Victorians left out in the cold as country ‘opens up’

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Daylesford residents have accused tourists of poor social distancing at the local markets. PIC: Facebook / ABC

Just as Australia appeared to be getting truly on top of the coronavirus pandemic, the spike in Victorian cases has once again put the country on edge.

While many border openings are going ahead later this month as scheduled, it seems that people form the Garden State – particularly those from certain parts of Melbourne – are being left out in the cold.

States like South Australia and Queensland are specifically excluding Victorians, while New South Wales – which has been a passionate supporter of open borders – is now telling residents from Melbourne’s coronavirus hotspots not to cross into the state.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said fines of up to $11,000 apply for anyone crossing into New South Wales from those hotspots without a legitimate reason

“Victorians living in virus hotspots have to take the Victorian and NSW health orders seriously and should be very aware that NSW will impose penalties if they seek to leave hotspot suburbs to enter NSW,” he said.

Victoria yesterday declared 36 suburbs across 10 postcodes as hotspot areas. Anyone returning to NSW who has been in a hotspot in the past 14 days will be subject to a stay-at-home direction for two weeks.

While there are obviously concerns that the virus could be imported from Victoria and cause another outbreak in NSW, many Victorian tourist towns are getting anxious about welcoming travellers from the state capital.

On Sunday, Daylesford’s market was overrun with tourists and many locals said it was ‘horrifying’.

Hepburn Shire Mayor Licia Kokocinski told the ABC many people appeared to be ignoring social distancing.

“I think we’re all exasperated … we really do value our tourists and our visitors, but there’s got to be a quid pro quo here,” she said. “They’ve got to give a bit as well, and that means observing social distancing, not touching things unnecessarily, keeping in a queue when asked, keeping hand sanitisers in your pocket.”

Central Highlands Rural Health medical director Sophie Ping said the scene at the markets was “a little bit frightening”.

“We love having people visit and support our communities, but we don’t know what they’re bringing with them,” she said.

Victoria reported 73 new coronavirus cases today.

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One Response to Victorians left out in the cold as country ‘opens up’

  1. Maybe towns and shires stop all mass gatherings eg Markets ect until safe ,don’t winge about it after the fact

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