Border opens to Sydneysiders today

 

Greater Sydney will finally be removed from the Northern Territory's coronavirus hotspot list for the first time since July 17.

The easing of restrictions means that from midnight tonight, more than five million Sydney residents - or anyone who has recently spent time in the NSW capital - will be able to enter the NT without two weeks of quarantine at their own expense.

There were fears the decision to revoke the city's COVID-19 hotspot status could be at threat after NSW recorded 12 new infections on Thursday.

However, while NT Chief Health Officer Dr Charles Pain said authorities would keep a close eye on the unfolding situation, the plan would still be going ahead.

"I am also confident in the thorough testing and contact tracing response in NSW, and that this outbreak is contained," Dr Payne told reporters during a press conference on Thursday.

"With this advice and our own review of the evidence, I remain confident about revoking greater Sydney as a hotspot from tomorrow."

RELATED: Follow our live coronavirus coverage

Sydneysiders will be able to travel freely in the NT from Friday.
Sydneysiders will be able to travel freely in the NT from Friday.

RELATED: NSW eyes big change to business virus rules

The announcement comes hot on the heels of a tough deadline handed down to NSW by Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, when she gave the state just 48 hours to discover where three new cases in Sydney started from.

If NSW fails to do so, the planned reopening of Queensland to NSW residents on November 1 could be postponed.

Speaking to media on Thursday, Ms Annastacia Palaszczuk said she's not "ruling out" any decisions regarding the border just yet.

"If the New South Wales Premier is on high alert about those cases, I'm on high alert," she said on Thursday.

"We are not ruling out anything at the moment. There's another 24 hours for them to look at where those cases came from.

"We hope NSW gets on top of those cases very quickly."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has joined a growing list of Coalition members to blast Western Australia's Premier, Mark McGowan, over his state's border closure.

At the moment, a reopening date has not been set, and today Mr Morrison accused the Premier of acting in economic rather than public health interests.

"These arrangements should be in place for health reasons only, and the health reasons have to be clearly stated, and they have to be reasonable, and it's up to the premiers to justify those things," Mr Morrison told 2GB radio on Thursday.

"I was disappointed to hear him say the border seems to be there as some form of economic protectionism.

"Locking people in the state so they won't spend money in other parts of the country, well that's not the Australian way."

Originally published as Border opens to Sydneysiders today


‘Celeb takeover’ infuriating Byron

‘Celeb takeover’ infuriating Byron

Locals in Byron Bay are seeing a lot of new faces at the moment

25,000 pub and club jobs overnight if venue rules ease

Premium Content 25,000 pub and club jobs overnight if venue rules ease

Pubs are poised to immediately create 9000 jobs and clubs 16,000

Buyer of $22m beachfront Byron mansion revealed

Premium Content Buyer of $22m beachfront Byron mansion revealed

Hollywood stars Zac Efron and Matt Damon were rumoured to want it