Plan to unite NSW and Victoria by opening the border in just weeks when both states hit 80 per cent Covid vaccination – without waiting for the rest of Australia to catch up
- Borders between NSW and Victoria to open when states hit vaccination targets
- Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Business NSW to present plan to leaders
- Groups represent 80,000 businesses and want pathway to opening the border
- Plan will see soft opening at 70 per cent with domestic travel at 80 per cent
Hard borders between NSW and Victoria could be opened next month under a plan to run ahead of rest of Australia’s reopening timeline.
A joint proposal by the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Business NSW would create a ‘border bubble once both states hit at 70 per cent vaccination.
When they reach 80 per cent, the border, which slammed shut on July 9, would fully open with the return of domestic flights and free travel between them reinstated.
The hard borders between New South Wales and Victoria are set to open in just weeks after pressure mounted from tens of thousands of businesses across the major eastern states
Pubs, gyms and stadiums will open with state and international border closures to end as Australia approaches Freedom Day
NSW had its deadliest day of the pandemic on Wednesday with 12 deaths coming from 1,259 new coronavirus cases, while Victoria’s spiking Delta variant outbreak saw 423 recorded, then surging to 514 on Thursday.
Despite almost 2,000 combined new cases every day, businesses in both states are calling for a clear pathway in returning to normal service.
The two groups, who represent 80,000 NSW and Victorian businesses, will sit down with leaders and carve out the plan for re-connecting the states.
‘Our businesses in NSW and Victoria need clarity on when they can resume their strong economic and socio-economic connection,’ Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter told The Australian.
‘Business needs certainty so they can re-employ staff and re-engage with their customer base.
‘We need to be able to say to NSW and Victoria, “at 80 per cent double dose, our businesses will be open, our state borders will be open and you can plan your Christmas holiday, catch up with family or attend that conference without fear of it being cancelled”.’
Based on the current seven-day averages, NSW will hit the 70 per cent vaccination threshold in 26 days, while Victoria remains 63 days away from the same target.
NSW is projected to reach 80 per cent in 38 days from Thursday, while Victoria is 86 days away.
Australia’s vaccine rollout has seen nearly 70 per cent of the population receive their first dose as the country looks to reopen state and international borders
The two groups, who represent 80,000 NSW and Victorian businesses, will sit down with leaders and carve out the plan for re-connecting the states
Qantas plans to re-commence international flights from December 18 under a plan to end hotel quarantine for the vaccinated.
Before that, there are calls to restart Sydney to Melbourne flights which is one of the busiest routes in the world before the pandemic.
‘Our governments must facilitate a return to that collaboration to get our nation’s business heart pumping once again,’ Victorian Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Guerra told The Australian.
‘We know our border communities rely on each other for education, employment and tourism and the NSW and Victorian Covid-19 recovery road maps must address the unique issues they face to ensure their economic survival as we hit vaccination targets,’ he said.
There have been numerous reports of companies having to lay workers off because of border restrictions that would see them have to underdog two weeks quarantine if they arrive back into Victoria from NSW.
The new mandate that is being pushed by the bodies will see the ending of the system.