SA-VIC buffer-zone reinstated

CROSS border residents of South Australia and Victoria will be allowed to travel within the 40km “buffer zone” from Friday being reinstated by the SA Government.

From midnight on Thursday, cross border community members will be allowed to travel between South Australia and Victoria for essential purposes.

The SA Transition Committee met earlier today to discuss changes to health protocols within the state, including cross border travel.

Premier Steven Marshall made the announcement during a press conference, saying the lower number of active cases in Victoria gave the transition committee the confidence to reinstate the buffer zone.

“At this stage, provided there are no further community transmissions reported between now and Thursday, that 40km buffer zone will be put back in place,” he said.

SA Health’s Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier said that the reason for the reversal was that the state’s health department had more information about cases from Victoria.

“The reason that we are saying Thursday is that it will be 14 days, which is a full incubation period since the last case was diagnosed in Glenelg Shire,” she said.

“It’s not just the number of cases or where they are from or the chains of transmission. It’s also to do with the amount of testing that’s being done in those regions along the border.”

Victoria’s Member for Lowan Emma Kealy welcomed the decision, saying that the restrictions had subjected cross border communities to “extreme and unnecessary measures”.

“We still need to see the details and esnrure there is a clear and efficient process for genuine cases for exemption permits to be issued. But it was absolutely essential that the SA

Government changed its border measures and recognised the overwhelming effect they were having on our communities,” she said.

“The reinstatement of the 40 km bubble won’t solve all the problems facing our border residents, but it is a much needed step in the right direction.”

All essential travellers will still have to produce evidence of a COVID-19 test taken in the proceeding seven days in order to be able to travel over the border from Victoria.