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States urged to reopen borders for tourism

National

Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has urged state and territory governments to open borders to domestic holiday-makers when safe.

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Queensland has flagged border closures with southern states until at least September, prompting despair from tourism groups.

SA and WA are also signalling borders will remain shut in coming months, with tourists unlikely to be allowed in until the end of winter.

Senator Birmingham said states and territories should continue on the road map to reopening.

“Those states who’ve got border controls in place, assuming we’ve continued to see very low rates of transmission of COVID-19, ought to be looking at opening up their borders,” he told Nine’s Today program on Tuesday.

Tourism has been one of the hardest-hit sectors as governments acted to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The industry employs one in 13 Australians, with most forced on to wage subsidies or the temporarily boosted dole.

Birmingham said while health was the priority, it was important to get the economy moving again.

“We need people moving across this country again when it’s safe to do so,” he said.

-AAP

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