July 8, 2020
The growing outbreak of coronavirus cases in Melbourne has led to a number of changes to restrictions issued by Premier Daniel Andrews, and the hard closure of all borders to Victorians by our neighbouring states including South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania.
From tonight, Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire local government area will move back to stage 3 “stay at home” restrictions for six weeks. That means people living in these areas must stay at home unless travelling for health or caregiving, work or study, essential services including grocery shopping, or for exercise.
Entry to SA is only open to essential travellers, and personal protective equipment must be worn by Victorians at all times when in SA. People residing in cross-border communities may only travel within 50 kilometres from the border.
While I understand there will be relief that regional communities are not facing stage 3 restrictions again, I also appreciate that restrictions in Melbourne and Mitchell Shire, and the hard closure of the SA and NSW borders to Victorians, will have flow-on effects for our businesses and economy, and also anyone who needs to travel to these areas for essential reasons. Prioritising health and safety undoubtedly comes with unwanted economic impacts. We must continue to band together as a community and do everything we can to support our businesses and the people behind them during these difficult times.
The Premier has flagged there might be some easing of restrictions in regional areas to come soon, but until then there are no changes to our restrictions, which are outlined below. This includes school returning next week as planned.
I would like to again reiterate my thanks to everyone in our communities for doing their part to keep us COVID-free.
Please continue to wash your hands, keep your distance, take care, and support each other.
More information about the Victorian directions and restrictions is available here.
TRAVEL TO MELBOURNE
Metropolitan communities and Mitchell Shire will return to stage 3 “stay at home” restrictions from midnight tonight. People outside these areas will only be allowed to travel into Melbourne or Mitchell Shire if they have a legitimate reason, such as accessing medical care, or for work. Anyone else travelling to these areas will face on-the-spot fines if they attempt entry.
Anyone in our region who needs to travel through these areas to get to another community is allowed to, but is advised to plan their trip so that they don’t need to stop in an impacted area unless for a legitimate reason, such as work, medical care and caregiving, or shopping for food and supplies.
From midnight tonight, the South Australian Government will impose a hard border closure for Victoria.
People in cross-border communities will continue to be allowed to cross into South Australia, but may only travel within 50 kilometres from the border. Essential travellers will also need to wear personal protective equipment, and must quarantine when not directly travelling to or from the approved purpose for travel. I have requested an urgent briefing from the South Australian Government with further details of these changes, and will communicate them to constituents as soon as they are available.
If you already have essential traveller status under the cross-border community member category, and your circumstance has not changed since you first received approval to travel, you do not need to complete a cross-border pre-approval form.
For other essential travellers, the cross-border pre-approval form must be completed here at least 72 hours before your arrival into South Australia. More information about cross-border travel is available here.
The New South Wales Government introduced border closures with Victoria last night.
People with authority to enter NSW and the conditions they must adhere to are outlined in the table below.
Applications for a permit to travel into New South Wales can be made here. Permits are valid for 14 days, and will indicate any conditions people must follow.
WHERE TO ACCESS HELP
Below is a list of websites and services that can help you understand current restrictions and access relevant support if you need it.
WE’RE HERE TO SUPPORT YOU
My team and I are available via phone or email if you need help interpreting restrictions or finding relevant information, or if you require assistance with any other state government query. You can reach us by emailing [email protected] or by calling 5382 0097.