Partial and full relaxations of border restrictions preventing NSW residents from accessing Queensland and South Australia have been labelled by the Accommodation Association as “a sensible step in the right direction”.
With more than AUD$1 billion in reciprocal spending each year, NSW and South Australia will soon be able to once again venture to each other’s regions following the announcement this week that quarantine requirements will be discontinued for visitors from the state, effective from tonight.
The statistics with Queensland are much higher, with more than AUD$7.7 billion and over nine million visitors each year at stake. Queensland will reopen access but only to five shires in Northern New South Wales at the moment. At the time of writing, NSW had recorded its second straight day of no community transmission of COVID-19, with all new cases currently in hotel isolation.
It is anticipated that the Sunshine State will gradually expand its border bubble further south as the state’s overall case load decreases and there is greater certainty about the status of the virus in NSW.
Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long, said with the school holidays approaching, Australia needed borders open and people moving about the country once again.
“While hotels, motels and properties in many of the regional areas have benefited from intrastate travel, moving to a more normal situation where interstate travel is possible is important especially for our metropolitan hotels and motels who have been badly impacted by the COVID-19 travel restrictions,” Long said.
“It would be extremely helpful if there was a more consistent approach to determining which borders are impacted, the rationale for closing and re-opening and more collaboration with our sector so that we can better manage the impact.”