Call to open border and ease restrictions

By Morgan Dyer

The border closure between Victorian and New South Wales border isn't logical now stage three government COVID-19 restrictions are in place in the Mitchell Shire and Melbourne, according to Member for Northern Victoria Tania Maxwell.

Last week, Ms Maxwell made a plea to both state governments to reopen the border.

Ms Maxwell welcomed the separation of regional Victoria to Mitchell Shire and Melbourne but said there was now no logical reason to restrict the day-to-day access for locals to cross the borders, sometimes multiple times a day for work and services.

“With the hard lockdowns coming into effect in Melbourne, the need for border restrictions between NSW and Victoria is defunct and the border should be reopened,” Ms Maxwell said.

“The border closures were intended to stop the spread of the Melbourne outbreak and restricting the essential movement of people in our regions where there are still low (or no) cases only creates disruption and distress,” she said.

Ms Maxwell said a continued closure of borders would only further punish regions with low (or no) cases and was not proportional to the risk of a spread of infections.

Previously Ms Maxwell hoped the implementation of roadblocks out of Melbourne would pave the way for further flexible trading conditions in regional areas with low cases of coronavirus.

She also recently asked the Premier to ease restrictions in bars, cafes and restaurants from 20 people to 50 people in regional areas that had no coronavirus cases.

Ms Maxwell called on regional communities to continue to practise social distancing and adhere to the guidelines and hoped that residents doing the right thing would avoid a return to statewide restrictions.

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