Premier Steven Marshall Source: AAP

There have been no new cases of locally acquired COVID-19 recorded in NSW as Queensland eases its border rules and SA prepares to welcome people from NSW.

NSW has recorded zero locally acquired COVID-19 cases, as the Queensland government announced it will relax its border with its southern neighbour for some regional areas.

South Australia will also lift its COVID-19 border restrictions with NSW from midnight on Wednesday, meaning NSW residents will no longer be required to isolate for 14 days.

Only two coronavirus cases were recorded from 7616 tests in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday. Both were returned overseas travellers in hotel quarantine.

It's the first time since 8 July that NSW has recorded no locally acquired cases.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison praised the decision to relax the border restrictions, saying it was "common sense".

“I particularly congratulate Steven Marshall for going the full distance in what he has decided to there and I think South Australia will benefit greatly from that,” Mr Morrison told Sky News Australia on Tuesday.

“Equally I welcome the changes that have been made with Queensland, I look forward to more in the future.

“We’re seeing an improvement in case numbers in Victoria, we’re not there yet. “I think these are common sense changes, and I think this will further assist getting people back into jobs and making sure we live alongside the virus.”

He said that while Australia has a long way to go, the country's response to the pandemic has been better than many other developed countries.

“Of course there is a spectrum of things that have been done in different states and territories, but when you add it all up, I’d rather be here than anywhere else.”

After months of squabbling with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian over border closures, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Tuesday announced the Sunshine State would shift its border zone 100km further south from 1 October.

Residents of Byron Shire, Ballina, the city of Lismore, Richmond Valley, including Casino and Evans Head, Glen Innes and 41 other NSW postcodes will be added to the Queensland-NSW border bubble.

Ms Palaszczuk says those 125,000 NSW residents will be able to travel freely in Queensland and residents of her state will also be able to travel in far northern NSW.

Queensland will review its decision to bar the majority of NSW from entering their state at the end of the month but the chief health officer says she is still concerned about a Sydney taxi driver case.

It comes as South Australia's transition committee moved to lift border restrictions with NSW from midnight on Wednesday.

Premier Steven Marshall says from then, anyone arriving in SA will no longer be required to isolate for 14 days.

"This is going to be a relief that will be felt across our state, from an economic perspective and from a family perspective," Mr Marshall said.

The premier said health officials had examined the concerning case of an infected Sydney taxi driver but were satisfied it was a risk that could be managed.

Meanwhile, a club in Sydney's southwest is closed for cleaning after it was recently visited by a person with COVID-19.

The infectious person dined at the Moorebank Sports Club at Hammondville on the evening of 14 September, NSW Health says.

Anyone who attended the club needs to monitor themselves for symptoms and if they appear, get tested and isolate until they receive a negative result.

NSW Health is working with the venue to identify people who were at the club at the time and contact patrons to identify close contacts.

Anyone identified as a close contact must immediately self-isolate, get tested and remain isolated for 14 days even if a negative result is received.

Queensland recorded no new COVID-19 cases in the 24 hours to 9am on Tuesday, with Deputy Premier Steven Miles pointing out that 12 days have passed since there was a case of community transmission.

The state had just 16 active cases on Tuesday, clustered around Ipswich in the state's southeast.

Aged care residents are in lockdown and there's a 10-person limit on home gatherings in eight local government areas, including Brisbane.

The announcement of border changes come as Queensland prepares to welcome ACT travellers back up north on Friday.

The border will open only to Canberrans who arrive by plane and anyone coming from NSW via the ACT will have to wait 14 days before being allowed to fly.

People in Australia must stay at least 1.5 metres away from others. Check your state’s restrictions on gathering limits.

If you are experiencing cold or flu symptoms, stay home and arrange a test by calling your doctor or contact the Coronavirus Health Information Hotline on 1800 020 080. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://sbs.com.au/coronavirus

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