All internal borders except WA slated to open before Christmas

An agreement struck between the country’s leaders means that Australians will be able to travel between all states and territories except Western Australia by Christmas, the Prime Minister has announced.

The National Cabinet met last Friday to discuss Covid-19 management, and Scott Morrison said that it is important for states to remain open once restrictions have been eased, with National Cabinet agreeing to a number of public health measures to make sure this happens.

“It also is a plan that importantly embeds public health metrics in ensuring that when Australia opens safely it remains open safely,” the Prime Minister said.

“That’s incredibly important.”

These measures include checking into venues, maintaining distance from others and adhering to CovidSafe measures, all of which Mr Morrison said Australians need to accept as ‘the new normal’ while the virus is maintained.

“The task is to reopen safely and then to stay safely open,” he said.

“By staying safely open you’re giving confidence to businesses, to people in jobs, to people who are making decisions about their future and what they’re going to do.

“Stop-start, stop-start, does not provide that.”

Locally, there have been no further cases of Covid-19 reported within the Murrumbidgee Local Health District (MLHD), with the last case recorded 69 days ago as of yesterday (Monday).

Fifty-six people in the district have been reported to have Covid-19 since the pandemic began, however there are currently no active cases in the region.

Over 80,000 Covid tests have now been conducted within the Murrumbidgee region, an increase of 108 in the 24 hours prior.

Meanwhile, an outbreak in South Australia grew to 17 confirmed Covid-19 cases on Monday.

It is understood that 15 of the cases are linked to one family, with contact tracers working to keep the cluster under control. Over 100 people in the state are self-isolating as a result.

The cluster began with a woman in her 80s testing positive for the virus on Saturday. A family member of hers who works in hotel quarantine for returning travellers also tested positive, and this is believed this is the source of the outbreak.

Positive news has been coming from Victoria, with the state recording its 17th consecutive day of no new cases or Covid-linked deaths on Monday. There are still three reported active cases in the state.

On Friday last week, the United States reported over 150,000 new Covid-19 cases in a single day. This is the highest daily figure reported from anywhere in the world since the pandemic began.

The MLHD is continuing to encourage people in the local region to come forward for testing if they feel unwell.

The most common symptoms of Covid-19 are fever, sore throat and dry cough. Symptoms will generally appear 3-4 days after exposure to the virus but can be up to 14 days later.

Those who are tested will need to remain in self-isolation until they receive the results of their test, which usually takes around 30 hours and can be received via text message.

Tests can be arranged by calling the GP-led Respiratory Clinic located at the Railway Precinct in Tumut on 6947 2211.

The MLHD-run Covid testing clinic in Tumut has now closed.