Update: Official details from South Australian Police
Cross Border Community Members currently represent more than 1000 border crossings from Victoria to South Australia each day.
If a person currently has the Cross Border Community Members status they can re-apply to be an Essential Traveller if they fit into another category. A seven day transition period will apply to allow new applications to be made.
Persons wishing to enter South Australia from Victoria may re-apply under another category:
- National and State Security and Governance;
- Emergency Services (SA Health approved);
- Freight and Transport;
- Urgent Medical, Dental, Health (SA Health approved);
- Compassionate grounds (SA Health approved);
- Specialist workers in Essential Sectors (includes Primary Industries and Agriculture);
If you do not meet criteria of an Essential Traveller you will no longer be able to enter South Australia from Victoria. South Australians are strongly advised not travel to Victoria.
"Despite strict border controls the likelihood of the disease being introduced into South Australia from Victoria remains very high, we hope limiting cross border travel further will assistin limiting the number of cases in our state," said Commissioner Stevens.
"This not only applies to Victorian residents coming into South Australia for work, shopping, school etc, but to South Australians who have to travel to Victoria for such activities."
6pm: The South Australian government has made another change that is set to limit the lives of Victorians living on the South Australia border from next week.
It comes as residents and the Member for Mallee criticise the ongoing restrictions.
On Wednesday, SA Police Commissioner Grant Stevens announced the restrictions would be tightened for Victorians from Friday, August 21.
Up until now, cross-border restrictions have allowed Victorians and South Australians who lived within 40 kilometres of the border to shop, provide care or receive care, education and employment on the other side. Mr Stevens said such Victorians would now not have approval to enter South Australia unless they were essential travellers.
"Those people will have to apply for approval under the existing and remaining essential travel requirements," he said.
"We understand this will have an impact on these close border communities, but given the current status of COVID-19 in Victoria and the current numbers, it is deemed this is a critical step to ensure the safety of the South Australian community.
"Some dispensation will be allowed for farmers who have properties (on both sides of) the border, and students in year 11 and 12. There will also be opportunities for health exemptions based on individual circumstances.
"The intent is to protect South Australians as more COVID-19 cases are being detected in the western districts of Victoria, with 16 active cases in the Glenelg Shire."
Serviceton farmer concerned about personal toll
Jenny Wallis, who farms on both sides of the border with husband Brenton at Serviceton, said she was waiting to see what impact this would have on her work and personal life.
"We don't have a lot of stock over on our border property, but we do have to go over the border to check our farm, so I don't know what it means for us," she said.
"We have a barrier on the border road, but the exemption at the moment is we can remove that barrier and get our equipment through it and put the barrier back. We have a piece of paper to say we can do that. I'm waiting for the detail to come on the website so we can reapply."
Mrs Wallis has two daughters who live in Bordertown, one a high school teacher, the other a childcare worker. She said as a result of the last round of changes, they are not allowed to travel back to South Australia if they came to visit her.
"I provide care for our eldest daughter's children, and childcare is unavailable for her some days. I'm not sure whether I can do that anymore," she said.
"The good thing until now was we could see them. Now it looks like we can't do that it will be hard to come to terms with, like it has been for others in the area who have family beyond the 40-kilometre cross-border zone.
"We go over for machinery and bits and pieces when required, so if we can't get over there it will make things awkward. As far as I'm concerned the border is a line on a map. We just drive to the next town, which happens to be Bordertown, just because there is a line there it doesn't mean our lives should change.
"We are very safe and COVID-19 conscious: We are isolated, we go to Kaniva or Bordertown once a week to shop. I'm distancing myself from people if I see them, I'm not socialising, neither is my husband. We probably feel a little victimised."
Mrs Wallis said there had also been problems the times she had crossed the border checkpoint in recent days. When entering South Australia, cross-border Victorians must produce evidence they have had COVID-19 test or result in the past week.
"There is a COVID-19 testing station conducted by SA pathology there," she said. "We have to have a COVID-19 test every seven days, and today nobody was available to take tests. How are we supposed to adhere to regulations if we can't go and have the weekly test?
"It means we have to go back to the border tomorrow."
Mrs Wallis said there had also been delays getting the results of these tests. The Mail-Times has contacted SA pathology for comment.
Webster renews criticism of 'ridiculous' restrictions
Member for Mallee Anne Webster says she has been inundated with residents near the South Australia and New South Wales borders facing issues in their everyday lives brought on by border closures.
"The stage three restrictions (in regional Victoria) in my view are unwarranted. We should have a targeted rather than blanket approach. I think this triggers the anxiety of other states to be harsher in their treatment.
"We are suffering, people are talking to me about how angry, how frustrated they are that we are being treated like this."
Dr Webster said her communication of these problems had mostly been with cross-border commissioners.
"They are working hard to assist us. We have the occasional win, but it is extraordinarily difficult," she said.
"This week, a teacher who lived in a small town on the Victorian border who has three children she is homeschooling got to go to her husband in Adelaide. South Australia said no three times before this happened... why is it so hard? It's inhumane."
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