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Monday 7 September 2020

Australia edges towards state border openings

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally got a majority consensus from states to reopen their borders by Christmas - with Western Australia the recalcitrant.

The Victorian government, meanwhile, has released two step-based roadmaps to reopening badly hit metropolitan Melbourne (above) and regional Victoria.

A fortnight of no new cases by November 23 would signal the Covid-19 virus has been eliminated in the state.

Western Australia has said it will only open its internal borders when other states have contained the virus.

To get borders open again the federal government will create a formula to restrict travellers from designated virus "hotspots"'

Australia's major hotspot is Melbourne which is in a six-week partial lockdown. Victoria state has recorded nearly 20,000 positive cases.

The federal government has been angered by the state premiers' caution and the tourism industry is getting increasingly desperate for action to help tourism businesses.

"Inconsistent and disproportionate approaches to border restrictions by some states and territories will continue to cause job losses in parts of our tourism industry," Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said.

Margy Osmond, CEO of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said: "Our industry remains on its knees in the fight of its life and has been losing thousands of jobs each month."

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