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Victorian border rules could be eased on Friday

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A decision on the easing of Victorian border restrictions could be imminent, with SA Police Commissioner and State Coordinator Grant Stevens saying this morning that Victoria’s “excellent” progress in tackling COVID-19 had put SA’s Transition Committee in a position to make “some positive decisions on Friday”.

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The committee met this morning to discuss South Australia’s current restrictions with Victoria, which only allow essential travellers, returning students, people relocating for work, and residents within the 70km regional travel bubble to enter the state.

Victoria today reached 11 consecutive days without a new COVID-19 case and only one case from an unknown source, giving the committee hope it might be able to announce some relaxation of border rules within days.

“Some further work is required on some of the aspects we’re considering, so we’ve undertaken to meet later this week on Friday where we’ll finalise those discussions and hopefully that will be a point where we can make some decisions,” Stevens said.

“[Victoria is] really the only jurisdiction now where we have any significant restrictions, so based on Victoria’s current level of activity which is excellent, we’re hopeful that we can make some positive decisions on Friday and make those announcements then.”

Stevens said two weeks ago travel restrictions with Victoria could be eased once the state reached 14 to 28 days without an unknown case of community transmission.

He said the committee was looking at what other jurisdictions are doing, but did not speculate on what date restrictions could lift.

“I won’t speculate on the date other than to say that we’re listening to the health advice, we’re looking the implications for those decisions, little bit more work this week and then a meeting on Friday should put us in a position where we can make some specific announcements.”

Stevens said he would not speculate on whether the committee might on Friday agree to change quarantine arrangements for incoming travellers.

“I think we should allow for the work that needs to be done to be completed, we will have a meeting on Friday morning and then we can be absolutely clear with the outcome from those considerations,” he said.

Stevens also said the committee was likely to have an announcement on Friday about QR Codes, which the government is looking to introduce as a contact tracing method in venues across the state.

“Once again, there’s a little bit more work being done,” he said.

“As we announced last week, there’s some technology work being done to introduce QR readers and other scan technology into certain venues.

“We’re hopeful that that will be completed so we can make some announcements on Friday as well.”

QR code technology is already operating at licensed venues in New South Wales, Queensland and Tasmania.

The SA branch of the Australian Hotels Association said it would support the introduction of the technology if it incurred no extra cost to venues.

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