In response to the COVID-19 cluster in South Australia that has seen that state introduce significant restrictions for at least the next six days, the Victorian Government has announced a “hard border” will be in place with South Australia from midnight tonight (Thursday) for 48 hours, before a permit system comes into effect from midnight on Saturday, 21 November.
Under this hard border arrangement, only freight drivers and those with medical or emergency reasons, animal welfare or as authorised by law will be permitted to enter Victoria.
“The Victorian Government is finalising details of the permit scheme, however we expect freight workers carrying out their essential work will qualify, so long as they meet any conditions of the permit,” said VTA CEO Peter Anderson.
“In our consultations with the government on these announcements, we have sought to ensure any new border crossing requirements are clear, balanced and equitable, and that transport operators are afforded enough time to ensure they can comply with any new conditions. Victorians have made incredible sacrifices over the past four months to reduce community transmission and it is appropriate that steps are taken to ensure this good work is not undone.
“The VTA will keep members posted on any changes ahead of the permitting system taking effect from midnight this Saturday,” Anderson said.
As part of today’s announcements, from today interstate truck drivers travelling through Victoria from South Australia will be offered extra COVID-19 testing at a site at Nhill on the Western Highway, with other testing sites being activated at other major freight routes.
“It is our understanding that testing is not a requirement for heavy vehicles at this stage,” Anderson said.
“We welcome feedback of drivers’ experiences at the border over the days ahead so we can advocate for any adjustments where necessary,” he added.